A Gran Via of health and knowledge. This is the main objective of the Sabadell City Council to transform the urban highway of seven kilometers that leaves Sabadell in two and for which, daily, 33,000 vehicles circulate. And the flagship of the many changes What he proposes is that the old Artextil factory (partly municipal property), near the Parc Taulí university hospital and on the same road, become the headquarters of the public degree in Nursing at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The October plenary session approved a joint motion of all the municipal groups to demand that the so-called textile cathedral –bauhaus-style rationalist work– host these higher studies. The plenary session urges the Generalitat and the central government to decentralize “some necessary studies in times of pandemic.” It has the support of the UAB –with a campus in the Covadonga neighborhood, close to the aforementioned road– and the hospital.
With a strategic weight in the field of health, with elements such as the Digital Medical Image Center or the research arising from the Parc Taulí Research and Innovation Institute, now Sabadell wants to create a health park in the area, as a strategic bet. “It would be conceived as a meeting point for current training, research and innovation activities to enhance them”, describes the motion.
The new UAB campus, with the addition of Nursing to the current three degrees, would mean going from 1,043 to 1,395 potential students, in addition to financially reverting to shops, housing and services.
Sabadell is looking for its brand identity, its seal as a city. And the remodeling of Gran Via is part of the plan. Weeks ago, the mayor, Marta Farrés (PSC) together with the spokesperson for Junts per Sabadell, Lourdes Ciuró, announced that the City Council will invest 3.6 million euros in 15 projects to convert the area around this road into a civic axis, until 2022. There will be 150,000 euros for the drafting of technical projects. But the central section will be left out of this program until Ronda Nord, the former fourth beltway, allows it to connect with the C-58 motorway, without crossing Sabadell inside.
Ciuró – in opposition, but leading this project – points out that it has a double impact on Sabadell. The first involves transforming, de facto, the urban environment of Gran Via and the balcony of the Ripoll river, while the second plans to take advantage of different assets of the city along this road and project Sabadell as a point of attraction and investment business. “The transformation of this axis is necessary and it must be addressed as soon as possible, the better. It will be a long process, ”says Farrés.
Ciuró stresses that the works –improvement of the sidewalks, more trees, greater accessibility for pedestrians and bicycles… – “will have a specific impact on many spaces that surround Gran Via. It is done thinking about the neighbors, from the economic, social or housing aspect ”.
It is, they conclude, to dignify a harsh space, with a lot of environmental and noise pollution, so that it “stops being the urban highway” of Sabadell. But, for now, the dream of many residents of burying this interurban highway, as was done decades ago with the rounds of Barcelona, is a chimera. No local or regional government in democracy has had a millionaire investment of these characteristics, nor is it a priority in the Generalitat’s infrastructure development plan.