Palmeira seafront

Action plan for the urban integration of the port area

Design of a phased development strategy and suggestions towards its implementation with the aim of recovering the link between Palmeira’s public space and the sea and generating new public spaces for the use of local residents.

Portos de Galicia
Fundación RIA


Team and collaborators
Fundación RIA


Palmeira, Ribeira, A Coruña

The development of Galicia’s coastal towns in recent decades has gone hand in hand with the expansion of their port areas and the roads that serve them. However, nowadays, a large proportion of the seafront is often used for parking, which degrades the overall image, limits the use of public space and hinders port uses.

Likewise, these areas have a great potential for social dynamisation for residents, users and visitors alike. Villages such as Palmeira have the capacity to recover the character and relationships found in the port: the natural, the economic and the social.

The work carried out by Fundación RIA in collaboration with Portos de Galicia consists of the design of an action plan for the urban integration of the seafront of Palmeira, incorporating the demands and interests of the users of the port and the local residents.

This plan is based on three main strategies: the management of traffic and parking; the recovery of the link with the sea; and the planning and design of public space.

The post-industrial situation in which many fishing villages find themselves must be seen as a possibility to reconcile and combine the modern needs of port areas from an urban and social perspective.

Analysis and planning proposal

The aim of this work is to analyse the urban environments that border the road on the north coast of the Arousa estuary and to propose strategies for intervention in the public space that integrate the road infrastructure into the nucleus, improve user safety and develop the environmental quality while restoring a sense of identity to the area.

In order to offer the highest level of precision in the analysis, the existing information is complemented with fieldwork sessions.

In order to recover the link between Palmeira and the sea, it is proposed to demolish the promenade wall, as it occupies the entire edge of the promenade, preventing a large part of the population from being able to see the sea from the promenade. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the public space is enlarged and opened up to the sea, taking advantage of the horizontal clogging of the breakwater and the existence of sandy areas at low tide.

Finally, it is proposed to develop a unique urban development project, taking into account all the identifying characteristics of the place (typologies, materiality, heritage elements and elements of interest, consolidated vegetation, etc.), including the design of rainwater channelling, the unification of paving materials, the design of street furniture (lighting, protective elements, benches, etc.), as well as the design of parking delimitation solutions.

Project construction

Three phases are proposed for the execution of the works, with the aim of minimising the restrictions of use and passage of the project area while the interventions are being carried out:

—Phase 1. Urbanisation of the outer promenade and breakwater-groin.
—Phase 2. Improvement and urbanisation from the promenade to the façades.
—Phase 3. Facilities

At present, the first phase has already been developed, in which the Fundación RIA team has played an important role as site management advisors, monitoring the work and ensuring that the fundamental values of the original strategic project are respected.

These values aim to enhance the natural and built environment of Palmeira, using locally familiar materials and architectural techniques, while generating new public spaces for the use of residents and visitors.