What you need to know about the participatory process of the POUM

Next Tuesday at 6:00 pm, the citizen participation process for the drafting of the new Municipal Urban Planning Plan (POUM) will start in the August Hall of the Palau de Congressos. Under the title 'We draw Tarragona. Inclusion, cohesion, sustainability and other future challenges', this inaugural session will represent the starting point of a debate that will serve to define the Tarragona of the future, in aspects that range from the growth of the city, to the width of the sidewalks and the quality of public space, among other aspects.

“This inaugural session represents the gateway to this great process, to which everyone is invited. Not only the economic sectors most directly involved, as was traditional, but the entire citizenry", argues the councilor for Territori, Xavier Puig. Social entities, neighborhoods, feminist groups, the university, people with disabilities, children and the elderly are some of the groups that want to be heard in this process whose operation will be announced on Tuesday.

The strategy that has been designed for the coming months will include territorial and sectoral sessions, as well as itineraries with excursions. Likewise, there will be feedback sessions, a digital survey and suggestion boxes. "Everything is very important, but we must emphasize the territorial sessions because in a scattered city like Tarragona we will plant the debate in the different neighborhoods," says the third deputy mayor. From Bonavista to Sant Salvador, passing through the Vall de l'Arrabassada, Part Baixa and La Móra are just some of the stops that the POUM technical team will make to find out the impressions of the residents around their neighborhood and the city in general.

Although before the POUM van begins its tour of the city, a set of sectoral sessions are planned that will revolve around four axes. In the first place, urban development and the natural environment, in which the relationship between the growth of the city and the conservation of the territory will be addressed. Sustainable mobility, that is, the network of bike lanes, the tram or the railway, will be the second axis. While the third will be based on the economy, which includes aspects such as the role of tourism and trade or industry and services. Finally, the fourth refers to the city of childhood. "We will make the groups of children draw or paint what the houses, streets, squares or green areas should be like so that they feel comfortable and can play in peace or walk to school," says Puig.

The third block of this participatory process will be the itineraries, to learn about some of the strategic areas in situ. This is the case of La Budellera, a space that will be reached from the Vall de l'Arrabassada, to continue towards the Llarga and the Savinosa preventorium. "The idea is that people can see if they want an extension model of the Anella Verda with an agricultural or forest space or if it should be a growth area for the city, they will be able to see both visions," he says.

Horta Gran and the N-340 will be the protagonists of the second excursion. And, in this case, the participants will be able to learn about the project for an agricultural park and as a link between the T-11 and the N-340, to connect the center with Ponent. The Francolí, from the Serrallo to Sant Salvador will focus on the third of the walks, in this case to address the recovery of this space in a context of climate change.

«It is unknown whether the citizens will mobilize or not, but the POUM either you do it or they do it to you. People must know that this is the instrument that will regulate their lives and decide what the city is like, and that they can participate in this collective drawing that will not be yours or mine, but everyone's”, argues the person in charge of urban planning. Between February and March, this large block of the participatory process must end, so that these contributions can be incorporated into the initial project of the POUM, which is the one that must be approved in the next mandate. "A participatory process is an empowerment of the citizenry in the same way that elections are, so that later the city model that the people of Tarragona want can be endorsed," he concludes.

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