The Turia Gardens are a space of indisputable urban, social and heritage value that has evolved with the city since its very foundation. In spite of everything, the awareness that allows us to perceive it in this way is still, to a large extent, yet to be built. The narratives, often focused on the catastrophic floods, have overlooked other types of economic, social and emotional relationships between the city and its river.
The conversion of the river into a garden from 1982 onwards expanded the idea that, before the transformation of the old river into a large green belt, it was a wasteland that was alien to the city. A place where nothing happened.
The result of photographic and documentary archive research, this exhibition tells the story of a reality that was more diverse and complex. The exhibition is divided into three sections: Living on the river, which focuses on the riverbed as a living space; Living from the river, which points out the different uses of resources often related to water; Living the river, which reveals the development of its social and popular use until it became a garden thanks to citizen mobilisation.
Looking at the past shows us how our everyday environment is constantly changing, the result of the evolution of the relationships between people and the environment they inhabit. Observing these processes helps to strengthen the emotional roots that link us to the spaces we inhabit, enjoy and are used to perceiving as natural and familiar.
València was not born with its back to the sea, as is often said, but deliberately facing its river.