City Council and Port of Almeria look to the installations of Cartagena as a “guide” for the Port-City

The president of the Port Authority of Almeria (APA), Rosario Soto, and the mayoress of Almeria, Maria del Mar Vazquez, visited the port facilities of Cartagena (Murcia) on Tuesday to analyse the “success story” of the integration of its Port-City model, which should serve “as a guide for the transformation” of the Almeria coastline.

This is what the Mayor of Almeria said in a note after the visit, in which she stressed that this action must be “an ambitious project adapted to the reality of Almeria”. “We are going to continue working to configure an action at the height of what our city deserves, since it will be decisive for development over the coming decades,” he said.

“Cartagena is an example of success, that is why we have come to get to know it and to see what is being done well in order to take the formulas that can be good for Almeria. It is clear to us that the port-city integration is an economic revulsive, which generates employment and increases the population”, said the Almeria councillor during the visit, as reported by the Cartagena City Council.

On this matter, Soto recalled that the Port of Almeria “has funding committed by the Junta de Andalucia to undertake the first phase of the port-city” concerning the Muelle de Levante, which will be adapted as a commercial and leisure dock.

Likewise, the draft of the special plan has already been prepared and has been presented to the Ministry of Development of the Andalusian Regional Government within the framework of the monitoring commission for the development of the project. “We continue to work with the other administrations to take solid steps in the project,” said the president of the APA.

Soto also added that work began on Monday on the remodelling of the Port Authority’s headquarters. “The visit was made to see specific issues such as the completion of the quay and to evaluate different urban elements used in the port of Cartagena”, she specified after the meeting in which they were accompanied by the vice-president of the Port Authority of Cartagena, Pedro Pablo Hernández.

The Port of Cartagena have indicated that both cities share strategies to develop the integration of their ports with the city centre. During their visit, the representatives from Almeria were able to see on the ground the urban improvements being carried out around the dock and the city, accompanied also by the Mayoress of Cartagena, Noelia Arroyo.

Arroyo explained that “Cartagena has a project underway to transform its port, with an investment of 25 million euros. Many improvements can already be seen and the rest are being executed right now on the seafront along with other projects. Such as the Vial del Espalmador and Cala Cortina paths, the recovery of the San Leandro battery, next to the La Curra breakwater, and the relocation of the Temporary Foreigner Attention Centre (CATE)”.

The integration of the port with the city is serving to bring the sea closer to the inhabitants of the municipality of Cartagena. In this sense, Hernandez stressed that “Cartagena has achieved in recent years a resounding success as a cruise destination, managing to be a port of call for ships throughout the year. The city is consolidated, maintaining the number of cruise passengers and ships. This year we received 150 cruise ships and 180,000 cruise passengers”.

Both mayors also discussed the synergies existing between Almería and Cartagena in the City Hall. Thus, they highlighted qualities such as being nearby cities, which share similar characteristics in terms of population, Mediterranean gastronomy and cultural wealth.

On the other hand, they have put in common similar demands, among them, an improvement of the railway connection between both places and the defence of the Tajo-Segura Transfer “to nourish the orchard of Europe that is Almeria and the Campo de Cartagena”.

On the other hand, the president with the technical team of the Port of Almeria and the Port of Cartagena have also visited the Port of Escombreras, where they have seen the innovative loading operation of solid bulk and the planned expansion area in these port facilities.

Soto expressed the need to make industrial activity and the urban port compatible, pointing out that it is the income from goods and passenger traffic which makes it possible to carry out investments in initiatives such as the port-city.

 

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