The Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council completes phase IV of the Mendebaldea project in the Jundiz green corridor


Phase IV of the Mendebaldea project, under which Jundiz Park was developed in Vitoria-Gasteiz, was completed at the end of summer 2022. This project, which was aimed at creating an extensive green corridor between the Jundiz industrial estate and the A-1 motorway, was planned from the outset in successive phases that broadly shared a common vision: to restore run-down environments, improve ecological connectivity and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Phase IV focused on connecting Phases I (around Lermanda) and III (around Ariñez) to nearby population and activity centres, which are run by Margarita Council to the north and the Jundiz Service Centre and Ariñez Council to the south, covering a total area of 10 hectares. As a result of a collaboration agreement with Rural Kutxa, the project was extended by 3.5 hectares to the west of the Júndiz Service Centre.

After clearing the land, building the earthworks and laying the paths in 2022, in the first four months of 2023, sowing and planting was completed and a total of 25,087 plants were planted. Most of the effort (20,604 plants) was devoted to afforesting public plots in order to not only improve the landscape, but also to create forest-based carbon sinks with a high carbon sequestration capacity.

Four types of woodland were used to achieve this objective, giving priority to native species and formations in the region of Alava. They were located in different places based on their requirements and characteristics: holm oak woods in areas in contact with roads or on the outer edge of slopes; gall oak woods in inner areas of the park, on small elevations or the interior of slopes; thickets in transition areas between the previous formations and meadows; and riparian woodland on the banks of streams and watercourses. In addition, several bushy, aromatic and riverside hedges have been planted throughout the area of action with a delimiting function.

In total, an area of 27,603 square metres was set aside for a high density of forest species in the Margarita area. The same type of planting was carried out on 26,272 square metres of public land close to the village and adjacent to the A-1 motorway. 37 deciduous trees were also planted in a green area next to the rural centre.

In the extended area around the Jundiz Service Centre, 7,291 square metres of land were set aside for planting the forest stand. To this surface area must be added the 3.5 hectares of plantation as a result of a collaboration with CEA-Rural Kutxa, which saw the participation of the residents of Aríñez and users of the Jundiz Service Centre in a popular social planting event.

It should be noted that 43 elm trees (Ulmus minor) resistant to graphiosis, provided by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, were used as trees to line the new road.

Finally, during this period, a small embankment was also built next to Larrangoiti street to establish a composting area for the use and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the village of Aríñez, along with two small ponds to temporarily accumulate water and thereby aid the survival of an amphibian that is endangered in the Basque Country: the natterjack toad.

These works brought Phase IV of the Mendebaldea Project to a close, while progress continues to be made in consolidating the future Jundiz Park, which extends the Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz towards the west of the municipality. Furthermore, several auxiliary tasks that were necessary for the project (composting, fencing, surveying), maintenance (watering, weeding), monitoring (bird census) and dissemination (visits) were carried out at the same time. Maintenance work will be carried out over the next two years to ensure that the vegetation takes root properly.

The Phase IV works were co-funded by subsidies to promote sustainable development in local entities (Climate Change line) of the Basque Government, the Life IP Urban Klima 2050 project (LIFE 18 IPC 0000001) and the Environment and the Rural Kutxa Local Development line of social action to promote biodiversity and fight against climate change.

A full descriptive report and detailed calculation of the reduction in impacts of the interventions carried out will be published soon.

These actions are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 224.69 tonnes of CO2/year, which amounts to a total of 8,022.41 tonnes of CO2 over a period of 40 years.