The City of Granollers (Spain), located in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, has an area of 15 km2 and 60,981 inhabitants. Granollers’ economy is based on industrial and commercial sectors but it conserves agricultural lands and an agroforestry landscape.
Past interventions, which were uncontrolled or poorly planned led to the degradation of the city’s river basins and Mediterranean forests. Different isolated restoration projects that have been carried out in these natural areas in recent decades, were not sufficient to restore and maintain the ecological and landscape connectivity. A more comprehensive programme of green infrastructure is needed to promote and implement an urban design more inclusive of nature.
In 2003, Granollers approved its Natural Heritage Plan, a key document for the protection and management of natural areas, becoming one of the first municipalities in Spain to formulate a local natural heritage protection strategy. Many of the restoration projects promoted by this plan are now considered best practice examples, visited by delegations from around the world. This includes social and natural recovery of Congost river, the restoration of an abandoned site Can Cabanyes for biodiversity, water reclamation and public use, and a city-wide system of water reuse. In 2011, Granollers was awarded the title of “Spanish Capital of Biodiversity” by the Fundación Biodiversidad of the Spanish Ministry of Environment.
Through its participation in INTERLACE, Granollers wants to gain new knowledge and skills that will help the city realise its ambition of achieving complete urban natural restoration that includes a network of multifunctional green areas, both rural and urban, and contributes to a sustainable community and the biodiversity conservation. The city wants to exchange experiences and good practices with cities in EU and CELAC regions, raise awareness, and engage local citizens with the topic of urban ecosystem restoration.