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BARRIO DEL CABANYAL-CANYAMELAR
- WMF Program:2012 Watch
North of the Port of Valencia and just three kilometers from that city’s historic center, the lively architecture of the Barrio del Cabanyal-Canyamelar dots the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The coastal settlement, famously depicted by the Dutch painter Anthonie Van Den Wijngaerde in 1563, was once a fishermen’s village with rows of thatched cottages and farmhouses parallel to the sea, multiplying as the coastline was extended with infill from port improvements. A fire in 1875 caused great destruction to the site, after which the urban landscape was rebuilt on the original street grid. The buildings were designed using an eclectic approach, their styles ranging from historicist to modernist and later rationalist designs. The barrio was landmarked in 1993.
Years of municipal neglect and lack of inclusive urban planning have left the district in a vulnerable state. Today, over 500 buildings within the landmarked district are in danger of being demolished to give way to an extension of Blasco Ibáñez Avenue, which is intended to provide direct vehicular access from Valencia’s urban center to the coast and port. The Asociación de Vecinos Cabanyal-Canyamelar and other local organizations are advocating for an open dialogue about the impacts on the barrio. It is hoped that inclusion on the Watch will foster the development of alternative access options, to avoid the displacement of so many families and businesses, and to preserve the neighborhood’s historic environment.
Thanks to the continuing efforts of the Asociación de Vecinos Cabanyal-Canyamelar, in April 2012 the site was included in the “Lista Roja del Patrimonio Histórico” of Hispania Nostra. In July 2012, Spain’s Audiencia Nacional endorsed the 2009 decision by the Ministry of Culture to halt the project, which would have demolished a large section of the neighborhood. The ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2014 and the plan to extend the Blasco Ibáñez Avenue was redesigned. However, the new plan presented in 2014 still proposed demolition of 150 landmarked buildings and it was again taken to court by the groups opposing the destruction of the neighborhood. While fighting against the plan, the neighbors organized the initiative “Cabanyal Living Archive” (Cabanyal Archivo Vivo) which was awarded a 2013 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage by Europa Nostra. In July, 2015 a comprehensive plan allowing for the rehabilitation of the neighborhood without compromising its historic fabric was announced, and €22 million were allocated to be spent during the following six months as the start of the rehabilitation project of the whole historic district. July 2015
IN FIELD DISPATCHES
- Expolio bajo otro nombre
July 21, 2014
IN WMF JOURNAL
- Cabanyal Since the 2012 Watch Annoucement
June 5, 2012
IN THE MEDIA
- El Cabanyal en Valencia y el Berrocal de Trujillo, considerados patrimonio cultural en peligro (video)
RTVE, October 5, 2011
- Génesis y éxodos de El Cabanyal
Público.es, October 8, 2011
- Poison lingers from Spain's property binge
Reuters.co.uk, November 11, 2011
- Deben decidir si quieren un Venice Beach o un Benidorm en El Cabanyal
El País, December 19, 2011
- Cabanyal 2012: ¿Año 0?
El País, January 6, 2012
- El Cabanyal queda inclòs a la Llista de Vermella d'Hispània Nostra "per risc de desaparició"
Europapress, April 12, 2012
- La oposición y Salvem piden un plan que no expolie El Cabanyal
El País, July 6, 2012
- El Cabanyal es lo que mejor expresa la relación de Valencia con el mar
El País, November 3, 2012
- Informe sobre la situación del Barrio Cabanyal-Canyamelar (PDF)
Comisión de la Universitat de València para el estudio del Cabanyal-Canyamelar (CUVECAB)
WORLD MONUMENTS WATCH DAY
A tour through Barrio del Cabanyal-Canyamelar took place on Watch Day to celebrate the built heritage of the area and to gather local advocates. In addition to residents and members of neighborhood associations, leaders from various international organizations participated in the walk.
In the Blogosphere: En el 'Watch Day'
In the Media: Expertos defienden una “conversión controlada” del Cabanyal sin perder la “esencia” del barrio
In Dig Deeper: Watch Day Video