In 1959 Franco’s government approved the Economic Stability Plan, with the intention of promoting an opening up to the outside world and the economic development of the country. Amongst the measures adopted were the devaluing of the peseta, which was intended to simulate inward investment and tourism. State intervention was centred, in particular, on the promotion, control and administrative organisation of the tourist offer. In the Super Development years’, between 1962 and 1973, the ‘tourist boom’ became a symbol for economic development.


The dictatorship exploited the sun and sea tourism in Spain by declaring areas of national tourist interest. Law 197/1963 was intended to bring foreign tourists to Spain’s coastal areas that had “special conditions for attracting and retaining tourism”. To this end, the government encouraged the building of urbanizations as well as the infrastructure necessary along the coast.


In Valencia, the City Council authorised the development of an urban plan for the forest and the Albufera Meadow by the construction company TEVASA (Terrenos de Valencia S.A.) The plan was presented in 1962, as one of the most important urban projects for the Mediterranean coast.

In accordance with the law of the 23rd of June 1911, the state ceded the Albufera Lake and the ‘Dehesa forest’. Article 4 stated: “The City Council of Valencia orders the conservation of the wooded area of the Dehesa and the integrity of the ground, the same may not be used for any other purpose or agricultural use save that of forest, and no other felling save that which is authorised by the Ministry of Development, whose intervention will be in line with that stated in article 13 of the Forestry Law of the 24 March 1865.”


The legal situation would pose a problem for the urban development plans of the Franco government, which with the statutory order of the 24 December 1964 adapted the legislation to the new needs and provisioned in article 1: “Article 4 of the law of the twenty third of June nineteen eleven is hereby repealed.” The rest of the articles cleared the way for the City Council to develop the urban plan designed for the forest.

In 1965 the Ministry for housing approved the TEVASA plan, however local pressure from the citizens, resulted in the plan under going various restructurings over the following years. The battle to preserve the natural surroundings of the meadow, turned environmentalism into an underground method of expressing opposition to the regime and for the first time an environmental question would have widespread coverage in the media causing a reflection on the need to preserve our natural environment.


Thanks to this movement the implementation of the full 1965 plan was avoided which would have completely devastated the forest, to remain in what is actual there: 29 apartment towers, 2 urbanisations, 2 grand hotels, 1 artificial lake, 1 golf course and 1 bull sale.  


In 1986 the Albufera Lake and the Dehesa forest were declared a National Park.

TERRITORIO BOOM is a catalogue of all of the buildings which made up the TEVASA urbanistic plan. A project born from the idea of not showing in order to invoke a reality not desired.

The images propose a classification of the urban plan using a photographic language with three types of frame: some tangled by pines, bushes and climbers, others distant and deep, some centred in a dichotomy of asphalt and vegetation. The near total invisibility of the buildings is supported in a text (name, location of the building and builded surface) in order to create a game for the spectator (the paradox of what is not seen but read).



The project consists of 21 images and closes with a mural.

A collage of images downloaded for Google Earth Pro show the area of the Dehesa de El Saler forest. The shot has been digitally manipulated and the urban plan has been completely deleted. The memory of a virgin territory and the insinuation of a desired future.

Boom Territory is a photographic essay which reflects on the past, the present and the future of the forest of the Dehesa de El Saler.

This project was shot on a second generation Pentax 67 camera.



Winner of the Liège Photobook festival 2016
Firts limited edition october 2016, 100 copies

©Photographs, text and design Mati Martí

ISBN 978-84-617-4708-5

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