LARGO DAS CARVALHAS REQUALIFICATION PROJECT
A noble, significant and central space for the city, inductor of experience and social and economic urban dynamics. That what Largo das Carvalhas, in Mangualde, is becoming.
Largo das Carvalhas requalification is a commitment to improving conditions for its inhabitants and for those visiting the city centre. «This intervention proceeds with rigor and respect for a careful urben design in the context of a historic city. This proposal has as its main objectives the improvement and qualification of one of the most emblematic and significant public spaces in Mangualde, in a perspective of true public enjoyment, in conditions of safety, comfort, usability and accessibility for all», stated architect José António Lopes.
A NOBLE, CENTRAL AND SIGNIFICANT SPACE FOR THE CITY
The ongoing project will provide the city with conditions for a more qualified use, encompassing several aspects, namely by regulating car parking, the possibility of hosting exhibitions and urban fairs and framing leisure facilities and the enjoyment of all, constituting also as a “living room” for the big events that the city stages. «The configuration of a central space with the urban recognition that it assumes, requires design solutions that enhance a wide variety of valences of its uses», highlights the architect, considering «urban, architectural, heritage, historical and sociocultural particularities have centre stage in the intervention strategy».
«It is important to stress the idea that the historic centre, always seen as a historic city, is never a watertight unit and, in this sense, the reciprocity relations between the different parts of the urban centre, in their richness and complexity, are of the highest importance for shaping urban regeneration dynamics. These relational links must originate and ensure significant flows of people, exchange of goods and services, financial dynamics, and urban activity thus making it possible to optimise and make sustainable the operation of common equipment, infrastructure, roads, and other public spaces.» – José António Lopes, ad quadratum arquitectos (architecture practice).
A QUALIFIED URBAN SPACE
The Largo das Carvalhas requalification project foresees a measure of traffic calming, comfort and promotion of light transportation means, which consists of levelling up the streets platform to the level of the sidewalks, ensuring the appropriate road marking, «but resulting in a public space that is more openly central in a urban environment, with a clear reduction of car crossing speed, and it is possible to perceive the extension of the ‘public square’ to the façade of the adjacent buildings», highlighted the lead architect from ad quadratum arquitetos (architecture practice) adding that «these purposes also contribute to the “urban requalification and regeneration aims” , providing, in this way, the physical conditions for the increase of urban functions, namely to encourage the use of public spaces by citizens and various organisations and entities, or even as a facilitator for investment via the economic agents installed, in the rehabilitation of built heritage, in the promotion and diversification of economic activities, commerce, restaurants, and hotels».
It should also be noted that the remaining roads bordering this public space, namely Avenida 25 de Abril (between R. da Saudade and R. Ana Castro Osório), the Calçada do Viriato (facing the local parish building) and the Calçada da Carvalha (south), also benefit from widening and repaving of pavements, the configuration of parking spaces and spaces reserved for loading and unloading. On Av. 25 de Abril the proposal is to regulate vehicle parking, create 16 parking spaces and two loading and unloading areas in the vicinity of shops and restaurants.
With regard to the parking in the intervention area, it is worth mentioning the allocation of four car parking spaces, for vehicles carrying people with reduced mobility.
Throughout the intervention area, three multiple waste collection points (RS and RSU) and a RSU point will be made available next to the catering spaces.
The proposal also provides for the installation of a technical and health support building with the purpose of ensuring the functions of a public toilet differentiated by gender and equipped with a facility adapted to citizens with limited mobility. The space next to this building will have a parking space for priority or emergency vehicles.
The informal multi-sport space was also redesigned and benefited from its versality in a new location, namely the vicinity of the R. Ana de Castro Osório. With this intervention, it will be provided with better equipment to support its practices, adequate pavement and space for assistance.
Largo das Carvalhas, particularly near to the old school, will also house a playground, equipped with recreational gear, safety flooring and other legally required complements, as well as a space for leisure and intergenerational physical activities, commonly known as ‘grandparent and grandchildren’ equipped with rest areas and support equipment for the physical exercise.
ARBOREAL HERITAGE: CONCERN AND RESPECT FOR NATURE
«The phytosanitary state and condition of this entire set indicated outbreaks of serious pathologies and deformations, often caused by poorly executed pruning, thus all specimens lacking a timely and detailed phytosanitary assessment» referred José António Lopes.
After an in-depth analysis of the phytosanitary condition, based on concern and respect for nature, it was considered that some trees should be felled: the total number of existing trees was 42, resulting in the proposal of the Largo das Carvalhas requalification project to preserve 33 of these and plant two new ones.