AS water gets scarcer and scarcer, Elche wants Europe to recognise that water management in the south can also be sustainable.
And to this end, it has put in a bid to become a European Green Capital in the southern Mediterranean. The goal is set for 2030.
“The project to convert Elche into Green Capital has an added value, which is that of a city located in an arid place, with a permanent scarcity of water. The parameters in the fight against climate change set by Europe can be achieved by anyone who proposes it,” said city mayor, Carlos González,
The plan is more than simply about water. To be a Green City requires action in many areas.
In order to meet the European criteria, the municipal government has drawn up a plan for mobility, sustainability and energy efficiency to connect the city’s districts.
The plan is to convert to zero-emission vehicles; the centres of all urban centres will be pedestrianised “humanising their surroundings”.
An example is the historic centre, which is already 80 per cent pedestrianised, with the traffic-free area about to be extended.
“It is about generating a friendly and smoke-free environment under ecological and accessibility criteria,” said Councillor for Sustainable Development, Urban Mobility, and Environment, Esther Díezno of Compromís.
She added that work will begin to turn the vision into a reality in the first four months of 2020. The City Council will put in more bicycle and bus lanes, and lay out new parks.
It also wants municipal lighting to be powered 100 per cent from renewable energies. Existing trees will be replaced by others that are more adapted to the climate.
Initial financing is in place thanks to a €30 million grant from the EU. So, Elche will soon start to become a cleaner and greener city.
See more Costa Blanca South News