The culture as the backbone of cities and its dynamism is debated these days in the city of Estepona, projecting a large ‘Balcony to the Mediterranean’ as a multipurpose socio-cultural center called Mirador del Carmen, which is 65% complete, and which, together with sustainability, is part of the objective of revitalize the town towards a new urban model.

These reflections were made by the mayor, José María García Urbano, within the framework of the meeting ‘Culture as the backbone of cities’, held last Thursday night at the Casa de las Tejerinas and organized by Málaga Hoy with the sponsorship of the City Council, where the artistic directors and manager of the Thyssen Museum in Malaga, Lourdes Moreno and Javier Ferrer respectively, also participated; that of Picasso Malaga, José Lebrero; the architect of the future socio-cultural center El Mirador del Carmen, Salvador Moreno Peralta.

During his speech, García Urbano highlighted the transformation that Estepona has undergone in the last decade with his project to turn the municipality into the ‘Garden of the Costa del Sol’with which it has reformed “130 reformed streets” both abroad and underground with “the services that are below”, in relation to supply, sanitation or telecommunications pipes.

“Culture and sustainability are complex words”

In this way, the councilor elaborated that “the culture and sustainability are complex words”, but he stressed that both generate a “symbiosis”, since the first “makes a city more sustainable”, which in turn “invites to generate elements to attract culture”, and it is precisely in this framework where he inserts projects that are currently underway, such as the El Mirador del Carmen socio-cultural center or the pedestrianization of Avenida España.

Thus, he underlined the commitment to “transform National Highway 340 into a landscaped boulevard”, which will “change the face of the city and improve mobility, behavior and relationship habits with the generation of more urban spaces for coexistence”. What economic and cultural consequences Of these actions, he pointed out that Estepona is “the second with the lowest unemployment rate” in Andalusia, going from “12% a decade ago to 37%”, which he attributes to the development of the town and its new urban model.

Regarding what is known as the ‘Balcony of the Mediterranean’, he stressed that it will open the municipality to the sea with “a great socio-cultural complex that joins the city with the Port”, of which he highlighted 3 elements that the public facility will have as “a conservatory perfectly adapted to the legislation” or “a library as a central axis with 15 floors and digital content, with the possibility of accessing the building with a 360-degree view in an enviable place to read or reflect”.

To this he added the “showroom” which will host at its premiere a Carmen Thyssen Museum collection from Malagafor which the City Council has reached a collaboration agreement with the art gallery in an “advice” principle, and whose presentation will take place “when the building is finished”, which it estimated will be completed “in December 2023”.

The initiative adds to the transformation of the city in the last decade with the project ‘Estepona, Garden of the Costa del Sol’, which has made it possible to intervene on “19 kilometers of streets to travel without being bothered by cars, noise and pollution” with the remodeling of a historic quarter, which “has recovered its Andalusian character within its consolidated urban structure, where the classic and historical have to be combined with the modern”. In addition, he highlighted how the transformation of this area “with strong investment” has continued with private initiative and the implementation of several hotels.

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