Eneko Goia, Mayor of Donostia, details the key parts of the project that will be implemented in the Luistarrak and Gaztelu streets, covering more than 600 homes and which is developing alternative ways to reinforce local participation, due to the pandemic.
The head of the municipal housing entity stresses that “Intervening on built heritage incentivises a compact city model, rational land occupation and more sustainable, homogeneous and harmonised growth.”
Goia explains how Etxegintza, responsible for relations with Donostia’s communities, tendered the drafting of the technical blueprints and informed local residents about the possible interventions on their buildings. Support by the municipal company will also consist of informing and advising the affected communities about everything related to the rehabilitation processes such as grants, paperwork, etc.
Where will the initiatives of the HORIZON Agree project be developed in Donostia/San Sebastian?
The project will be carried out in the area of the Luistarrak and Gaztelu streets, covering more than 600 homes, selected for this pilot experience as a homogeneous urban area that shares a series of characteristics. In addition, other variables related to the state of the buildings or with the socio-economic and demographic profile of the neighbourhood have been taken into account.
What will they consist of?
It is an initiative that aims to promote investment for the efficient modernisation of energy and to solve accessibility problems (absence of lifts) in private residential housing in the Basque Country. To achieve this, the AGREE project contemplates the development of Renovation Blueprints for Pilot Complexes, paid for by the project, which can enable owner communities to take the decision to renovate with an approximate idea of the solution proposed and the cost of the interventions, before having to invest in the definitive Technical Projects, so that the decision can entail fewer uncertainties.
How has the project been received in the neighbourhood communities chosen for the project?
Due to the health emergency, it has not been possible to hold meetings with the residents. Alternative arrangements to reinforce community participation are being developed, designing a governance model based on the community intervention perspective, where citizen participation is integrated in decision-making to define needs, priorities, strategies and objectives, monitoring and evaluation.
What is the task of the Donostiako Etxegintza municipal company in this project?
Donostiako Etxegintza will play a leading role in this project, conducting relations with the affected communities of residents. To this end it has tendered the drafting of the technical blueprints defining the solutions to be implemented in the buildings mentioned. Subsequently, via the channels available at each moment, it will communicate to the residents and inform them of the potential intervention measures available for their buildings, based on the blueprints prepared. At the same time, it will inform and provide advice to the affected communities on everything related to the renovation processes: available subsidies, processing of paperwork, etc.
What benefits do you foresee for your municipality with the implementation of this initiative?
The renovation of housing is one of the core elements of Donostia’s housing policy, and this is included in our Housing Plan. Intervening on built heritage incentivises a compact city model, rational land occupation and more sustainable, homogeneous and harmonised growth.