City council aims to tackle the traffic problems in Palma. | A. Sepulveda

0

Antoni Noguera, Palma’s deputy mayor for the model of the city, is stressing that action needs to be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change. With this in mind, the city’s general plan, due to be set out in 2016 and initially approved by 2017, envisages, among other things, a reduction in the number of car journeys by a half. A change in transport use will be one of the measures to be adopted, Noguera saying that the effects of climate change are already evident and also concerning.

At a conference on the strategy for the model of the city, jointly organised by the town hall and the Balearic College of Architects, Noguera drew attention to a 15% reduction in the city’s rainfall since 1980 and to a one-degree rise in temperature.
This has led to there being, on average, fifteen days of caloric stress, meaning very hot, in the city. The forecasts for the next few years, he added, are more serious, with a further 11% reduction in rainfall being predicted on top of a 1.5 degree rise in temperature, between 20 and 30 days of high caloric stress and ten to 20 days of extreme temperatures.

For Noguera, therefore, the requirement is for the new model of the city to embrace an environmental strategy allied to an economic and social one in order to improve the quality of life. Of social strategy, he said: “This will aim to overcome inequalities and be an opportunity to transform the city’s diversity and multiculturalism into one of transculturalism.” There are social concerns, he highlighted, with regard to demands placed on services by the over-75s and other demands for new types of dwelling. Between 2004 and 2014, he pointed out, there was an increase of almost 50% (around 20,000 people) living alone and a further rise of over 20% in the number of homes for just two people.

Economic strategy will seek inclusive growth for the city, with an emphasis being placed on the local economy within the city and on creativity. The town hall’s urban planning director, Biel Horrach, stressed the need to work on the large empty spaces that exist in Palma, such as Nou Llevant, in order that they become areas for urban regeneration and a boost for a new city economy.