A SPANISH town is becoming a model for how to run a municipality on a sound ecological basis.
Just a few kilometres from the brash tourist trap of Benidorm, La Nucia is committed to going green.
The town hall has put in charging points for electric cars that are free to all, and has come up with a novel way to discourage the throw-away culture.
Mayor Bernabe Cano oversaw a move that meant the more residents recycle, the less local tax they pay, which has been deemed a huge success.
The road to a sustainable future has been a long one, with the municipality starting on the journey 20 years ago.
Since then it has won three Architizer awards for its ecological architecture.
The first step to sustainability was to ban cars from the old town centre and create green areas planted with native pines to improve air quality.
Architecturally the town has embraced a ‘quality of life’ philosophy with an emphasis on single family homes rather than the massive tower blocks seen in Benidorm.
And the council has chosen architecture that is environmentally friendly. Harking back to the old pre-airconditioning days, walls on the municipal buildings are built to be thick, thus providing a heat sink and reducing cooling and heating costs in the long run.
The town hall’s approach has proven to be extremely popular with foreigners, who have flocked to the area. Expats from more than 100 countries make up more than half the population.
The mayor hopes that his town can point other Spanish municipalities in the right direction by continuing to set a good green example.