The implementation of natural measures designed to cool temperatures in Palma is an objective of the current town hall administration, which is proposing a project for the Riera torrent that will turn it into a green corridor.
This has been presented to the European programme Life 2014-2020, through which a grant of 3.8 million euros is being sought. The town hall will allocate an additional 1.3 million euros over five years.
Deputy mayor of the model of the city and urban planning, Antoni Noguera, recognises the cost of the project but believes that it is affordable. Definitive approval for it will not be forthcoming until October next year.
Dubbed "Cooling line green", the project aims to combat climate change through the recovery of green areas, adaptation of the city and the mitigation of the effects of CO2. The town hall plans the planting of some 4,000 trees as well as the incorporation of dry stone into the sides of the torrent. This will improve permeability, although the concrete bed will be retained.
Francisco Cifuentes, the director of housing, says that this will lead to a lowering of temperature of between three and four degrees in areas by the torrent. He adds that the Life programme places emphasis on the cooperation between various agencies and public departments. In this regard, the municipal services agency Emaya, the Council of Majorca and the university are working together, as is the municipal funeral home agency: the cemetery is to become more like cemeteries elsewhere in Europe and so not be somewhere as impermeable as it is at present.
The director of urban planning, Biel Horrach, highlights the importance of each neighbourhood being able to manage its rainwater, as the town hall wants this water to be reused and for there not to be discharges into the sea.
Noguera notes that Palma is suffering from climate change weather phenomena. A year of drought and the recent five days of heavy rain have shown the need to react and present projects for the future. "Cities which do not treat climate change as a serious problem will become unsustainable and uninhabitable".
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