Past, present and future.
Vicente González Rodríguez
Location and Relief
• The Seville municipality is located in the province of Seville, which is
part to the Autonomous Community of Andalusia in the south of
the Iberian peninsula, on the left site of the Guadalquivir River.
However, Triana and Los Remedios occupy the side right of this
navigable river making Seville a port city. In Seville’s surroundings
there is a countryside land.
• The city is located in the floodplain of the Guadalquivir, at the
Guadalquivir’s trough. The average height above sea level is 11. It’s
notorius that the horizontality of the city and its surroundings, It’s
an important factor in flooding as we could see later.
Why Seville is so
Objectively,The place where Seville was
founded was not a good choice. Seville was
based on the bed of a mighty river floods
during the rainy season. The climate factor
does not help to much because there are
periods of heavy rainfall.In Guadalquivir and
the city, even the first settlers were
confronted by a succession of floods,
epidemics, and long periods of famine.
Floods in the past
During 1940 and 1941, there was a very
strong rainy season that caused extensive
damage to Seville. As a result, It was decided
to undertake a project that was stalled since
1933, it hoped turning the urban stretch of
the river at a dock with an airlock and levees
on the sides, and divert the course of the river
to the west.
What was the project?
• The project cut several river meanders off (Codos de
Tablada, Las Delicias and Punta del Verde), and
closed the city, so the flow of the river could be
regulated in order to prevent flooding in the city
center. Moreover, another stream of Tagarete and
Tamarguillo joined the mainstream of
Guadaira. Navigation (Remember that Sevilla has a
river port) also got better,since the distance from the
sea was reduced 40 km, and the speed of the current
increased because of the meandering stream
What was the project?
The short Chapina* closed the river preventing
further flooding while they carried out the
renovations. A new artificial channel between
Chapina and Tablada, get an old goal: to move away
“the live stream” of the Guadalquivir. While the walls
to defend Triana were building, Los Remedios and
Heliopolis, also channeled the Guadaira, which will
no longer be a problem. When Cartuja was
closed,this process was concluded, bringing the
artificial channel of the river to San Jerónimo.
*La corta de Chapina.
Tapón de Chapina. It was an
artificial block to prevent the river
flow while some relevant work
were making in order to modify
the defenses that held the city
Tapón de la Cartuja. Tapón de
Chapina was abolished and the
“artificial elbow” was extended to
St. Jerome, so Seville won more
than 5 km of river.
In this print you can see the
barrier primitive that defended
the city from flooding of the
Guadalquivir and the rivers
• Currently the city is shielded against
flooding. Moreover, it is one of the best cities
protected from these natural phenomena. As an
example: The Duero reached earlier this year 2,200
cubic meters per second, overflowing onto Zamora
and Valladolid. However, the Guadalquivir river
reached 2,500 with no impact on the town of
Seville. It is estimated that the defenses are intended
to handle up to 3,000 cubic meters per second.
completely flooded by
the rains of late 2009
and early 2010.
Photo taken at
ground level in one
of the banks of the
river at the
entrance to Seville.
Samples collected in 2010 levels in
the heart of Seville
Problems of the
• According to the RAE, the definition of river is: Watercourse continuous
and more or less water than flows into another in a lake or sea.
• And now we are facing these problems :
– The Guadalquivir River is NOT a river(near Seville). Because :
• Its banks has completely broken.
• The water does not lead anywhere.
– Sea water enters twice daily leading level rises in the dam of Alcalá
del Río, the current Grand Cap.
– The water of the Guadalquivir last stretch can not go to the sea, and
all it can do is move across the channel up and down as the tide made,
and meanwhile the concentration of clay and salt is increasing little by
• Obviously it is impossible to guess future
disasters or a storm water period. But I can
mention a project that it is being created and
there could be the possibility that the “live
stream” of the river passes through the town
of Seville again.
What is planned?
The Plan seeks to achieve 2 main objectives : 1) the urban river was setted as the main street of Seville, and
2) Delete the image of the river as "separator" and enhance its role as "connecting element." Overall, the
objectives of the interventions are:
1 – Change the definition of 'dock dead' by 'living river ", improving water quality.
2 - Getting the recovery of scenic views from the river, so that you can see the city from the river. "
3 - Remove the barriers on the banks to increase accessibility, removing buildings and facilities which hinder
4 - Establish a riverside walking trail along its entire length.
5 - Increase the use of margins with low utilization, implementing new equipment.
6 - To promote the activation of the port functions as the port is a stimulus for the local economy.
7 - Restructuring unconsolidated coastal areas.
8 - In the other arm of the river outside the city center, enhancing the diversification of productive
activities: agricultural, and tourism and sports.
And finally …
A video that shows us clearly what it is really the Guadalquivir River, our ally.