Located just 10 kilometres from the tourist trap of Benidorm, the small Spanish town of La Nucía couldn’t be more different than its neighbour.
The municipality has followed a strict policy of sustainability for the past 20 years, winning three Architizer awards for its ecological architecture.
Residents of the town are heavily involved in its sustainable action too. Recharging electric cars is free to all, while the more residents recycle, the fewer taxes they pay.
Discussing the sustainable transformation, Mayor Bernabé Cano points to a number of factors. “The first step was to remove the traffic from the old town. Afterwards, several lines of work were created. We created new green areas, replanted all the landscaped areas with native pines to create lungs throughout the municipality,” says Bernabé.
“This was accompanied by a single-family home architecture where there is no housing concentration zone.”
Alongside this, the town’s architects have been heavily involved in creating sustainable buildings. José Luis Campos, an architect at Studio Crystalzoo looks for new ways to save energy in the town every day.
“The approach that we’ve had is to review the sustainable methodology of this area. Collect and propose how it was built in the past. Large, massive, important walls, the treatment of colour. Work with controlled lights within the complex,” he says.
“In the end what you are going to have is buildings with great thermal inertia. In the first place, it is a little more expensive to build. But over time it is much more profitable economically.”
This cutting-edge work has led famous sports people to the town too. Olympic champions and the English football team have come to train here, drawn by its 400,000 square metre sustainable sports complex.
But it’s not only sporty types who have been attracted to La Nucia. More foreigners than locals make up the population, with residents from over 100 countries. Due to its sustainable credentials and green investment, the town has seen its population triple since 2001.
Watch the full video above.