Sociópolis is a project fomented by the Generalitat Valenciana for the construction of a new model neighbourhood of accessible housing, in line with the modern tradition of investigating and proposing new habitable environments that reflect the social reality of the time.
The project promotes the construction of housing that responds to the needs of the new types of family unit (young people, the elderly, single-parent families, etc.), both owner-occupied and rented, in a quality urban setting in which the landscaped areas, social amenities and good architecture generate urban excellence.

Sociópolis was presented at the Valencia Biennial in 2003, as a project in which 13 international architecture firms took part. The project put forward a model of new urban development in which housing and multifunctional amenities were integrated in an agricultural environment, a continuation and updating of the model constituted by the Mediterranean hortulus.

Following the presentation of the project it was decided to construct a first neighbourhood of 2,500 homes in the La Torre district to the south of the city of Valencia, on a 350,000 m2 site on the banks of the new course of the diverted River Turia; the same principles would be followed, but on a larger scale.

In this project the urban transformation is guided by a commitment to ensuring the maximum protection for the existing huerta (one of the traditional agricultural zones surrounding the city of Valencia) irrigated with waters from the River Turia by way of channels originally dug by the Arabs some 800 years ago. The new urban development reinforces the protection of the landscape and the environment while at the same time fulfilling a much-needed social function, making housing available at a controlled price to a great number of people.

Within the neighbourhood has four well-conserved historic farmhouses, and around these will be the focal points for ‘urban farm’ zones cared for by the local residents. The neighbourhood will also promote social interaction and a sense of community by means of sports facilities such as a soccer pitch, an athletics circuit, games areas and a skating rink.

All of the proposed buildings are oriented toward the central landscaped zone, which has a surface area of 120,000 m2, with direct access from the peripheral traffic circuit running round the complex.
In addition to residential blocks and towers the neighbourhood will have amenity buildings accommodating a hybrid programme, around which the public life of the neighbourhood will be organized. The public buildings will have rental housing intended for young people under thirty and elderly people, and at the same time all of the buildings will fulfil their public vocation by means of programmes that encourage social relations, such as an arts centre, a kindergarten, a sports zone, a social centre, a youth centre and studios for artists.

The architects participating in the project include Vicente Guallart, Abalos & Herreros, Manuel Gausa, Eduardo Arroyo, José María Torres Nadal, Sogo Arquitectos, Willy Muller, Antonio Lleyda / Eduardo de la Peña, Toyo Ito, MVRDV, Greg Lynn FORM, Duncan Lewis, José Luis Mateo, Kim Young-Joon, JM Lin, Jose Maria Lozano and Maria Colomer.