The “Llano Amarillo” as a New Urban Centrality

19 Dicembre, 2023

Although it is true that we are proud to live in a city with several centuries of life, it is now, in this decade, when we are having the opportunity to be protagonists and participants of the biggest urban development in the history of Algeciras.

Undoubtedly, the “Llano Amarillo” is the urban backbone of the city project that we are developing in recent years, and that is supported in the strategic document of the city, the Urban Agenda Algeciras 2030 (AUA 2030), which has as its ultimate goal to make Algeciras a friendlier, sustainable and egalitarian city. It is about offering a response that favors an integral city project allowing to make, jointly, a leap in equality, in the quality of life of our people, in the urban environment and the sustainable development of the economy.

Agenda 2030 is the new international development agenda approved in 2015 by the United Nations and in which the Andalusian Urban Agenda is inserted, as strategic framework promoted by the Counseling of Environment and Territorial Planning of the Government of Andalusia with the objective of become an instrument of social and economic development with a time horizon of 2030. (Link:

The AUA 2030 has allowed us to update the diagnosis of the city at social, environmental, economic, spatial and governance levels, an essential document for making progress, as we believe that we cannot decide where we want to go if we do not know where we have come from. It is the roadmap for moving towards a more sustainable city, aligning ourselves with the great challenges facing humanity.

Implementation of the Low Emission Zone

The project par excellence that could define the city model we want to make of Algeciras, and which is reflected in the Algeciras 2030 Urban Agenda, is the “Lago Marítimo” project, located on the northern front of the “Llano Amarillo”. It is a clear example of collaboration between administrations, with a clear purpose, that of responding to the historical demand of recovering for citizen use the transition spaces between the port and the city, with a methodology focused on sustainability, innovation and integration, through the creation of new spaces of coexistence for the use and enjoyment of citizens.

This northern front of the “Llano Amarillo” constitutes an area of centralized public services, the main objective being to convert it into a decarbonized area, becoming the starting point for Phase I of the implementation of the city’s Low Emission Zone, extending pedestrian spaces and reducing the presence of vehicles in the entire area, through urban-landscape actions that are also included in the city’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan.

The area of intervention is linked to the city center through the actions to improve pedestrian mobility that are intended to be carried out in Fray Tomás del Valle street and Fuerte Santiago, Capitán Ontañón and Virgen del Carmen avenues, with the aim of ensuring safe and accessible connectivity at all times.

Lago Marítimo. Infographic Phase I ZBE. (Source: Algeciras Bay Port Authority).

The application of the set of measures and reforms aimed at greater environmental quality, seeks the same objective as other ZBEs already operating in our country, and all within a more ambitious plan, such as the one included in the Climate Change Act, and the legal obligation of large cities to have an operational ZBE in 2023. With this, it will be possible to achieve a NOx reduction of 15% and a CO2 reduction of 7%, in an initial phase, designing a more accessible and sustainable urban planning that will make Algeciras a friendlier city.

In the northern coastal area, in parallel to the construction of the building complex contemplated in the “Lago Marítimo” project, with multifunctional public uses and equipped to accommodate spaces reserved for R+D+i, university education and sports uses, the physical barriers that currently exist will be eliminated. To this end, an urban planning project is being carried out which contemplates traffic calming actions through the implementation of a single platform at the intersection between Avenida Virgen del Carmen and Fuerte Santiago; urban-landscape actions on Avenida Virgen del Carmen, where the elimination of 150 parking spaces is envisaged to make way for a pedestrian transit area, the creation of shaded and shaded areas through urban design elements and green areas in areas currently used for parking, which will serve as a screen for integration with the city, with different plant species based on the specific studies to be carried out, which will contribute to reducing the levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, mainly CO2. This intervention will eliminate the architectural barriers caused by the current unevenness of pavements between the north pier and the contact edge of the avenue itself, in order to create a formal and spatial continuity that promotes pedestrian mobility, prioritizing the use of innovative bio-construction construction materials, using, among others, photocatalytic paving that will contribute to the elimination of pollution caused by vehicles; extension of the city’s cycle lane on the inner roads of the avenues Virgen del Carmen, Capitán Ontañón, Blas Infante and Calle Fuerte Santiago; and pedestrianization of the inner roads of the avenues Virgen del Carmen and Capitán Ontañón.

Lago Marítimo. Infographic Phase I ZBE. (Source: Algeciras Bay Port Authority).

“Agua Limpia” Action

Continuing with the commitment to the “Llano Amarillo” as the central axis of the new urban reality of the city, it has also become the urban space of reference for which an environmental project is being carried out, “Agua Limpia”, the aim of which is to eliminate dumping, eliminate bad smells and regenerate the sheet of water in this area to make way for a place where the port and the city converge. To this end, work is being carried out in three priority areas: the northern diversion of the La Miel river, the Virgen del Carmen and La Concha wastewater treatment plants, and the spillway of the Los Ladrillos wastewater treatment plant. Once these actions have been carried out, an ecological dredging of the Los Ladrillos basin will be carried out to eliminate the existing sludge.

The area most affected by discharges is the Los Ladrillos sewage pumping station, around the large “Lago Marítimo” project on the “Llano Amarillo”, which, in the event of heavy rainfall, carries the remains of discharges which settle at the mouth of the lake. The proposed solution involves diverting a large part of the rainwater through the construction of drainage and evacuation infrastructures and the construction of a new sewage pumping station to increase the pumping capacity to the treatment plant. This urban environmental action will be completed with the construction of a storm tank with a capacity of 5,000 cubic meters, which will contain the first rainwater that brings the greatest quantity of particles accumulated on the impermeable surfaces of the urban basins.

Los Ladrillos wastewater. Water sheet infographic – “Agua Limpia” Performance. (Source: Algeciras Bay Port Authority).

Infographic of the future wetland park. (Source: Algeciras Bay Port Authority).

In addition, in a commitment to innovation and urban environmental sustainability, a project is being developed with European funds for the implementation of a wetland park for natural purification with plants, included as Urban Real Lab in the H2020 plan of the NICE initiative (Innovative and Enhanced Nature-Based Solutions for Sustainable Urban Water Cycle) of the European Commission, which was signed on 10 May 2021. The water treated in the wetland park will be used to irrigate the landscaped areas of the Paseo de la Cornisa, which runs along the water surface around the “Llano Amarillo”.

Urban Regeneration on La Concha Beach

Finally, mention should be made of a landscape regeneration project, which is the culmination of the great city project that is the axis of the new urban center of the city on the “Llano Amarillo”: the beach of La Concha, located in the northern part of the port, in the Rinconcillo neighborhood. The intervention has consisted of eliminating an old sewage treatment plant, decontaminating the soil, giving way to a large square open to the sea, with new recreational and sporting uses that add great environmental and landscape value to the bay of Algeciras.

Performance of the landscape regeneration of Playa de la Concha. (Source: Algeciras City Council).

The general objective pursued with the urban regeneration project that we are implementing in the city of Algeciras goes beyond the usual urban, architectural and conservation considerations of the Historical and Natural Heritage. It must offer adequate solutions to solve the social, economic and welfare problems of the vulnerable population, through the implementation of a series of coherent and programmed actions, aimed at enhancing the urban, environmental, socio-economic and functional values of a given urban area, with operations aimed at improving the equipment and urban infrastructure, which increase the levels of habitability, services, facilities and community spaces necessary to have a better quality of life.

The philosophy of our city project, present and future, is aligned with the European Green Pact, inspiration of a strategy of growth and transformation of the local reality, through the recovery of natural and heritage resources, the transition to a low carbon economy in an inclusive and integrating way, and the fight against environmental degradation, including actions of circular economy and technologies, where the port and the city form a model of integrating urbanism.

In short, we propose an urban model of a dynamic port city open to the future, which has as its “compass” our strategic knowledge of the city, included in the Algeciras 2030 Urban Agenda.

More information

HEAD IMAGE | Llano Amarillo. Infographic of the future wetland park. (Source: Algeciras Bay Port Authority).

Article reference for citation:

RODRÍGUEZ ESPINOSA, Yessica. “The “Llano Amarillo” as a New Urban Centrality”. PORTUS | Port-city relationship and Urban Waterfront Redevelopment, 46 (December 2023). RETE Publisher, Venice. ISSN 2282-5789.

RODRÍGUEZ ESPINOSA, Yessica. “El “Llano Amarillo" como nueva centralidad urbana”.PORTUS | Port-city relationship and Urban Waterfront Redevelopment, 46 (December 2023). RETE Publisher, Venice. ISSN 2282-5789.

error: Content is protected !!