Workshop UCJC and Saxion: Renaturalization of Gran San Blas.

Great San Blas is a working class neighbourhood at the east of Madrid´s city center. It was promoted in 1958 by the first state funded housing developer of Spain, “Obra Sindical del Hogar”. It was the first time in Madrid’s urban development that a piece of town and not a series of housing blocks was created. Currently, Great San Blas is one of the priority areas within “Madrid Regenera” plan. The residential quality is low and the public space of the district needs improvement.


The participants of the workshop came from the Urban Design degree at Saxion University and form the Landscape and Architecture degree at Camilo Jose Cela University. They worked with five tactical actions that could improve the public space of the neighbourhood through renaturalization processes, trying to answer to the following questions:

* How can re-naturalization of Great San Blas be a strategic approach for regeneration issues?

* How can Great San Blas inhabitants get involved in a re-naturalization strategy?

* How can a re-naturalization strategy help to improve the quality of the public space?

The final presentation of the workshop was in an animation format which was considered the most adequate tool to represent change through time.

Towards a community garden: by Angelo, Sofia and Andrea.

This project worked with the urban voids creating a garden made by community through a collective urban action that represents the neighbour’s heterogeneity.

It establishes a game through time. In a first step big murals are painted and change the aspect of the buildings. At the same time the bases of the community garden are founded although its visual presence is not so strong yet. Through time while the urban paintings are vanished, vegetation grows and the presence of the garden is becoming stronger. What at first was a coloured mural it becomes a coloured garden.


Growing Change: by Erik, Cristina and Joaquin

The project works with the productive condition of the city. Taking advantage of the ground floor establishments that ate currently closed it transforms them in workshops for collective production. The animation shows how citizens taking advantage of the new production tools construct their own public furniture. Fab labs are becoming a productive trigger for the peripheral city.

Green Guerrillas: by María Ángeles, Adrián and María Jesús

The project proposes to empower citizens so as to be the real protagonists of the city, those who transform and appropriate public space. A guerrilla action that constructs unity in the neighbourhood. A neighbourhood designed by neighbours and not by designers.

Pop Up San Blas: by Ruben and Mateo

The Project proposes a third landscape. A place where nature is less accessible and wilder. A place that shows the importance of the urban flora and fauna and their metabolism in the city. An environment that allows to celebrate the seasons and the arrival of the birds to the city.