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Masterplanning Strategic Planning Urban Policies

Calp 2020, a strategy for sustainable tourism

The great tourism-oriented development wave that swept Spain’s Costa Blanca coast from the 1960s onwards has radically changed the city of Calp and its environs. What used to be a prominent urban centre in the region, Calp’s compact historic core, has become a peripheral island ever-smaller within an extensive territory multiple times its size of holiday homes, high rise hotels and seasonal apartment buildings, dense peri-urban expansion and speculative real estate construction. In early 2013 the city launched an international competition, a call for ideas to regenerate the historic centre and re-integrate it as a central node within the socioeconomic and cultural life of this new territory, to reimagine it as a sustainable town.

Our approach to the regeneration of Calp’s old core builds on an understanding of the city’s potential that an over-dependence on mass tourism has overlooked and effectively overshadowed, the cultural richness and natural beauty of its surrounding landscape away from the coast, the architectural heritage and spatial quality of the historic core. Our proposal consists of strategic interventions that integrate design- and policy-led solutions: a) the creation of clearly identified and accessible network of walking routes connecting the surrounding territory to historic core, b) a new set of planning regulations including the establishment of a consistent design guidelines, c) an action plan to refurbish and reuse vacant and abandoned buildings through a city-led community-owned company, and d) public space improvements in a number of gates between the old and the new city.

Images from top:

  1. Calp
  2. Presentation panel 1 of 3: Synopsis of principal objectives
  3. Presentation panel 2 of 3: New pathway network re-integrating old city into the territory, community-led organisation, action-plan for refurbishment of old building stock
  4. Presentation panel 3 of 3: Public space projects and planning guidelines
  • Tags


  • Year


  • Place

    Calp, Spain

  • Client

    Ayuntamiento de Calp

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