On Thursday, fifty-three organisations presented a "manifesto for the rescue of the Plaça Major" and demanded that Palma town hall raises a competition "to seek proposals of the first order and to apply innovative solutions in respect of architecture, planning and participation both for the units and for the square".
This manifesto had principally been inspired by the arguments regarding the future of what until now has been the shopping area beneath Plaça Major - the units are now mostly all unoccupied. The president of the federation of residents associations, Joan Forteza, who read out the manifesto, said that the urban and social fabric of neighbourhoods in the historic centre has been disrupted and transformed by new forms of tourism and the "great invasion of vehicles". If this isn't halted, he added, it will lead to "progressive degradation" and to a "scorched earth" situation.
The main point of the manifesto was that Plaça Major should become an "inclusive and sustainable space for the citizenship". A further demand was that there should be better connection between the square and the space below. Turning the units into an area for "innovative and forward-looking" citizens' projects was another demand. There was also a call for car parking for residents and a reduction in city centre traffic.
Forteza warned that if these demands are not listened to, "the battle will not end" and there will be "action".
Among the 53 organisations were environmentalists GOB and Amics de la Terra (Friends of the Earth), the Palma XXI association and the church's Caritas charity.
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