Vitoria's Green Ring
Vitoria's Green Ring is a set of urban parks with high ecological value, strategically linked by eco-recreational corridors. It is the result of an ambitious project which began in the early 90s of the last century with the main objective of restoring and recovering the periphery of Vitoria-Gasteiz, both environmentally and socially, to create a large green area for recreational use around town. It was selected by the UN among the 100 best global performances of the III International Competition "Best Practices for improving the living conditions of the cities", held in Dubai in the year 2000. Currently, it has 5 parks already established: Armentia, Olarizu, Salburua, Zabalgana and Zadorra.
It is a vast natural forest, located between the city center and Vitoria’s main mountain range. It is one of the most valuable natural areas of the municipality of Vitoria. Its exact location makes the forest of Armentia a real biological corridor between the forest areas of Vitoria’s mountains, peri-urban green areas and the urban ecosystem. This is where the main value of Armentia resides.
The fields converted to pasture along with the iconic hill of Olarizu and the many trails that run through there that link the city to the nearby villages, make this park a popular place since it lets you enjoy the ride or just stay in the many corners authorized to do so.Unlike other parks in the Green Ring, the park of Olarizu has a lower naturalness and a greater proximity to a typical urban park concept. Created in 1984, in the mid-90 it becomes part of the Green Ringt. Since then his conditioning has fundamentally addressed to accommodate public use, training and environmental education. Included among the grounds the Botanical Garden Olárizu.
Salburua is a wet zone formed by several gaps (Arcaute and Betoño are the main ones), along with fields and a small oak. Dried centuries ago to transform the area into fields, recovery efforts initiated in 1994 have reversed this situation and today it is one of the most valuable inland wetlands of the Basque Country. The park can be visited through various routes that surround and connect major gaps. The 'Interpretation Centre ATARIA' and two bird observatories help to people to appreciate the natural beauty of the place and enjoy it.
This park has a special meaning because it is the result of an intensive restoration process, which has become an area of old gravel pits, very degraded, in an area of natural interest very suitable for leisure and recreation of the population. In the park of Zabalgana there are alternating meadows, scattered woodlots, ponds, small hills and ridges, sitting areas, trails and natural forest gall that, from an ecological point of view, are the highlight space because it is a forest-island surrounded by a sea of crops.
The Zadorra river is one of the most important things of Vitoria because it is the star of the Zadorra urban park. It runs along the north part of the city acting as a limit to the city’s expansion. Holder of important natural values that have motivated his statement as space SCI (Site of Community Interest) within the European Natura 2000 Network of Protected Natural Spaces, the Zadorra and its surroundings are an ideal space for walks. In the near future it will be possible to have an extensive river park 13 km long and a surface of 213 ha, which will act as a key link in the Green Ring, including wetlands and Salburua and Zabalgana.
The future parks it’s situated south to Olarizu and north to Salburua, El futuro parque linda al sur con el parque de Olarizu y al norte con los humedales Salburua, it being included in the new residential expansion of Salburua. Its location makes this place fundamental item in connection between parks located in the Green Ring, from the south and east of the city. The river Errekaleor ensure ecological connectivity. The design of this environment, which is provided as part of the redevelopment project of Salburua, will involve the expansion of the area of the Green Ring in 28 hectares.