See on desktop!


By Chuan Li (UVEG)

Following a series of successfully design-oriented pilot programmes contributed by the DESIGNSCAPES project in recent years, the city of Valencia has become the first Spanish city to officially incorporate “design strategy” in its action plan for the reconstruction of the city in the post-COVID-19 period.

Last week, the Valencian City Council approved the development of a global pact for the recovery and reconstruction of the city, by placing design at the core of tackling the challenges of climate change and long-term sustainable development in the future. A strategic emphasis has been placed on the development of a set of action plans oriented towards the design field, as follows:

• Establishing a Design Council to improve the visual, functional and landscapes quality of the city;

• Engaging strategic design branding service & processes to redefine the position of the city in the transforming process of a new economic model based on knowledge, culture and creativity;

• Investing in the design sector and installations to support design-enabled innovation in public administration, particularly to improve direct communication with citizens;

• Leveraging design and communication approaches to raise public awareness on and prevention actions of personal and public health.

Earlier last week, the Commission for Social, Economic and Health Reconstruction of the Commission for Industry, Trade, Tourism and New Technologies of Les Corts Valencianes (Valencian regional parliament) discussed the proposal of an Action Plan for the Recovery and Reconstruction of the City: “The objective of the action plan is to optimize the strategic use of the design in the public and private sectors in the Community, to obtain maximum social and economic benefit”, said Ángel Martínez, the president of the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community (ADCV).

“The result: increased public awareness, political interest, as well as community support towards design observed throughout the city of Valencia.”

According to Ángel Martínez, the plan will be structured along two main lines:

• Developing support and funding programmes that can stimulate business investment in design;

• Initiating design-enabled actions in the public sector to ensure that design is included in innovation policies — to encourage the widespread adoption of more effective, efficient, accessible and inclusive processes.

As one of DESIGNSCAPES’s 14 pilot cities, Valencia has shown great potential for design-enabled innovation, with the support of the EU H2020 project. In the Valencian region alone, a total of three civic organisations and public authorities have received funding through DESIGNSCAPES’s Open Calls to undertake design-enabled initiatives. The result: increased public awareness, political interest, as well as community support towards design observed throughout the city of Valencia — all tangible evidence for design-enabled innovation, that can be transferred as part of a new innovation-driven model for urban sustainability in European cities.

Photo: Kike Taberner, Culturplaza