The small Spanish town of La Nucía is located just 10 kilometers away from the touristy seaside resorts of Benidorm. But compared to its skyscraper-dominant neighbor, La Nucía’s architecture ranks high in sustainability rather than height.
For over 20 years, the municipality has followed a commendable, strict policy of sustainability, and its ecological architecture has won the town three Architizer awards. People living in La Nucía have also contributed a great deal to the green reputation of the town, where the more residents recycle, the fewer taxes they pay. Owning an electric car is also rewarded with wide availability of free EV charging spots.
“The first step was to remove the traffic from the old town,” explains Mayor Bernabé Cano while discussing the town’s sustainable transformation. “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. This was accompanied by a single-family home architecture where there is no housing concentration zone,” says Benabé.
The town’s architects have also played a key role in ensuring that sustainable building stays at the forefront of the town’s development. For instance, architect José Luis Campos is continuously exploring new ways to save energy in the town.
“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 color. Work with controlled lights within the complex,” he tells euronews. “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.”