Cruise ships like Harmony of the Seas are one issue the Palma XXI initiative wishes to address.

04-07-2016G. Alomar

Palma XXI is a new organisation with 35 founding members which aims to become an "observatory" for the city's past, present and future. Palma, these founding members believe, can be a different and better city than it is at present without being devoured by tourism. Its first president, Jaume Garau, says: "We want to be a collective project for considering and designing the future of the city from an historical perspective and with the participation of the citizen."

It is an organisation under the umbrella of Iniciatives XXI. There are now two organisations - Palma XXI and Tramuntana XXI. The Iniciatives XXI is a social movement to "defend the interests of the citizens and the land against the unstoppable advance and invasion of tourism without limits which affects virtually all aspects of life".

The Palma XXI organisation is already working on three projects. The first is to publish a biography of the city. This will be released on a website and draw on the support of various individuals and other bodies. The second is to document the city's past and present through photo collections. The idea, says Garau, is for this to become a documentation centre.

The third plan, and the most ambitious, is the development of a future project for Palma from the point of view of its citizens. This aims to gather ideas shared by individuals, organisations and businesses which can then be public and private operations.

These will be "essential actions" for a sustainable city of the future that doesn't lose its personality that has been forged over more than ten centuries. Tourism, and its scale, is one of the main concerns. Garau adds: "We are obliged to think and to act. We have to do something significant. In a few years Palma will just be a tourist city and we have to return to a situation in which residential life is the most important thing."

Other considerations will concern the use of cars in the old part of the city; the seafront; the port and the number of cruise ships; degraded areas, such as El Terreno and Son Gotleu; and connections between the old centre and the city's suburbs.

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