It has been decades since V. M. Rosselló, the master of geographers, said the whole purpose of the Valencian countryside "to love the land -our land - is not always to praise and only praise it. Rather it is to know it in all its depth."  In the case of the territory occupied by the Royal Irrigation Canal of Montcada, I would not only say this, but also that you have to look at the landscape of the gardens of Valencia from the diversity of its internal and external perspectives, and from its logical and contradictory views. Today, across the threshold of the twenty-first century, the Royal Irrigation Canal of Montcada, and in turn many corners of this traditional hinterland are still "terra incognita" for many of its neighbors, and for the vast majority of the visitors to Valencia and the public in general.  We must overcome the visions and stereotypes that have crawled along for centuries regarding these water landscapes. A picture has been fixed and unalterably cast repeatedly within the unconscious and conscious thoughts of many of us. This picture is seriously distorted, and in union with new post-industrial times, which contribute to how the "unreal" typical clichéd image of this land and the multi-cultural tradition of a significant portion of its residents goes inversely accelerated to its degree of degradation and disappearance. Thus, given the persistent and systematic distribution of media folk culture cliché of the water and the agricultural gardens, there has been developing, over the last decades, an intensive, extensive and forceful destruction of their land and their heritage and environmental values. Careful regulation of the European landscape, seconded by the Spanish government a few years ago, and developed in the València region through the technical PAT figures of the garden, have not allowed quite yet the necessary 180 degree about face in making the government bodies and politicians responsible for the direct management of the València region.

In times of profound crisis, and against the dominant capitalist paradigm of instant success culture production and consumption models based on the short term, the traditional culture of the water in the hands of farmers and irrigators in this environment presents as a good and healthy alternative way to reform the present and future management and uses of this metropolitan area. The sustainability and environmental balance that has been practiced over time in the Royal Irrigation Canal of Montcada is a good example. We must disclose and explain how this community irrigation, generation after generation, and in a participatory and collaborative manner, has faced difficulties of all kinds and varying degrees of intensity of social conflicts, economic crises, natural disasters, adverse weather phenomena , political battles, military episodes, hydraulic fighting, infighting, and cultural transformations - was  in the end, together with other irrigators along the canals of Vega canal, the critical piece that formed the frame of ecological and cultural landscape of l'Horta of València.

This website is a door that we open to definitively gain knowledge about these cultural landscapes of the Royal Irrigation Canal of Montcada. And ultimately, proceed towards the necessary recovery of the different memories, heritage, looks and traces of this region, and improve the present and future of our society. We will not forget that know and love this land, after all, is to get to know and with the goal of, learning to respect and love any corner of the world and be part of a more just, unified, and democratic society.

Fundació Assut

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©2013 Paisatges Culturals a la Reial Séquia de Montcada
© 2013 Fundació Assut