The historic neighbourhood of El Cabanyal

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The historic neighbourhood of El Cabanyal, Valencia, is under threat by a plan for a large avenue which would cross it at right angles, dividing it into two and transforming it in such a way as to imply the beginnings of its future destruction. Faced with this situation, citizens’ groups, cultural associations, university bodies and many public figures have voiced strongest opposition to the plan.

The Cabanyal is one of the three districts which make up the historic centres of the City of Valencia. Because of its street design, and the popular modernist style of its houses, it was considered worthy of being registered as an Asset of Cultural Interest (B.I.C.) by the cultural department of the Valencian regional government in 1993.

Map of the Protected Historic Centre of the Cabanyal

In yellow the earliest nucleus of the Cabanyal
In orange the expansion of the Cabanyal declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
In red the area affected by the plan to prolong Blasco Ibañez

On May 25th 2001, the Special Intervention Plan for the Cabanyal (Plan Especial de Intervención) was approved by Valencia City Council, with the majority Popular Party voting in favour and all the other parties of the municipality voting against the plan. The plan implies the prolongation of Blasco Ibañez Avenue, through the district, with a width of 148m, 48m being used as thoroughfares and the rest for the construction of six storey buildings. The project would entail dividing the district in two, the destruction of 1651 houses – many of which have been given the status of ‘Special Protection’- and the displacement of 1200 – 1300 families in the neighbourhood. The present householders are being offered very low prices under compulsory purchase orders and the same land is then offered to private building contractors to build and sell at market price.