Palma town hall wants to "dignify" streets and shop appearance. | Teresa Ayuga

The image of shop fronts in Palma has recently become an issue of concern for the town hall and for Arca, the association for old urban centres. The town hall is therefore planning regulation to get rid of the types of excess that Arca has been complaining about.

Biel Horrach, the city's director-general for urban planning, highlights the case of luminous signs as one example of excess. These, it is argued, create a negative visual impact, and such signs have recently become increasingly evident. A further clampdown that the town hall plans is on the hanging of souvenirs from shop fronts, something that has been noticeable along the Antoni Maura avenue.

There is to also be control of signs and the way that some protrude from shops. In the calle Sindicat there have been cases of "irregularity" in this regard. Horrach insists that signs should be "integrated" into shop openings and not hang out from the doors.

Arca, meanwhile, adds that there are instances of mannequins being placed on balconies and on the street, while there are also wipe boards blocking the public's way.

Strong colours are something else that Arca and the town hall are taking issue with. There are, for example, shop fronts painted fuchsia pink and others with highly decorated posters. Horrach observes that there is a catalogue for colours to be used in the historic centre of the city. As this isn't being adhered to (as is the case with other types of display), the town hall administration intends to bring together all measures under one urban landscaping plan.

This revised ordinance is still at an early stage of being drafted and it won't only apply to the old part of the city: the whole of the Palma municipal area will be covered. Horrach stresses that the town hall wants to "dignify" shopping streets in all the neighbourhoods.

The draft should be completed by the end of the year, the intention being that the plan for landscaping (and so bylaw) will be adopted some time in early 2017. Horrach is inviting input to the drafting from relevant associations.