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  • URBAN CONCEPTS APPLIED TO RURAL AREAS
    Segorbe, 2012. Comunication at Equiciudad 2012 with Juan MontaƱa and Salva Carrascosa


    If about half of the world population lives in cities, where has gone the other half? If almost all professionals in the world of architecture and urbanism are overturned in reflections and studies about the city, who takes care of rural areas?

    A. Density and urban compactness
    Measuring the imbalance between public and built space in rural areas should be taken into account, and therefore it is not necessary to provide them with great parks, boulevards, etc... (Fig. 1.1) Instead, efforts should be more aimed at improving accessibility from the inhabited areas to nearby natural areas-those which can be reached by walking- (Fig. 1.2), and promoting sustainable use of these by all citizens.


    B. Landscape
    When a landscape is manteined over time, it is completely linked to the site as part of his personality. It is what might be called heritage landscape. The concern for its maintenance or recovery, giving it a contemporary use, is essential to avoid uprooting and maintain cultural and natural identity of rural areas.


    C. Heritage
    One of the main problems of the rural heritage is its progressive abandonment, and what is worse, restorations to transform everything in a museum. We support other strategy, as we understand that recover goes beyond, looking for ways to transform the obsolete object into a useful one. This requires understanding how each element is related to the rest, which ones are the networks that connect the different nodes.
    For example, hydraulic mills are linked by a network of canals (Fig. 3.1), which also bind the fields (Fig. 3.2), which depend on the threshing floors(Fig. 3.3) and these on the mills (Fig. 3.4). Networks overlap each other. Detecting and putting them in value, make decontextualized assets turn into a heritage resource shaped as a network.


    Given these differences, we believe that urban strategies must be adapted to the rural reality, different from the cities. We need to understand their nature to act without altering their identity.

    Paper (Spanish, abstract in English)