Previous stateThe Besòs delta was once an area of great natural riches, with its marsh landscape, coastal dunes, dense alder and willow groves which followed the course of the water.
Settlements in the zone were slow to become established because of the marshland, frequent rises in the water level and flooding, but the fertility of the soil and the abundance of water favoured the use of the land for growing crops. Industrial expansion and the successive waves of immigrants gradually eradicated this past. The district where the park is located was founded in 1922 in response to the needs for labour in the factories on the left bank of the river.
It was known at the time as Font i Vinyals, but with the subsequent construction of the parish church it changed to its present name of Sant Joan Baptista. On the seafront, the industrial facilities were gradually encroaching upon the zone, until they completely blocked access to the beach. Some of the most important were the power station of Energia Elèctrica de Catalunya (1912), which, over the years, developed into the current Fecsa complex, and, on the right bank of the river, La Catalana (1917), today known as Hidroelèctrica de Catalunya. A big factory which manufactured building materials, "Viguetas Castilla", stood on the site of the park between 1950 and 1984 approximately.
Aim of the interventionThe PERI of Marina-Besòs was based on the 1976 General Metropolitan Plan, and set out, as one of its aims, the recovery of the entire riverside area, creating a linear urban park on the front of Sant Adrià, which would eventually link up with the future Parc del Litoral. The aim of the redevelopment was to increase the number of areas with amenities and to link them to residential areas. For this reason, in 1985, the former Barcelona Metropolitan Corporation expropriated the land which was to be the site of the park, and the Association of Municipalities carried out the work which resulted in the opening of the park in 1990. Its concept is based on the idea of making the maximum use of its prime location by the sea in order to foster its use as a container of beach-related recreational and leisure activities.
DescriptionThe Parc del Litoral is located on the left bank of the River Besòs, and is bounded by the mouth of the river, the Mataró railway line, Carrer de la Platja de Sant Adrià and the Mediterranean sea. The park consists of areas of walkways, swimming pools and groves and is part of the sector which has the greatest number of amenities: the Marina-Besòs sports complex, the football ground, the parking area, etc.
A broad pedestrianised thoroughfare, which separates the park from the sports complex, runs from the parking area to the esplanade and the beach.
The esplanade is a transitional space between the park and the beach and the main area for walking and socialisation. The sports and service facilities are located along it.
Its final stretch widens out on to a viewing point-square which overlooks the confluence of the river and the sea. The red building located here is a pumping station. It collects the sewage and sends it under the river to the treatment plant on the right bank.
The swimming pools, which are now part of the sports complex, were built at the same time as the park as a recreational space which would be complementary to the beach. This enclosed, landscaped area features a series of shallow recreational pools in fun geometrical shapes, with little fountains and a total surface area of water of 1,000 m2.
The grove consists of pines and small deciduous trees; its growth has been hindered by the effects of the sea breezes. Behind the pumping station, an area of small dunes planted with eucaliptus seeks to minimise the presence of the building.
AssessmentToday, the park -together with the sports area and the beach- is the only pleasant space on the coast of San Adrià: an area almost completely occupied by industrial facilities and dominated by the huge chimneys of the power station. The park is the first step towards the recovery of a series of spaces which are indispensable to disadvantaged towns and in ensuring their inhabitants come back into contact with the sea. The project is also part of a wide range of interventions which have as their common aim, the recovery of the seafront and the banks of the Besòs for public use.
[Last update: 02/05/2018]