The most important investments by the town of Xaló in recent years have been aimed at the complete renewal of the water infrastructure to ensure the supply of drinking water throughout the town, the works prior to the construction of the new school and the refurbishment of spaces such as the municipal swimming pool or the Tassolet Park, among others.
Now, the town council of Xaló has started a process of citizen participation called Xaló Participa 2020 to be able to undertake new investment. This project was created as a tool for citizens to participate in the reconstruction of the town after the Covid-19 crisis. The first two objectives are to understand the needs of the elderly in terms of dependency and to listen to the opinion of the public regarding the redesign of the urban town centre.
For the Mayor, Joan Miquel Garcés, “Attention to the elderly and the planning of the urban centre are two particularly sensitive issues and the town council would like to know the opinion of the local residents. Currently and unfortunately, the question of dependency is under review due to everything that is happening with the coronavirus and the harshness with which it has struck the elderly. It is an appropriate time to ask ourselves how we want to take care of our elderly”.
The planning of the town council regarding matters of dependency involves firstly, knowing the needs, and then providing solutions. There is a huge gap between the official data according to regulations and public perception. The proposal of the council is to analyse, plan and act, in this order. We must take into account the opinions of the the local citizens. That is why the survey asks about dependent people and also those who are looking after them.
With regard to the redesign of the urban center, Garcés commented that “the crisis has accentuated the need for a new type of mobility in which pedestrians and bicycles will have more prominence over motor vehicles; so we ask the people of Xaló how they want the movement of traffic in the Plaza Mayor and the adjacent streets to be; that is, what is the image we want for the heart of the village?”.
In particular, the survey aimed at local residents asks about how they would like the traffic, pedestrian access, car access for residents and the adaptation of pavements… on Calles Mayor, Alicante, San Judas and La Virgin, that is, the urban centre of Xaló. In addition, residents are also asked about the new design that the main square and the small square next to the bell tower will have.
The citizens of Xaló themselves can provide an idea of how to redesign this area. Based on their ideas and how they match the technical requirements of the project (accessibility and compatibility with basic use), the town council will prepare one or more proposals that will be shown to the public.
By letter and online
With the aim of giving all those who are registered in Xaló and are over 16 years old the opportunity to participate, communication between Xaló Participa 2020 and the local residents will be carried out via two channels: by letter and online. On the one hand, citizens can access the website www.xalo.org/participa2020 where they will find two forms (one for dependency of the elderly and one for the redesign of the village centre) and you can fill them out online. Alternatively, a letter with the same forms has been sent to all over 16s. According to the Mayor “we do not want anyone to be left out of this process; we want to make it easy for everyone to participate because it is very important; it is the future of Xaló”. The deadline for returning the completed forms is June 9th.