Site: La Bazana (Spain)

A project by: José de Andrés, Ana Sabugo, Alicia Peña, Víctor Cano Ciborro, José Javier Cullen, Sofía Lens
Awarded Special Mention by Europan-Europe 14. 2017

In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published 'Edible Insects', a research document in insect rearing that points out the benefits that this field could bring for the future challenge of human and animal feeding.

Fistly, the initial investment of the activity is very low and farms can be fed with leftovers coming from the Agriculture, such as leaves from vegetables and grains, taking advantage from the existing activity in the area. Moreover, the overhead costs for the production processes are much lower compared to similar industries and the final products contain up to ten times more proteins.

Initially, the farms are thought to produce flours and feed for animals (cattle and pets) reducing the costs for local producers as well as diversifying the local economy. In further stages of the project, the production will be meant also for human consumption finding an increasing demand in fields like nutrition and dietetics, supplements for sportsmen and pharmaceutical industry.

Enhancing the natural axis of the village, the proposal takes its place along the Paseo Central of La Bazana allowing interventions of different nature while reactivating the sequential character of the avenue. Insects' farms are located at the entrance of the public plazas, recovering the buffer zones with vegetation from the original project of Alejandro de la Sota.

Depending on their function, we can find three types of spaces: Productive spaces (farms), Transformation spaces (production plant and FoodLAB) and Services (tourist and educative spaces).

New proposed buildings present a structure of scaffolding porticos supporting a textile enclosure, which is perfect to create the indoor warm conditions required for insects rearing at the same time it avoids them to escape and interfere with the local ecosystem.

This constructive system is chosen for its low economic and environmental impacts as local people can build the structures under technical supervision.  Apart from the new buildings, the proposal suggests the renovation of some existing spaces in the village: The old warehouse will become the new production plant; the Hogar Sindical will host the new FoodLAB, a restaurant and laboratory for culinary innovation and research; finally, the bullring will be covered and turned into a butterfly park for divulgation and tourist purposes.

Official website - europan-europe.eu


How mixed is actually the mixed-city? Housing remains the main program in many urban development projects of the post-industrial era. We wisely add some office places and public amenities, but remain especially keen on stimulating bars, shops and restaurants because we want every new district to be a “genuine vibrant urban neighbourhood. Looking back at how we organized this wave of regeneration, we can see how we have systematically excluded one program: the productive economy.

There is now in many European cities a spatial and social mismatch between living and working conditions. The city provides high-skilled professionals with many working possibilities while a large part of low-skilled workers live in the city with no work opportunity. This mismatch generates many problems with regard to economy, mobility and sociality.
Of course, we should not bring steel factories back to the city centre. But we are already welcoming all kinds of small-scale urban manufacturing. We are accommodating more and more of the new recycling industry within the city itself. We could systematically save some space in our programs for redevelopment areas for small and medium enterprises. We should avoid that the plumber living in the city and repairing our houses in the city has to drive out of the city to find available storage space. Production should be encouraged in the city, be part of the fabric, be allowed to be seen, connected to shared daily life, nurtured and celebrated. Which alternatives should we produce for such a city?

How to integrate some of the production activities in the city –such as the production of food, energy, low skilled services, new industrial products– to enhance new relations between citizens?

How to live in productive fields and to produce in living environment?

How to integrate all the production cycles considering distribution, waste and consumption?

The challenge for Europan 14 is to generate new kinds of proximity by connecting the living and the producing.

© 2023 Víctor Cano Ciborro
This site and all of its contents may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the written permission of the author, or additional with other authors involved in the production of specific works exhibited on this site.