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1998 Spanish Best Practices selected by National Comittee >

Building of 18 Housing with Servicies, Alicante (Spain)

Para consultar la versión castellana de este documento, pulse aquí.

Reference Date: 26-07-98

País/Country: Spain

United Nations Region: Europe
Ecological region: Coastal
Activity: City/Town
Partnerships: Foundation. Community-based organisation (CBO). Regional Government. Local authorities.

Themes = Architecture and Urban Design: affordable/ecological design; historic preservation; sustainable community design. Housing: access to housing finance; affordable housing; eco-logical design. Urban and Regional Planning: budgeting; cultural heritage conservation; metro/urban-wide planning; urban renewal.

Main contact:
Gaspar Mayor Pascual
Lonja de Caballeros, 5
Pza. Stma Faz, 5.
Tel: +34 96 520 63 29 / 520 63 64
Fax: +34 96 514 29 07

D. Isabel Pomer Murgui
Regional Government of Valencia Comunity. Department of Housing (Regional Government)
Pza. Galicia, 2
Tel: +34 96 592 79 50 - 513 06 79
Fax: +34 96 592 93 93

Partner One Support Type: Financial Support

Alejandro Ybarra
Council of Alicante (Local Authority)
Pza. Ayuntamiento, 1
Tel: +34 96 514 91 00

Partner Two Support Type: Other/Financial and Administrative Support

Nominating Organization:
Marta García Nart
Spanish National Committee
Paseo de la Castellana 67
Ministerio de Fomento
Tel: +34-91 597 75 72
Fax: +34-91 597 86 04

Key Dates

Initial date: 21.12.92
End date: 08.05.95


From 1992 it is being carried out in the old town of Alicante a rehabilitation and architecture plan of the historical center of the city where day converge with a character of urbanistics, architectural and social interrelation objectives. Inside that rehabilitation politics and regeneration in the area, and under the integration of the three big outlined objectives it is framed the realization of this bulding of 18 housing occupied by young population and old man.

It is sunglet to foment the oldest population's permanency residing in the area, the promotion of housing in rent with common servicies justificed by social reasons and proliferation of systems of intergenerational mutual help. It left of a lack as regards housings and an almost mull intergenerational relationship in the area of the one center historical, with bad habilitations conditions and low parameters of social exclusion, consolidating, after the selling in March of the indicative building of mutual and intergenerational help in the cost and financing of the activity they have contributed the Autonomous Administration, the City Council and the own Patronage.


1. Situation before the initiative began
With the purpose of framing the perfomance that is exposed in their fair measure, it is convenient to offer some brief data that indicate us the general context in wich is located. The city of Alicante is a Spanish city of the mediterranean area, of something less than three hundred thousand inhabitants, being one of the most important Spanish countries in the tourist sector.

The organion of which this proyect depends, is the Municipal Patronage of the Housing of Alicante, which depends of the City Council, and it centers its activities in three big perfomance lines. On one hand it has the responsability of the rehabilitation of the historical center of the city, it negociates the plan of erradicacion of the chabolismo, and it tales charges of building housing in different neighbourhoods of the city.

The intervention as regard housing goes directed almost exclusively fundamentally to the population's sectors which demands are not assisted by means of the private promotion when being outside of the habitual mechanisms of the market of this sector, by its level of revenues.

In the promotions of the Patronage of Alicante, even keeping in mind the modesty of their size, it tries to leave transforming the city making it more integrative and more solidary. For it the housing are designed, keeping in mind the economic and social reality of their future ocupants, but without this supposes their diferentation regardings the neighbours of the same neighbourhood.

The old town of Alicante occupies an extension of 17,15 hectares where an enviromental problem exists and of specially prominent housing, prevailing the leisure and not residential uses, where the unemployement and degradation of the residential park is remarkable.

The population of the old town is composed in 51% by no year-old grown-ups and 25% of these have more than 65 years, while the youth till 15 years only represent 21%. The degradation process that the old town has suffered in the last decades has been continuous and progressive. The more observation, the pursuit of the opinions and the reiterated complains of all the sector of the old town and the recent studies that base this postures, are enough to be formed a clear idea of the diversity and frareness of the problems. The own interrelated reality of all the component which influence in the general state of the old town, forces to positions and ambitious solutions, beyond the more rehabilitation of the housings, with integral programs capable of the transformation of the conditions of life of the area. Besides being and acquired comunitment for years by our political representatives, the old town represents the historical memory of Alicante.

It contains the most significant part in our historical-artistic patrimony, being one of the most important windows in the city. The old town of Alicante is a neighbourhood with importants lacks with social difficulties and urbanistics with the lowest cultural level of the city, with an important rates of unemployement, tendency to the cultural isolation, aged population ... The causes of the degradation of the old town are very varied, for what a correct rehabilitive politics should act in different fronts, if they want to get the expected results.

2. Objectives
With these bases, it is clear the need of rehabilitation of the old town of Alicante, being made based on the following high-priority objetives, with an interrelation character: urbanistic objetives, architectural objetives and social objetives. Those mencioned objetives, are the general approaches that are determining the perfomances of the plan of the historical center of Alicante RACHA.
The concretion of this objetives is operatized in such aspect as:

It is in fact inside these parameters where the proyect is framed that we present, especially as for the current populations's permanency (fundamentally old) young people's residential incorporation and the construction of new housing.

3. Process
This plan contemplate the aids for the adquisition and rehabilitation of housings, and locals, and the construccion of new housing. Since the beggining that plan has taken place of the RACHA Plan, the Municipal Patronage of the Housing not only takes charge of negotiate the rehabilitation, but of the promoting housings in rent for families that reside and who are interested in improving its quality of life or for house of who wish to settle in the neighbourhood. Due to the impulse of the recent improvements, every time there are more familiars groups who feel the necesity to look for housing in the same neighbourhood to avoid the distancing among their members. The youths who decide to stay, in occasions don't find neither affordable rents neither available housing, taking place the mayor difficulty in this sector to stay in this area of the city. All this causes a change in the population resident's structure the spreads to the aging.

The Patronage already has awarded 63 housings in theses moments in the area of the old town in rent, being more than 85 in proyect for execution. It's neccesary to add the aid that are processing for the pursache from the office of administration of the RACHA Plan and for rehabilitaction of housings in the area limited by RACHA Plan.

Leaving from the study, direct, and daily work of the components of the diverse municipal areas that are working in the problem of the old town, could stand out as more excellent situations of the social reality, those: under level cultural, low economic remuneration, unemploy, low posibilities to access to the housing in rent or of rehabilitate their housing.

About older population sector, it is current to find a high number of people belonging to this group, born in the old town and with a strong hold in it. Generally they are men and women that live alone. The daily life of these people lapses indoors, having scarce contact with the rest of the neighbourhood. This population's group has scarce economic resources due to reduced pensions. These data justify the important number of housing under bad condition the oldest inhabitants, and, in consequence, the urgent nesity of a progresive rehouse or the improve in the condition of habitability existent.

About the group of young people, the most significant fact is the sensitive diference about the existent relationship among the percentage of young people of the area and of the city in general, being quite smaller in the old town. In fact it is necessary to add the total of the young people resident serious difficulties of social exclusion in generic aspects, although also in all to the possibilities of becoming independent and to establish their habitual lodging in the area.

Regarding the normative and finance aspects of the proyect, it is necessary to point out that it was benefitted by the ordinance of aid that develops the RACHA Plan (the last bring up to date legislativa in this matter appeared in the official Diario of the Generalitat Valenciana n. 2770, of june 14 th 1996) and it made reference to the promotion of housing dedicated to rend or other justificated forms of explotations because of social reason. A decisive issue in this proyect was the possibility of inclusion in the chapter of protected perfomances where the condition are described to be included to the financing qualified of the VPO of general regimen going to be revided by those physical or judicial people, public or private that promote the construction or remodeling of buildings of housings for renting because of social reasons and which inclose the following characteristics: housing with surface useful smaller than 50 square meters, the computable surface to obtain the financing will be composed by the useful surface of the housing increased with the common servicies (the most prominent aspect for its execution), the limitation of the anual rent of 6% of the maximum sale's price depending the useful surface and the terms and condicions of VPO of regimen general destinated to rend, the candidates must be between 18 and 30 years old or more than 65 years, they can not be propietor of a housing dedicated to habitual and permanent home in the same town and whose pondered family revenues don't overcome 2.5 times the minimun wage interprofesional.

Pilot experience with 18 housing with services
Leaving from the described context previously, the Patronage thoutgh about starting an integral proyect of housing with servicies which the idea that its occupation was, approximately, half of the housing for the oldest sector of population and the rest for young people. For this reason some special puntuation for applicants older than 65 years old and or younger than 30 years old were included in the bases of baremacion and award of the promotion of housing in the old town of the year 1994. The purpose of the proyect rests in giving new answer, in more mesure, to the oldest population, and also to he youngth in the old town. In that way, the older tenant of sur housing have had the opportunity to carry on living in their neighbourhood, in a housing with an affordable rent price (the actual rent of housing with the biggest surface doesn't overcome 19000 pesetas, included the comunity expenses) and with a common services available and with a sense of solidarity which has avisen between the oldest population and the young residents. At the beginnig the idea was made an intervention that would impact in the question of lodging but with integral services of attention to this population where was inclued a day center, laundry servicie, dining room, and so on ...

Although finally it was not possible to incluide different servicies in the same building. About the description, we could say that the proyect is a building of 18 housings of VPO and two comercial locals with basement whose promoter is the own Patronage.
The total useful surface reaches 1.547 square meters, distributed in five models of housings (between 37 and 49 useful square meters for housing) all of them with one room. The building has an elevator for handicapped and the terrace superficie is usable, in this way there are 5 automatic washers of common usue, stay for storage of the cleaning staff and the accesible way in the roof by way of shed with banks.

The housings are endowed with individual accountat for the suplier of light and water. The supply of gas has been suppressed by the danger that it could be for the oldest people. When the house is awarded, each housing has accessories of the bathroom, kitchen furniture, electric cook with oven and electric water heater of hot water.

As for the potencial demands it is necessary to say that it is a population belonging to the social center of the old town, although from de social area of Patronage it has been calling a continuous pursuit of those aspects that could be detected or defendands to coordinate or to intervenue in actions. This proyect it is not only being able maintaning the oldest population in their habitual environment, conserving his autonomy and they have housing in good conditions available, but they also have consolidated some mechanismes of intergenerational self-help.

The development of this proyect has also facilitated the conservation in situ of the archeological remains found where the gothic rasher was built.
The cost and financing of the proyect has been developed by Generalitat Valenciana (Autonomons Administration with competition as regards housing 23.967.397 pesetas), the City Council of Alicante (Local Administration - 25.000.000 pesetas) and Municipal Patronage of Housing (65.985.921 pesetas)

4. Achieved results
From the Municipal Patronage of Housing of Alicante we bet for the positions of lodging experiencies under approches and intergenerational solidarity, those an precursors of social relationships under a charmer of pleasant coexistence inside of the diversity. This fact causes, in many ocassions, positive effects in the oldest person in the relationships with other generations.

This measures go straightly to the innovation of integration focuses and to the solidarity among generations would bear the positive valuation of animation activities and exchange of the information, as well as the combined search of solutions to the problems that represent the dependence and health of people of advanced age.

Another characteristics that we understand as positive in this shared position are the fact that it contributes to decrease the distancing taken place by the age creating situations in the oldest people where they feel to be the protagonist an more valid.

The number and diversity of activities possible to carry out around the position that we make intergenerational coexistence can embrace from cultural acts, to char-cologny, enclosing the mutual help in the home-task.

In this sense, and by way of "contractual commitment" we understand that it would be convenient that the youths could commint to develope a work of convivence and active participation in the development of the exposed objetives among both generations. We even find positive, for the development of the relationships, that those youths would have a specific profile in relation with the activity of mutual helps and participation; for example: social workers, educators and so on...

After the study and analysis of the oldest part of the population and youths problem of the access to the lodgin, the Patronage of Alicante bets clearly for this issue, of social character aim us to that it is an issue, and it will be, that should be intervened with determination. And we also understand that the position of proposals and forms, and exchange of idea, as well as setting in pilot proyects have to be developed in this moment, since, as all we know due to the experiencie in the sector, the reaction capacity and the practical realization of the same one takes a long time and it could happen that we net with the surprise of having a lot of older population without access to a worthy lodging. On the other hand, we also understand that the perfomances to carry out with the older population can be outlined from an intergenerational optics (specially with young smaller than 30 years), and not only from approaches of necesity for the mencioned collective, but also low parameters of self-help, solidarity, community services and so on...

Equally and in a narrow relationship with the aboved-mentioned, we claim that it is necessary to invested in an effort in power the innovation aspects in the design of the proyects for the population's layers, and not only from and strict adaptation of the housings about mobility and accesibility, but also regarding aspects of quality, design of integral services, attention to the demands and applicants' proposals, convergence with utilities of diverse collective, and so on...

Lessons Learnt
Lastly, we could like outline the vital importance that two questions have, under sur approach. Whose, in many ocassions, condition and limit the advance in the development of the perfomance proposals in this issue. Even a side, we bet for the introduction of novelties in juridical-normative aspects about the way of holding of the housings, not only about the property, and the rend, what means that it would not be necessary to discard mixed formulas, from the mutual coexistence or even pacted the beginning with the beneficiaries.

It is neccesary to value as weak points of the development of this experience that it is a small number of housings, although proportional with the structure and size of the area, it has supposed a reference point. On the other had, many difficulties are given, specially in some legislatives enviroments, having flexibility in the aspects of qualified financing of this type of proyects. Even in our buid there are some difficulties to balance the proportion of residentes of the itself, specially when the youths leave the building to improve their socio-economic conditions.

As for the transfer of this practice, we think it can contribute to other contexts under the same principles and strategies appeared in the letter of the European Cities Towards the Sustainability (Letter of Aalborg) and the verdic of the Economic and Social Commitee on the Sustainable Development as regards housing in Europe. In that way, the city built is already valued, improving the aspects of their infraestructure, propietiating the recycle and the conservation of the built patrimony, improving the hability conditions and the social cohesion among intergenerational groups.

5. The experience in numbers
Financial Profile:

Este documento se ha editado a partir de una versión inglesa.
Revisado por Nerea Morán Alonso.

1998 Spanish Best Practices selected by National Comittee >
Ciudades para un Futuro más Sostenible
Búsqueda | Buenas Prácticas | Documentos | Boletín CF+S | Novedades | Convocatorias | Sobre la Biblioteca | Buzón/Mailbox
Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Grupo de Investigación en Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Sostenibilidad
Departamento de Estructuras y Física de la EdificaciónDepartamento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Territorio