Cross-Border Strands. Valga-Valka

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Concept for Central Area and Pedestrian Street in Valga-Valka Twin Town Centre.

By identifying the natural and infrastructural strands that run from one side to the other of the frontier, our proposal stems from reinforcing these urban corridors to improve the connectivity between the Twin-Town through two distinctive elements: a reinvented urban axis that relates main public spaces of both sides of the border; plus the recovering of the creek area as a central Park, connecting the new core of the conurbation to the Pedele-Pedeli River as well as improving the accessibility between both margins of the stream.

 SCHEME

The starting point of the proposal is to recognize the Pedestrian Street as the first and main urban strand of a series of novel filaments that will pass through the Creek Park to the River area. These strands are organized parallel to the Pedestrian Street on the Valka side, arranging a new Plaza for multiple events in addition to the bus terminal. The itinerary of these lines inflects and turns once entering into the green space of the creek. Some pathways create the limits of the green area; other trails bridge over the creek, whereas some others meet existing paths in order to reach the fluvial space.

The former boundary between the two countries is now an interface green space fulfilled with passageways that invite citizens to WALK through one town to the other, blurring political limits to connect diverse facilities and leisure areas. Valga and Valka WALK toward each other again like in the past.  

URBAN INTERVENTIONS

- Development of the Pedestrian Street along Raina-Sõpruse.- Construction of new storage buildings for residents - Development of the new plaza with the redesign of the Valka bus operating área.- Construction of the two new perimeter pathways of the Creek park - Restoration of the former Ramsi Watermill as a new service point and restaurant -  Construction of new multifunctional building under the pergola, with further extension if needed – Imaginable future small local businesses along Raina-Sõpruse and the new Plaza – Future extension of Selver shopping center – Development of the Creek Park with new furniture, outdoor lounges and sports infrastructures for leisure activities.

First prize

Title: Cross-Border Strands

Project: Concept for Central Area and Pedestrian Street in Valga-Valka Twin Town Centre

Location:  Valga-Valka (Estonia  and Letonia)

Date: July 2015

Category: Transformation of a public space

Organizer: Valga and Valka Town Hall

Team: Alvaro Cuéllar, Anna Gutiérrez, Jordi Safont-Tria, Àngel Canals, Mercedes Doz