The city is looking to guarantee its image.


The general urban landscape and its appearance is the latest target for Palma's rulers. The town hall is preparing a plan that will seek to remove "aesthetic excesses" in public areas, meaning the fronts of establishments, signs, publicity and cabling that hangs from many buildings.

The deputy mayor for the model of the city, Antoni Noguera, says that there will be a draft for this within three months. It is to be drawn up with the help of architects and industrial engineers.

At present, these excesses are dealt with under different bylaws or are pending the revision of the city's general urban plan. Consequently, the new draft will integrate separate ordinance, such as that for publicity, within a "clear mechanism for the public and businesses". The bylaw for terraces would, Noguera adds, "go hand in hand" with this new plan.

The director-general for urban planning, Biel Horrach, explains that this is all about treating the urban landscape in an integrated fashion. In this respect, he notes that assistance for the like of energy efficiency and the implication this has for the fronts of establishments could be extended to take account of improvements to this urban landscape. Though this is to do with public areas, it also has to do with private space, as with buildings which are set back but that have awnings or other features, such as in Playa de Palma.

Noguera is stressing the need for controlling and improving the aesthetics of these setback parts of Playa de Palma under the resort area's monitoring committee. "They are flooded with businesses which sometimes do not convey a good aesthetic use of space." Horrach is stronger in his assessment: "A deplorable situation is created, with enclosures badly made and furniture of any type. For any businessperson who wants to help with tackling seasonality, he is unable to because the environment doesn't allow it. If the landscape is the principal tourist attraction of the city, then it has to be one of the key aspects."

It is understood what has sparked this action has been the spate of anti-tourist graffiti which has sprung up across the old historic part of Palma. The situation now appears to be under control, but the town hall does not want a repeat of any images which could give visitors a negative impression of the Palma or the island in general.


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