WHEN THE RISK IS URBAN PLANNING. A CASE STUDY IN EL CABANYAL (SPAIN)
Keywords: Risk, Heritage, Urban planning, Cabanyal Ground Zero Area
Abstract. This paper presents the vicissitudes of a residential dwelling built in El Cabanyal in 1923 and how poor urban planning can be a risk. The building corresponds to one of the most common traditional typologies: a terraced house with masonry load bearing brick walls and timber floors, three storeys, a linear staircase attached to the party walls, a courtyard at the rear and a gable roof. In the past, this building, proved to be resilient, overcoming the risk of collapse in some important episodes which affected directly El Cabanyal: the air raid attacks of the Valencian coastline settlements during the Spanish Civil War and the floods occurred in 1949 and in 1957. In 1988, the building was listed in the catalogue of the General Plan with a protection grade 3. The special protection plan (PEPRI 2001) which was supposed to protect and rehabilitate El Cabanyal, projected the extension of Blasco Ibañez Avenue to the sea and consequently, the division of the neighbourhood in two halves, tearing down an important number of houses. Subsequently, the City council began to expropriate buildings facilitating their occupation by squatters. The level of degradation caused by the urban planning is such that this area is known as ‘Ground Zero Area’. At the time of writing this paper, the building appears to be illegally occupied and in a bad state of preservation. After almost a hundred years facing different risks, poor urban planning appears to be the cause of the destruction of this heritage building.