Seville will be a benchmark for EU cities against climate change

Life Watercool - 25 May, 2021

Sevilla, 25 may (EFE).- Seville will become a benchmark for Spanish cities and the European Union in the fight against the adverse effects of climate change thanks to the Life Watercool project, a comprehensive initiative that will apply various climate adaptation and water saving technologies.

Adaptation to climate change

Presentation of the redevelopment plan for Avenida de la Cruz Roja-Ciudad Saludable, as part of the European LIFE Watercool project. EFE/José Manuel Vidal


The redevelopment plan for the Avenida de la Cruz Roja-Ciudad Saludable, part of the European Life Watercool project, aims to combat the effects of climate change in order to turn the Andalusian capital into a European benchmark and pilot project for the application of measures against global warming such as temperature reduction.

The project, co-financed by the European Union through the LIFE programmes to the tune of 3,779,677.00 euros, has a total budget of approximately 9 million euros, and in addition to the Seville City Council and Empresa Metropolitana de Agua y Saneamiento de Sevilla, S.A. (Emasesa), the University of Seville is also a partner in the project. (Emasesa), the University of Seville, the information technology company S-DOS and the EFE Agency through the EFEverde department of EFE360.

During his presentation, the director of EFEverde, Arturo Larena, stressed the importance of facing the challenge of combating climate change and recalled that, according to experts, in Seville an increase in the average temperature of 4.5 degrees Celsius and a reduction in rainfall of 20% is expected by the year 2100.

The project, which will begin in mid-June with the redevelopment of Avenida de la Cruz Roja and will be extended to two other adjacent streets in the Macarena district, will take at least a year to complete over a total area of 900 metres.

Replicability of the project in other cities

“The initiative will improve the quality of life of the citizens of the area and its development will serve as an example to other cities in the world that have similar problems in the face of a challenge in which we all have a lot at stake,” Larena pointed out.

In fact, the long-term goal is to replicate the LifeWaterfool project in other areas of the city and in other cities facing very high temperatures as a result of the climate crisis.

Larena stressed that the project focuses on the climate crisis and is linked to the fulfilment of some Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, more specifically number 12 on the fight against global warming, number 6 on water and number 17 on partnerships to achieve the SDGs.

He recalled that according to scientific studies, Seville is expected to record an increase of approximately 4.5 degrees Celsius and a 20 % reduction in rainfall by the end of the century.

Redevelopment and canalisation 

The president of the Municipal Board of the Macarena District and deputy mayor for Human Resources and Digital Modernisation of Seville City Council, Clara Macías Morilla, pointed out that the project will put the district “at the centre of attention. It is an exciting and necessary project” and will “tackle the high temperatures” in the summer.

It is not only the redevelopment of Avenida de la Cruz Roja, according to the delegate, but also the channelling and tree planting in that street, as well as improvements in Manuel Villalobos street, Manuel Garrido park and Avenida Doctor Jiménez Díaz.

It is a “very ambitious, forceful and exciting project” and with improvements in climatic conditions, and will mark a before and after for the city of Seville, “without forgetting all the services of the City Council that have collaborated in carrying out the project apart from those participating in it”.

Technology and innovation


The CEO of Emasesa, Jaime Palop. EFE

The pedestrianisation of roads, the creation of green spaces and the installation of urban elements that will allow water to be saved and reused, as well as helping to moderate the thermal sensation, are some of the actions planned, according to the CEO of Emasesa, Jaime Palop.

Emasesa, which is committed to creating a “new and healthier city”, will completely change the sewerage and water distribution system in one area, he said.

“Previous experiences based on water will serve to adapt Seville to climate change”, which will continue to be “the global problem when the pandemic disappears”, according to the CEO of the Sevillian water company.

It is a city project, although it bears the name Avenida de la Cruz Roja, it will benefit the entire area around the streets Doctor Jiménez Díaz, Manuel Villalobos, Jorge Montemayor and the Manuel Garrido park in the Macarena district, explained Palop, adding that in this whole area there is a team of companies and entities headed by the Seville City Council, “which is the one setting the pace and the work objectives. The City Council has taken the project not only as a city project but also as a metropolitan one”.

The Emasesa representative explained to the attendees that the designs of several of Seville’s neighbourhoods were designed for life 40, 50 or 60 years ago and “it is necessary to change them” due to their limitations and to respond to current needs. He cited as exemplary actions those carried out in a water tank, Calle Greco and Cartuja Qanat, “always with the contribution of the residents”.

The expert pointed out that “it is necessary to control the heat island effect”, with techniques that are already being experimented with in Cartuja Qanat and then implemented in the rest of the city.

More trees and materials to prevent heat accumulation

To do this, they will also carry out “more classic recipes” such as increasing the number of trees – which will increase from 130 to 220 trees -, they will increase the shaded area, they will use materials that do not return so much of the sun’s heat at night and that allow for milder temperatures than in environments where these materials do not exist. In short, “giving the street back to the residents”.

Work will also be done to tackle torrential rains, because “the networks we had are not capable of receiving the increasingly concentrated downpours, for this we will use draining pavements allowing rainwater to enter the subsoil and not go directly through the street to the sewers,” said Palop.

“We want a healthier and healthier city, less traffic, less emissions, less noise and more safety for pedestrians”.

It is a project that began on 21 February 2019, with mayor Juan Espadas, “when he opened the participation process and since then there have been 25 meetings with neighbourhood associations, bike platform, Ampas, hospital, CCOO, Ecologists in Action and traders,” he concluded.

Temperature reduction

The director of EFE Verde, Arturo Larena, during the presentation of the European project LIFE Watercool, together with (seated from left to right) Javier Montilla, Jaime Palop, Luis David Guevara, Clara Macías and Servando Álvarez today in Seville. EFE/José Manuel Vidal

The forecasts of the project promoters indicate that, when it is finished and with the application of new technology and innovation, the temperature in summer will be reduced by about 10 degrees in the area of action.

The project also envisages the pedestrianisation of the Avenida de la Cruz Roja, with the aim of returning public spaces to the people and creating places for recreation and socialising with conditions conducive to reducing the temperature, noise and polluting gases emitted by vehicles.

The project defines four spaces or rooms, of short, medium and long duration, in which a series of prototypes will be installed to generate environmental conditions that favour the reduction of temperature based on the use of water.

Rooms and devices

Image of the lecture by Professor Servando Álvarez Domínguez. EFE


Servando Álvarez Domínguez, professor at the University of Seville, said that they are working to “fight against the effects of heat islands in Seville”, where the temperature is higher than in other areas of the city, by fighting against anthropogenic heat, reducing urban traffic and introducing electric mobility.

“We are trying to bring back what people have traditionally done, which is to live in the street, something that is disappearing in Seville due to the high temperatures,” according to Álvarez Domínguez, who added that this will be achieved by increasing heat sinks with more trees and water fountains, and by creating new areas where temperatures are reduced.

Cold production

“We need to produce cold in a natural way, something that will be done at night with the accumulation of water, which will be stored and used during the day”.

At the Arias Montano school, 300 square metres of solar panels will be installed to produce electricity during the day, which at night will cool the water that will be stored in two large interconnected underground tanks with a total capacity of 50 cubic metres.

Presentation of the Red Cross Avenue-Healthy City project, commissioned by LIFE Watercool. EFE

This cooling system will be used in four areas: a bus stop, the school playground, a square and a park, which have been designated as short, medium and long-stay areas.

In the square, a temporary solar cover will be implemented until the trees reach the ideal size, which will make natural shading compatible with artificial shading by means of hexagonal elements formed by triangles that will be removed as the natural vegetation grows.

In addition, a fountain will be placed as a confining element that will prevent the entry of hot air from the adjacent streets and will have two levels of spraying and micronisation and a hollow bench that will serve to cool the air using water from the cisterns.

In another of the long-term rooms, located in the park in Montemayor Street, there will be devices called “wind trees”, which will also generate a reduction in temperature and which are based on the use of water and solar panels, which is “a green-sustainable concept”.

The professor at the University of Seville and expert in Energy Engineering stressed that the project aims to be replicated in other places such as squares, schools or rooms in cities with the same problems of high temperatures as Seville.

Applications for experts and citizens

Cartel informativo del proyecto avenida de la Cruz Roja-Ciudad Saludable, enmarcado en LIFE Watercool. EFE

In the area of technology, Javier Montilla Miranda, SDOS Experienced Business Manager – ALTEN, explained that they are working with the University of Seville on the development of an application focused on experts who intend to adapt it to future projects, while another tool “more playful and with a gamification concept is focused on citizens so that they can tell what they are doing to improve the city in relation to climate change”.

Future urban planning in Seville

For his part, the Deputy Mayor for Ecological Transition of Seville City Council, José Luis David Guevara García, expressed his conviction that the project will mark the future path of urban planning in Seville and that it will be developed in other neighbourhoods of the city, a strategic initiative that will be developed in other areas of the city and that provides knowledge from previous projects.

It is a model of greener urban planning, which puts citizens at the epicentre of decision-making in the direction of the Seville 2030 Strategic Plan, the European Green Pact and the new Law on Climate Change and Ecological Transition, which makes local administrations key players in developing these projects so that they can be developed in other neighbourhoods of the city and which generates “green jobs” and significant social value. EFE


Information provided by EFEverde of Agencia EFE and published as part of its participation in the European Union’s Life WaterCool project.


The contents of this document reflect the views only of the authors and the European Union/EASME is not responsible for the use of its contents.
the European Union/EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.
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About LIFE18 CCA/ES/001122 

Water efficient systemic concept for climate change adaptation in urban areas.

Life Invasaqua is co-financed by the EU under the Life initiative and coordinated by Emasesa. This European project aims to: develop and test innovative solutions to cope with high temperatures, both outdoors and indoors, and with temporary water runoff and drought situations in an urban environment subject to climate change.

Partners: Emasesa, Alten, AgenciaEFE (@efeverde), Ayuntamiento de SevillaUniversidad de Sevilla

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