7. The runoff channels

The location of l’Estartit has always been conditional on the landscape, as it is boxed in by the mountains, the plain and the sea. When the town was founded, the mouth of the Ter River was closer to l’Estartit, where the marshes of the Ter Vell are now located. This prevented the construction of houses towards the river because of its proximity and of the threat of flash flooding. As a result, the houses were built on the mountainsides, in places sheltered from the sea squalls, the river, and the tramuntana winds.

This layout of the town prevents rainwater from running off into the sea. Consequently, a small separation was left between every four or five houses, called a cadeny transversal (crosswise runoff channel), allowing the rainwater to drain off and providing shortcuts to go from one street to another, thus shortening the distance to the sea. These crosswise runoff channels are a clear example of the link between the landscape and town planning, and are a part of the urban singularity of the town of l’Estartit.

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