IdenCity, the company run by Jordi Hereu, the former mayor of Barcelona has been appointed at a cost of 60,000 euros to design the “transformation” of central San Antonio.
Seated with San Antonio Mayor Jose Tur, Hereu held a presentation yesterday to a group of local representatives, including political opposition, on how it will implement a strategic plan that should serve as the “sheet map” for the “change of tourism model” and urban conversion of the municipality between this year and 2030, covering nearly four legislatures. Also attending the meeting were the President of the Island Council (Consell) Vicent Torres, and Luis Corral, Director General of Territorial Planning of the Balearic Government.
Until now there has been several comprehensive projects of tourist reconversion for San Antonio that have come to nothing. “I know there have been other projects with similar objectives which haven’t been successful. This town doesn’t need resignation, it needs enthusiasm and a desire to do things” said Mayor Tur who continued to explain that the objectives were “improve the image of the municipality and the quality of life for its residents, not to increase the number of visitors but diversify the tourism market and be able to achieve a friendly tourism and provide a decent product”
Tur explained that IndenCity was established 4 years ago and was chosen over 3 other companies and is also currently working on a comprehensive transformation of the Mexican city of Chalco, and other various cities in Spain.
Hereu stressed the importance of the conversion of San Antonio as “a city project, not just a government project” and the need for a political pact between all forces and also citizen participation. Aware of the previous similar failed attempts to revitalize San Antonio, the former mayor of Barcelona stressed the need to “escape” from the idea that “things are hopeless.” “If there is a will there is a way” he said.
In this sense, Hereu said his company “is not a consultant who is dedicated to doing theoretical work or an academic study that sits on a shelf” he carried on “We like to transform territories in practice not in theory” but he also warned that “the challenge will not be easy…..and requires the will of all citizens”.
Sr Hereu continued to explain that the proposed transformation of the municipality should undertake both public and private funding and that if citizens demonstrate “their will” to change the municipality the necessary financial resources for it will appear from both public institutions and the private sector. “San Antonio needs to change its image” he said.
IdenCity director Javier Sierra warned that if the strategic plan is based solely on public funding then it would be doomed to “failure” and at the same time stressed the importance of the project to include “achievable objectives”.
For his part the general director of Planning, Luis Corral, said he could not guarantee any financial contribution by the Balearic Government but stressed that as they are accustomed to improvisation that costs lots of money the new urban planning of the municipality must be “absolutely linked to a strategic plan”.
Source: Diario de Ibiza