“It is more than Possible; it is Probable.”
Arthur Conan Doyle
It is almost 10 in the morning of an April Saturday. The summer tourist season has not yet arrived but the atmosphere of the small town is full of vitality. Xavier goes down to the street and goes to the nearby bicycle parking for a nice urban bike that got at a very interesting price, thanks to the municipal program to promote sustainable transport.
The bicycle parking is a small enclosure only accessible to users, covered, to protect it from the sun and rain, and monitored with security cameras, so it is not necessary to store the bikes at home at night.
For Xavier and many other citizens and visitors, walking and cycling have become more comfortable, thanks to improvements and extensions of bike lanes and sidewalks, crossings and adaptation of unevenness. It also benefited people with reduced mobility, the parents who take their babies in a cart, etc., since a wide study was carried out, from which measures were implemented to improve pedestrian circulation and non-motorized vehicles.
What many would not expect is that while pedestrians and cyclists have benefited from these changes, motorists (who are often the same people) have also benefited from a more comfortable and fluid circulation, Limited access to some particularly narrow streets, parking has also been facilitated and the most susceptible points of congested traffic have been reduced.
Xavi arrives from the opposite end of the city to the port in a few minutes, although he went at a leisurely pace as he enjoys greeting friends and neighbors, who also recently encouraged to use the bicycle on a regular basis and for practical purposes. When you get close to your destination, leave your bike in another parking lot identical to the previous one. In the last stretch, through one of the new pedestrians most traveled, Xavi sees that in recent years have opened a series of new businesses. Since they are not always local restaurants or clothing stores, there is a greater variety, probably because the visitor of this picturesque city also no longer responds to the stereotype of summer tourist, in addition to that his stay is no longer limited almost exclusively To the summer season.
Xavier knocks at the door of his friend Joan and both, after greeting each other, are heading for the beach. Today there was a curious sporting exhibition: an informal meeting between advanced practitioners of calisthenics, a special kind of gymnastics without weights or devices , A showy form of exercise that has become fashionable in some cities and urban environments, often practiced outdoors with very few devices; Just a few parallel bars and a solid railing are enough for the athletes to develop an exceptional physical shape, capable of arousing the astonishment of the curious who come to see their incredible exercises, which seem to defy gravity.
Both friends are trying to imitate some exercises and movements of those who see but it is not as easy as it seems. At one point they stop exhausted, look at each other and decide, without saying a word, that it will be better for their self-esteem to practice when they do not have so much public. After an hour of watching the free spectators of the acrobats, they decide to go and see something else, on the same beach, facing south, you will see what looks like a congregation of kites of the most curious: big kites, with shapes of animals and objects, Very colorful; Are really spectacular. It might seem a coincidence to find two very curious and unusual events on the same day, but the truth is that in recent years the beach has been a public space in which there are many sporting and recreational activities, often in a very informal way And other more organized. By the way, one of the biggest changes noticed on the beach during the non-summer season is to sunbathe even in the middle of winter! The healthy sunbathing is something much appreciated by tourists and more and more also by the people here; In fact it is a form of therapy very pleasant (heliotherapy) and it seeks a moderate brunette throughout the year. Special sunbeds are provided for comfortable, hygienic and affordable sunbathing.
Xavi and Joan return to the town after taking some photos of both the comets and the gymnastics exhibition, some photos that were so good that they could send to one of the cultural pages of the municipality, which serve to keep people informed of the activities, at the same time as promoting the city.
Two weeks ago they were able to take pictures of a really unusual sailing exhibition: they were sailboats with amazing technologies, which showed great maneuverability and speed. They had placed a large floating platform from which to view the boats up close, which allowed for amazing photos without the need for a large lens.
Not only the "sailboats" surprised many visitors, there were also in the port a pair of “contraptions” that grabbed the attention of outsiders: these are vertical-axis wind turbines of a new and different innovative technology, as well as being aesthetically more interesting. Its slow and silent turn makes one think more of a kind of dynamic sculpture than in machines of exploitation of the wind power.
Xavi and Joan enjoy a lot of weekends without having to leave the city, and even more, since they began to promote, from the town hall, new forms of leisure, recreational and cultural activities, as well as a more varied economy and Sectors with higher added value.
Both boys have been turning for weeks to an idea about a cultural activity. They are just 18 years old, but they are already potential innovators and they knew through one of the municipal informative blogs that could present their proposal and benefit from it if it is carried out and thrives. At noon, they are going to talk about it with a friend who collaborates in a youth cultural association and this could comment directly even on the mayor. Although there are several channels to bring the proposals of citizens to councilors or agencies, the council is flexible and close enough to be able to propose directly to your government team any proposal for improvement or complaint.
The truth is that Xavi, Joan and all the other young people - and not so young - in the locality are beginning to take an interest in political life, in the ways of organizing the public, since a more participatory form of democracy is breaking through since Its town hall changed its style of government.
Many other populations are observing what moves here.