Plataforma Central Iberum
Illescas (Toledo), Spain
"Plataforma Central Iberum was born with the vocation of being a reference for future logistics developments. Its maxim is to respond to the needs of the logistics sector and industry in general, with maximum care and respect for the environment and a commitment to sustainability in its broadest sense. That is, covering its three aspects: social, environmental and economic, so that this approach allows the creation of links and synergies with companies that provide added value to both parties. For this reason, PCI has implemented, since its genesis, the necessary criteria to become the first ecopoligon in Spain"
- Nuria Muñoz, Technical Department Director
Plataforma Central Iberum (PCI) area is an industrial space of 3.45 million m2 based on the compatibility between business activity and sustainability. Most of 500,000 m2 of green, medium and roundabout areas have been designed according to an ecological approach, seeking maximum integration in municipal green infrastructure and improving local biodiversity by recovering the degraded environment using native species, respecting and integrating traditional uses of crops and encouraging the appearance of new ecosystems.
Description of measures
The main measures for the design of green areas focused on the improvement of biodiversity have been water cycle control and the use of native species. Both the introduction of local native species and the creation of seed banks allow to restore degraded ecosystems. Water cycle by taking advantage of a landscape use in the park as a receiver of rainwater from roads and roofs will allow the generation of naturalized wetlands in which new specific ecosystems are created, very favorable for the improvement of biodiversity. Water cycle control have required a design focused on reducing impervious surface of vials, generating mixed transport methods, such as ditches and surface systems like drips and "dry riverbeds", ponds/wetlands to storage rainwater that allow on-site management. The main measures are very close to the concept of Nature-Based Solutions (SBN), and allow the search for sustainability in its broadest sense, encouraging local biodiversity and the establishment of self-regulating ecosystems.
Positive results of measures
The design of the rainwater collection system has allowed the recovery of degrade ecosystems and the appearance of new ecosystems with greater biodiversity. The use of native arboreal and shrubby species has achieved the goal of zero irrigation. It is important to note that the use of SBNs has had a very positive impact on the project, both financially and in terms of operation. Plantations will make it possible in part installed companies´ carbon footprint offsetting of to decrease the "heat-island effect" deriving from urbanized environments. The integration in a periurban park has facilitated the development of training and participatory actions along with schools, employees from companies that are installed in the ecopolygon, associations, as well as its use for sport and leisure in general, with an important positive social and outreach impact, encouraging the development of a space where companies can be competitive and generate quality work, actively participating in improving their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Motivation and objectives
A starting point consisted of achieving the objective of changing the old-fashioned concept of the developer by demonstrating that urbanism can be sustainable, and even have a positive impact in society and environment, while still offering the best response to the logistics and industrial sector. To do this, we began by transforming an apparent weakness into strength: Most 500,000 m2 of green areas were to be converted into a backbone of our polygon to make it an ecopolygon which is attractive to companies and a benchmark for other developments.
The success of any green area implies, in addition to its correct execution, a special attention to the tasks that will be necessary for its most effective maintenance, achieving a balance between costs and resources. The selection of native species supports the formation of self-regulating ecosystems, reducing maintenance tasks to seasonal harvests, and small actions that "help" the natural selection of species, so that the image of cleanliness and comfort prevails in walking and resting areas that run through the green areas.
Cost for design and maintenance
A conservation entity will be in charge of the future maintenance of Plataforma Central Iberum´s green areas. Special attention has been paid to ensuring that future maintenance does not require excessively complex or expensive tasks, which will in turn imply an excessive expense on resources. Zero irrigation gardening by using species adapted to local climatology and soil and the maintenance work of conventional gardening is considerably reduced and therefore also reduces the cost.
Benefits of BooGI-BOP project
To achieve recognition as reference model for future industrial and logistics developments participation in the LIFE BOOGI BOP project gives us the opportunity to implement improvements by sharing experiences with other initiatives of similar concerns, and It will allow PCI to benefit from an importan tool: dissemination, which will enable us to truly position ourselves as the first ecopolygon in Spain and one of the first in Europe.