La Pinada will be the first eco-district in Spain co-designed by the future residents and conceived around a school. The project will be situated in Valencia, a city with sun 300 days of the year, at 10 minutes from the city centre and includes 25 hectares (61 acres) among pine trees where approximately 1,000 families will settle in their progressive stages of growth, and take part in the co-creation of the district and the housing of which it comprises. The first stage is predicted to be complete in 2021. The recently opened & innovative Imagine Montessori School will be the centre of life within the eco-district.
The new eco-district “will create an attractive area for families where they can live, work and enjoy nature in an exciting, dynamic, healthy environment that is also socially cohesive”, as pointed out by Iker Marcaide, Founder of Zubi Labs, the driving force behind the project. As the founder put it, La Pinada “is a development that seeks to create social and environmental value”.
The eco-district pursues to include best practices on an international level for sustainable urban developments in order to create an affordable, equitable, resilient, collaborative, healthy, safe and inclusive environment. Along these lines, it considers ambitious self-sufficiency goals and strict requirements for limited resources (water, energy, materials) by implementing for instance the reuse of water, nearly zero energy consumption, the generation of energy from renewable sources, shared economy formulas, a circular economy considering the life cycle of the materials, shared areas and synergies between the district and the school, and will also offer residents smart mobility solutions which are environmentally friendly.
La Pinada is very in line with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities. The UN states that although cities only occupy 3% of the land’s surface, they represent between 60% and 80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions. In addition, the traditional way of urban growth has generated inequality, poverty, excessive traffic and pollution, resulting in an impact on climate change. “With the expected population increase in cities, generating a high percentage of CO2 throughout the world, we have to rethink how we grow to do so in a sustainable way. We would like to aim for La Pinada to become a reference and international inspiration”, said Iker Marcaide.
Imagine Montessori School, a recently opened innovative school in Valencia and also a Zubi Labs´s initiative, will also live in the area. The idea of creating this eco-district originated in the process of searching for land to expand the school. Beyond a school, the idea of creating something much more impactful, where families could live and work, reduce transportation time, enjoy a healthy environment, a community with social cohesion and shared values, and everything geared towards the development and the happiness of the children was explored, and now has turned into a reality. Iker Marcaide points out that “we want it to be a great place for children whether they live in the district or form part of the school or not, so that they can grow up playing in the streets, and in a car-free zone, which is safe and in the middle of nature to boost their autonomy, curiosity and creativity”.
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