Strategic Tourist Plan for the Canary Islands 2018-2025

Tourism is one of the world´s largest industries. Most forecasts predict that this trend will continue, in spite of social and environmental challenges. One of the most prevalent areas of this industry is the so-called sun & beach tourism, where holiday resorts are under pressure to follow a sustainable mode of development for the communities, and the environment that supports it. Emerging concerns on CO2 emission, waste management, equal distribution of tourist wealth and the conservation of natural habitats, among many other issues, are becoming the central focus of this shift, from industrial to post-industrial tourism.

The aim of The Tourist Strategic Plan for the Canary Islands 2018-2025, puts forward a strategy for this shift, where issues such as the circular economy, smart development, social participation, sustainable urbanism and the ecological carrying capacity, are going to be critical drivers. The Plan has been developed as a partnership between three companies and several consultants. LPA Studio is in charge of the sustainability, and urban and territorial planning blocks. The plan has undergone an intense consultation process, including stakeholders of tour operating companies, experts, different organizations, state officials, and politicians. The work developed includes proposals on issues such as tourist carrying capacity, territorial planning of tourist areas, and the sustainable development of coastal infrastructures.

Taxi Rank Prototype for the Island of Lanzarote

The island of Lanzarote is located off the west coast of Africa. Its whole area is a biosphere reserve and its arid climate and spectacular, volcanic landscape have ensured it has a thriving tourist industry.
Our design is inspired by the sheer vastness and rustic tones of the volcanoes, along with the beauty of its subtropical flora, which manages to flourish under the harsh wind and sun. The proposed design consists of a massive garden-pot supported by timber columns, placed over a second component, comprising a ground platform with benches, wind protection and communication panels.
The modular design of the shelter allows it to be enlarged, adapt to steep streets and respond to the requirements of each municipality. It is our hope that this atmospheric setting will thereby not only make it a place for people to wait for a taxi, but also somewhere to meet up and relax.
Plants from the local flora will be used and these will vary in accordance with location and altitude, making each taxi rank unique. The steel pots will be made of corten steel, while the timber columns will be salt impregnated, allowing the dominant north-east wind, the rays of the sun and the salty environment to add the finishes touches to it over time, thereby enhancing the rustic appearance of the island.

Tourist Carrying Capacity at the Canary Islands

The Canary Island host around 16 million of tourist per year. This phenomenon happens in a fragmented territory of eight islands, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With an average stay of 9 days, the Canary Islands manage more than one hundred fifty millions of tourist nights. In this scenario, the concept of Tourist Carrying Capacity has become an issue at the Canaries. The problem is that this concept is highly problematic in itself. It reduces the issue to a spatial and determinist factor, regardless of its ecological behaviour. As an alternative, the report proposes a definition based on a living system approach. Tourist Carrying Capacity becomes then an envelope of concepts such as urban metabolism, ecological footprint, carbon neutral and circular economy. This new approach may describe better the more or less sustainable behaviour of the tourism-territory equation.

UD Las Palmas Training Complex Masterplan

UD Las Palmas is the only football team at the Canaries playing in the premier league. Paradoxically, its training area occupies a former sand quarry and needs an urgent renovation of its facilities. The strategy of the new Brand training complex aims to transform this highly degraded space into a garden of local species. So that, the players will enjoy a pleasant natural atmosphere of trees and plants. Moreover, this strategy will also help to promote the city and its privilege weather, when opponents’ teams come to the Island. The development of this plan encompasses a full set of solutions that includes eco-retaining walls, the intensive use of sustainable timber, the recycling of water, the use of SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems), and the underground-integration of buildings into the landscape. The reduction of waste and reuse of material has also been an essential feature of the sustainable parameters of the master plan.

Arrecife, Capital of the Biosphere Reserve

The island of Lanzarote was one of the first territories to be granted Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Coinciding with the twenty anniversary of its declaration, the Biosphere Reserve´s office has decided to step forward and transform its capital Arrecife into a more nature-integrated city. In this way, Lanzarote consolidates its compromise with its natural conditions integrating the territory and its urban centres as a one living system. The first draft of the proposal includes a re-arrangement of the mobility system based on two existing roads that liberate the neighbourhoods from most of their motor traffic. This mobility system is complemented by the so-called Caminos del Agua (Water Pathways) which are the result of restoring the functionality of the former ravines, expanding their use with pedestrian and bike pathways. This new water-pedestrian green-infrastructure crosses transversally the city connecting the inner city and its communities with the waterfront.

Agaete Strategic Territorial Plan

Agaete is located at the north part of the island of Gran Canaria. It has a population of around 5.000 people with a great affluence of visitors in the weekends and summer time. Its economy consists of services and agriculture. The municipality features a dramatic valley and a beautiful waterfront, along with an important archaeological heritage. In spite of its potential, Agaete lacks a clear vision for its (eco-tourism) development. The aim of the Strategic Territorial Plan is to define a vision and the strategies that will active Agaete´s tourist competitiveness by putting in value its natural and territorial singularities. The plan results from a formal process of social participation, which started with the review of possible development scenarios. The Plan sets six strategies which include, among others, the transformation of the valley into an agro-park and the planning of its waterfront as an eco-area for tourist and local enjoyment.

Participa Agaete

The Citizen Participation process is developed as an essential requirement of the Territorial Strategic Plan. The use of this working methodology allowed from the beginning, to incorporate the “situated knowledge” of the neighbours, together with the rest of the agents acting on the territory. The co-creation process was organized on two levels: diagnosis and design of the strategies. The process consisted of three phases where different working formats were used and in which, in addition to the drafting team, the neighbours, the municipal technicians, economic agents and political managers participated:

1_Adequate and timely information.
2_Active listening and collaborative work in the definition of strategies.
3_The return, where the incorporation of the results of the process into the Plan was made visible.

Playa Honda Urban Park

The urban park of Playa Honda is located in the municipality of San Bartolomé, which is characterized by its strategic position within the island of Lanzarote.
This is because the island airport is located in this municipality. Another aspect of strategic importance is that San Bartolomé is very close to the capital, Arrecife, and Puerto del Carmen. The strategic objectives of the proposal are: to convert the Playa Honda urban park into a free public space of insular reach, bordering Lanzarote Airport and the Arrecife-Yaiza LZ-2 Road; Create a new iconic landscape on the island of Lanzarote, characterized by its cultural and landscape richness linked to the work of César Manrique; And introduce the urban park within the network of tourist points of scenic and architectural interest of the island.


The project consists of setting up a territorial and urban axis that crosses two municipalities of the island of Tenerife: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and El Rosario. Beyond its administrative limits, this part of the island functions as a territorial and functional unit. The task is to develop a list of sustainable urban development indicators, check their level of compliance and possible corrective actions on issues related to water use, energy, participation, mobility, and ecology. The proposal is articulated on the basis of the BREEAM_urbanism urban sustainability label, which is complemented by some indicators of the American seal SITES in aspects related to landscaping and soils.

Sustainable AZCA

AZCA is a financial and business district of Madrid. It is organized in the form of a rectangular superblock composed of office buildings, free spaces and commercial galleries on the ground floor. In the 90’s, the interior of the block underwent a process of deterioration and urban degradation, becoming a dangerous and inhospitable place.
The task was to make a diagnosis of free space using BREEAM_urbanismo indicators system as a reference. The conclusions of the diagnosis include, among others, references to the initial budgets of the Management Plan, which contemplated the separation of traffics and uses. This prevents the visual control of the public space, with the corresponding feeling of insecurity.