Residents of Carlos Buïgas de Salou propose to move the nightlife area
The residents of Carles Buïgas street in Salou launched a proposal to the City Council a few months ago with the aim of offering a new impetus for the future. The document, to which the DailyIt consists of 25 pages with abundant proposals in different degrees of concretion and possibilities of materializing. But, without a doubt, one is especially striking: the commitment to move the current leisure area (music bars and discos, especially) to other parts of the town. With the mind set, mainly, in the Emprius area.
As the president of the Associació de Veïns Salou Est, Pilar Roig, explains, “this is a very ambitious project. We know. But we believe that it has enough strength to be able to materialize it ». The project was already carried out by the municipal government team last Easter "without us having had any response from the City Council," Roig details.
However, his numerous proposals deserve to have at least the municipal consideration given the proposals that are extracted from him. The most significant, especially for the residents of Carles Büigas, Bilbao Street or Murillo Street, is the idea of moving the current nightlife area that affects this street junction to another place. "We do not want to influence that it be in Emprius -says the neighborhood president-, but we understand that it would be a good bet for all the development of what we have collected in our document".
The letter makes special mention of the “excessive pressure that the area suffers from summer tourism” and adds that “it is time to set limits, actions that cannot be postponed. Transversal decisions that cover all sectors. Salou needs a rebalancing."
In his analysis of the current situation, he points out that "in the tourist area, the most crowded, there are second-home residents of retirement age who would move their usual residence here, registering, due to the climate, the sun and the tranquility of the winter" but argues that this is not the case for various reasons, such as "noise pollution derived from nightlife, lack of equipment, as well as means of mobility that structure the tourist area."
Although the most dangerous "is the vicious circle of nightlife-drugs-prostitution-cheap tourism-fights-incivility-cheap rentals-squatters-cheap products in stores," he says in one of his points.
For this reason, they add that “nightlife is not only a problem of noise pollution in the area, but also a problem in other areas. In this situation we cannot expect better quality, more responsible and sustainable tourism. Only by reversing this vicious circle can we change many of the problems that Salou has today."
The proposal includes a series of ideas "following the premise that tourism should be distributed throughout the municipality, both hotels and restaurants, such as HUT (Habitatges d'Ús Turístic) and seeking solutions to achieve a higher quality of tourism and life in the municipality, both for residents and visitors. Hence, the sketch includes locations by zones, where to locate a large area in the form of a tourist park that would have: a skate area, another for nightlife, spaces for gaming, an area for professional workshops and crafts, another for food, in addition of museums and shops.
Why bet on Emprius?
According to the plan, "the separation of the town from the nightlife area is important and very necessary." The breadth of the design indicates that "nightlife does not fit in cities, it must have its own space". In this regard, Pilar Roig affirms that "we can be the pioneers, creating an innovative space", eliminating "drunken leisure" from the very center of the municipality. And, for this, the best proposal of the entire project due to its magnitude would be the Emprius area.
The new Salou-PortAventura train station is being built there, next to which the new bus station of the municipality will be built. "Having mobility with municipal transport, it would be easier to concentrate nightlife in the area," argues the neighborhood president. This would also imply the need to create a broader and more sustainable municipal public transport system. The letter also points out Emprius as the favorite point for its location, given that "if we join the nightlife area, with the commercial and professional area, we obtain a large tourist complex with many attractive activities".
Disadvantages for locals
Evidently, the neighborhood project seems to collide head-on with the position of the thirty music bars and discos in the area. In some cases, the premises have been installed in the area for many years (perhaps one of the clearest in this regard is the emblematic La Cage nightclub) while others have changed their name, location or are more recent.
In this regard, the person in charge of one of these establishments believes that “lifting the businesses in this area and taking them to another point in Salou could cause many headaches. From investments and costs of new facilities for our premises, perhaps compensation and it remains to be seen if the public and customers will adapt to these changes...». Many unknowns to be resolved, although the neighbors seem willing to discuss all this. The issue is now on the table.