10 Nov Climate islands by Scob
Seven «Climate Islands» have been built by the architecture and landscape group Scob as part of a groundbreaking attempt to create hospitable, environmentally friendly urban spaces that may help reduce the negative effects of global warming. «Urban acupuncture» is a kind of urban intervention that involves strategizing the city’s layout and keeping a close eye on details at the microscale.
In order to better incorporate these new spaces in the port for the residents of the Gothic and Barceloneta neighborhoods, the project reimagines the area closest to the sea edge around Port Vell. This is done as a response to emerging citizen requirements, with a focus on the strategic points of contact and proximity with the urban context.
By highlighting one of Port Vell’s distinctive features—a walkway that runs along the water’s edge—the area’s circumferential trail is strengthened. A «ribbon of pearls,» or areas of ecological value that together create «stepping stones» (Richard T. T. Forman), offering meeting, resting, and recreational nodes while simultaneously boosting urban biodiversity, is the foundation of this innovative intervention’s landscape requirements. Distances between nodes in these networks should be no more than five minutes to maximize their potential for success.
Specific technical solutions are implemented, such as the design of low-cost urban furniture, the planting of vegetation sourced from regions with a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean, the use of water vapour systems (the cloud) activated sequentially during periods of intense heat, and the installation of paving with a low thermal index, all of which work together to create a more inviting and greener level of comfort that helps improve the user experience.
Considering that social contact in public places is crucial to the evolution of the human species, the ultimate goal of these interventions is to enhance the quality of life for individuals. Places like this will provide a welcoming community for people of all ages to mingle and improve their quality of life. As the creators say: «It’s critical that we don’t abandon, eliminate, or overlook this essential need. It’s been a while.»