At 11 in the morning, the mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó (who signed up for the call at the last minute), and the deputy mayor and town planning councillor, Sandra Gómez, visited the already completed works on the first superblock in Valencia. An urban design that has become fashionable, not without controversy, in other cities and that tries to make them friendlier to people, with fewer cars and more space on the streets.
Just one hour after the mayor boasted about his commitment to this city model - "it is a job to make a city facing people, thinking about people and a little less about cars" - the association Amics del Carme displayed a large banner (not as much as the electoral banners of the mayoral candidates) in which they directly accused the mayor of "expelling 50 residents for a million euros."
A forceful accusation by a group linked to the left and that, a few days before the municipal elections on May 28 that must ratify the continuity of a progressive government or the return of the PP, records the urban contradictions of the local government.
The commitment to the model that Ada Colau has implemented for superblocks is evident in the city council of the capital of Túria. In this case, according to the local PSPV held by the town planning department. In the statement released yesterday, the person in charge of Urban Development, Sandra Gómez, argued that the Petxina superblock "is a space designed to provide quality of life to the neighborhood of an area that, due to its layout, cannot have areas of use shared, that does not have gardens, that it does not have parks, that it does not have squares and that, finally, thanks to this superblock, it will have a space for leisure, meeting, and games”.
City council sources valued the fact that the generated spaces are destined for new uses and activities and include new street furniture such as 77 chairs and benches, a fountain, various unique game elements, chess, picnic and ping-pong tables.
Along these lines, Joan Ribó added, "it seems very important to us that cities, and this city of ours, are more and more for people to enjoy."
An idea that contrasts with the protest action that, minutes later, they carried out from the Amics del Carme neighborhood platform. The group took down a banner on a site that was intended for the construction of 50 homes and that, they explain, was sold "for 1 million euros to a developer who requested the change of use to a hotel the next day." With this complaint, the residents showed their opposition to the construction of a hotel and tourist apartments a few meters from the Central Market.
The president of Amics del Carme, Lluís Mira, lamented that the project will serve to increase tourism in Ciutat Vella and warned that "the Mercat neighborhood is in a situation of absolute outsourcing".
All in all, Mira, very critical of the Compromís government and the PSPV, pointed out that the works license has not yet been given and that they still hope to be able to reverse the situation.