LIFE ZARAGOZA NATURAL - Creación, gestión y promoción de la Infraestructura Verde de Zaragoza

LIFE12 ENV/ES/000567

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Contact details:

Contact person: Javier CELMA
Tel: 34976724250
Email: unidadambiente@zaragoza.es

Project description:


Zaragoza is one of the biggest municipalities in Spain, both in terms of surface area – around 1 000 km2 - and population - around 700 000 inhabitants. It is crossed by three rivers in the central area of the Ebro basin, an arid area with a distinctive natural heritage, both in terms of nature and geology. Several type of landscapes co-exist with human activity, which results in a rich biodiversity, made up of 1 312 species of flora and 402 species of fauna.

In all, about 40% of the land area of the municipality is significant in terms of biodiversity. This includes 24 651 hectares of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) under the Habitats Directive, and 11 358 ha of Special Protection Areas (SPA) under the Birds Directive. It also includes 167 natural protected areas under national law. Priority habitats cover 23 542 hectares.

However, these conservation areas suffer from isolation and fragmentation due to urban encroachment, degradation of river basins, deforestation, inadequate legal protection, and lack of awareness among the local population.


The LIFE Zaragoza Natural project aims to protect, improve, give value to and raise awareness of the existing biodiversity in Zaragoza, including in Natura 2000 areas, and other areas of natural interest within the city’s boundaries. A key objective of the project is to improve the quality of green infrastructure (GI) in Zaragoza. This GI is a network of high quality green spaces and other environmental features that deliver a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities.

The project plans to design and manage Zaragoza’s GI by structuring it around a ‘blue matrix’ of infrastructure, including rivers, riversides and wetlands, and a ‘green matrix’, focusing on forest and steppe areas. It aims to improve the ecological status of these two aspects of GI as well as their inter-connectivity and coherence to provide a multifunctional resource.

It will conduct eight technical studies and draft plans for the management of Zaragoza’s GI. It will then partially or fully restore eight nature areas – about 5 ha - including the planting of more than 1 000 trees. It will also undertake legal and administrative actions focused on providing GI with legal recognition and protection, and promote further land stewardship activities, including signposting.

Supporting activities will include: promoting local heritage sites; actions to promote green employment; promoting local nature tourism; and awareness-raising activities targeting local inhabitants. It also aims to create a European network of cities with GI to continue developing EU expertise on this topic beyond the project.

Expected results:

  • Protection of GI and steppe areas under urban planning and law;
  • Eight technical studies, documents and plans to support GI;
  • Eight nature areas partially or fully restored - about 5 ha, with more than 1 000 new trees planted;
  • About 56 km of pathways and corridors improved and signposted;
  • Increased local awareness of the environmental value of nature areas. This will include targeting about 2 000 students;
  • Increased awareness of Zaragoza as a destination for nature tourism;
  • A European network of cities with GI, with at least 10 stable partners.



Environmental issues addressed:


Biodiversity issues - Ecological coherence
Information - Governance - Awareness raising - Information
Land-use & Planning - Sensitive and protected areas management


green space‚  protected area‚  biodiversity‚  public awareness campaign‚  urban area

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation Local authority
Description The beneficiary is the city council of Zaragoza, the capital of the region of Aragon in the north east of Spain.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/ES/000567
Duration 02-SEP-2013 to 30-DEC -2017
Total budget 2,183,636.00 €
EU contribution 815,875.00 €
Project location Aragón(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Slides Presentation "Proyectos LIFE+ del Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza : 20 ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version