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Look out! Spain is to be the next country to have its own carbon-neutral city, which is to be located in La Rioja. The competition for its design has been won by a collaboration between the Dutch firm MVRDV and the Spanish firm GRAS- who plan to achieve this lofty goal of sustainability through the extensive use of photovoltaics and wind turbine technologies.

Courtesy of MVRDV+GRAS

3,000 social homes will cover only 10% of total site area, with the rest employed for energy production and public park facilities. In addition to parks, the city will feature sports facilities, retail, restaurants, infrastructure and public and private gardens are part of the scheme. This densification of built programmatic elements enables an openness to the site as well as free, open views of the city for all occupants. A funicular lift will access a ‘hidden’ museum/ lookout post on top of one of the site’s two major hills, Montecorvo. This will serve as a research and promotion centre for renewable and energy efficient technology as well as a spectacular vantage point over the development.

Courtesy of MVRDV+GRAS

As stated above, 100% of all energy needs are supplied for through onsite PV and wind turbine arrays. A greywater rejuvenation and natural water purification system will also be incorporated. This, according to the architects, ‘combines dense urban living with real ecological improvements’. Overall, the ‘green’ technologies and sustainable building strategies present in the design are projected to save 6,000+  tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Courtesy of MVRDV+GRAS

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