European Profile of Xirivella City Council

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Introduction

Xirivella is a Spanish municipality, located on the outskirts of the city of Valencia, in Eastern Spain. The municipality has a population of 28,950 inhabitants and is responsible for providing its population with a wide variety of public services, such as:

  • Urban planning, environmental services and localdevelopment.
  • Social services.
  • Promotion and revitalization of the local economy.
  • Citizen participation and others.
  • Sports, youth, equality, social and neighbourhoodassociations, among others.

This document summarizes some of the expertise the Municipality has in the areas mentioned above:

Local Development

  • Xirivella has developed training and employment programs, employment guidance and labour market intermediation through the Municipal Employment Agency (MEA). They provide support and information on issues of local development and economic promotion in areas such as the agri-food, metallurgical, electrical, textile and machinery and tools industries.
  • The Agency for the Promotion of Commercial Innovation-APCI acts as a permanent link between traders, their representative organizations and the Administration and has participated in several projects at national, local and EU level.

Social Services

The Department of Social Services carries out a series of social actions for individuals such as migrants, women, people with disabilities, unemployed, drug addicts, youth, children. Some of their actions entitle to:

  • Assistance programs offered for each group: financial aid and benefits, social income, advice and information, and even legal assistance.
  • Programs and activities for children, such as extracurricular activities, a day center, “Escola Matinera”, homeless programs, host families, etc.
  • For the elderly, the actions are aimed especially at people with a lack of autonomy in home services, such as telecare, “Housekeeping” or home help. It also offers psychological counseling, gymnastics for the elderly, ballroom dancing, crafts and theater.

“Casa de la Dona” (Women´s House)

Xirivella has an Equality department located in the “Casa de la Dona”, a space that the Social Services Department shares with the different feminist associations. This department follows two strategies, prevention and intervention as following.

  • Prevention: Performs training, education and works on equal opportunities between women and men (movie viewing, book presentations, psychology workshops, exhibitions, feminist days, etc.).
  • Intervention: Service for victims of gender-based violence and their children, in coordination with other municipal, autonomous and state departments. This means legal advice, psychological care and social support.

Police mediation

The main objective of Police Mediation is the resolution of private neighborhood conflicts that may have originated as a result of living unrest.

  • The Proximity Police Unit has developed a protocol in a professional manner. They follow a three-step methodology:
  1. Contact both parties separately to know the problem from different points of view.
  2. Agreement with both parties on the matter.
  3. A follow-up or evaluation to know if it has really been resolved.

Youth and Sport

With regard to Sport, Xirivella´s City Council has several facilities and services that guarantee that citizens can take care of their physical health and are encouraged to perform physical activities:

  • A sports service encompassed in two sports centers, with more than 30,000 m2 in which sports habits are promoted.
  • Two sports centers that include two soccer fields 11, two soccer fields 8, a covered sports field, an indoor pavilion, two summer pools, an indoor pool, three tennis courts, four paddle courts, three pediments, five Outdoor sports grounds, a gym and cardio, and two fitness rooms.
  • An extensive network of sports associations composed of 14 sports clubs from different disciplines such as rhythmic gymnastics, karate and women’s football.

Regarding Youth, Xirivella develops different activities:

  • Xirivella manages a (“Jove Center”, Youth Center). This space aims to be a benchmark of educational leisure for both teenagers and young adults. Its objective is to improve the socialization, habits, relationships and participation of this group. It is also part of Joves.Nett: a consortium formed by 22 municipalities in the region.
  • The Xirivella Youth Center also provides information and advice services for young people in order to help them choose their future (studies, work, etc.). This is done by organizing activities such as days of employment or training, mediation on youth health issues and photography courses, among others.

Public participation

The Citizen Participation Service of Xirivella coordinates, advises and collaborates with different initiatives to improve citizen participation in the municipal framework. The Service aims to strengthen the associative network and promote the participation of citizens, associates and non- associates, in the development of public policies.

For that to happen, the municipality implements several lines of action:

  • Municipal registry of associations: With more than 100 registered associations, which mainly focus on Sport and Culture, Neighborhood, Education, Social, Women’s and Gender Equality Areas.
  • Public Participation Service and the Xirivella Initiative aim at stimulating spaces and channels of participation with the objective of guaranteeing the plurality, diversity of opinions and perspectives that define municipal policies through different tools and channels.

Culture

The long cultural tradition established in Xirivella is reflected through different activities and institutions such as:

  • The House of Culture. Each month, the culture department prepares a program that includes a mix of all these disciplines.Courses in fields such as painting, drawing, photography, competitions and awards managed by different local and national organizations. It has a wide variety of associations that promote culture in the municipality and organize their own activities of all kinds: musical, theatre, painting, etc., together with a network of municipal public libraries located in different neighborhoods and that made book presentations, reading groups, exhibitions or storytelling activities.
  • Municipal theater-auditorium: Space where local theater and musical concerts play. They cooperate together with the Municipal School of Music and Culture and the Municipal Choral School. They offer courses in music theory, musical language, instruments, orchestra, choral singing, concerts, techniques and meetings between musical associations.
  • “Mostra Internacional de pallasses i pallassos” (International Clown Show): Held every November in the municipality for more than 25 years and has become a meeting point for clowns of different parts of the World, mainly from other countries of the European Union.

 

Urban Planning, Infrastructure and Environment

Mayor’s Agreement for Climate and Energy´s Membership

Xirivella is a Member of the Mayor’s Pact for Climate and Energy. A series of commitments include:

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 40% until 2030 by increasing energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
  • Development of an Action Plan for Climate and Sustainable Energy (PACES). Prepared by the Infrastructure Service in collaboration with the Valencia Board.

Sustainable Urban Mobility

The Municipal Plan for Sustainable Urban Mobility (PMUS) intends, mainly:

a) Create a friendlier city for pedestrians and cyclists through different projects:

• Cycle paths.

• Cycle tourism routes.

b) Valencia Metropolitan Green Belt Project: better interconnection with other municipalities.

c) Prioritize and promote the use of public transport.

• Part of the HORTA SUD EN BICI initiative, together with the municipalities in the south and west of Valencia. This initiative promotes the use of bicycle as a way to travel.

• Constant collaboration between the Municipality and its associations: they have received more than 100 proposals to improve mobility within the municipality.

• Initiative without traffic lights since 2002 throughout the municipality.

Environmental initiatives

  • Ecopark. Xirivella has a mobile ecological park to facilitate the collection of toxic household waste, in a more ecological and sustainable way. It is a traveling van in which you can deposit all types of waste.
  • Door to door collection of cardboard for commercial establishments.
  • Collection of used oils.
  • Education and environmental awareness campaigns.

Protection and regeneration of the garden

Xirivella has a large area of non-developable land for special agricultural protection, for this purpose, different municipal actions and projects are carried out to promote its protection and regeneration.

  • Establishment of public allotments that facilitates contact between people who own plots suitable for agricultural exploitation and those interested in cultivating the land.
  • Projects for the recovery of degraded spaces and their reuse for agricultural use: Environmental Restoration Project of the Alquería Alta area and Road to IES Gonzalo Anaya-Xirivella Sports Center.
  • Creation of cycling routes.
  • The Youth Center manages other awareness activities for the improvement and conservation of the environment aimed at a young audience.

Protection of protected heritage

Xirivella is also concerned about the protection of its protected heritage, mainly the Alquerias, which are mainly found in the garden.

In this sense, in 2016, a partial project for the rehabilitation of the same in the Serra Farm was carried out, with a grant from the Regional Government.

 

Experience in local, regional, national & EU projects

Local and Regional Projects:

  • In 2017, the City Council of Xirivella received the “Cèlia Amorós Award” from the Valencian Government for its work against gender violence.
  • The Jove Center is part of the Joves.Net consortium, which is a consortium formed by 22 municipalities of the Valencian Community, through its Youth Councils that carry out information campaigns and activities aimed at the young population, in addition to sharing lines of action, projects, through networks.

European projects and initiatives:

  • WIFI4EU: In May 2019, Xirivella has been one of the 3400 European municipalities that have received the grant of the European WIFI4EU initiative.
    The municipality has € 15,000 for the installation of WIFI points.
  • “Coffee with Europe”: In June 2019, Xirivella has been one of the 35 municipalities of Spain chosen to participate in the initiative of the European Commission “Talk about Europe in your city”.
  • It welcomed the presence of Teresa Frontán, Responsible for Communication of the Spanish Representation of the European Commission to encourage the debate with the 30 people who participated in the Event.
  • The LIFE Project “Green Commerce” LIFE Project. Aimed at fighting climate change, promoting environmental responsibility in the commercial sector and reducing energy consumption and waste production using simple techniques. This project ,belonging to the LIFE program, was recognized as one of the 6 best environmental practices in Europe in 2013. The municipality of Xirivella was one of the municipalities of the Valencian Community that adhered to the agreement to promote a greener trade. For more information.
  • Xirivella participated in 2017 in the European call for innovative initiatives of urban actions of the European Commission with the presentation of the project “SMAART- Metropolitan social mobility as it is due”, together with the municipalities of Quart de Poblet, Manises, the Diputación de Valencia and the companies Novadays, ETRA Research and Development (ETRAI + D) and Fundación FINNOVAREGIO.
    Its objective was to improve the accessibility of the local population to existing services, especially for people with reduced mobility (PMR) and solidarity mobility groups through the integration of smart city technologies.

    • Implementation of the Green Line – Smart City platform, which has a web format and a mobile application. It is a public service through which the municipality resolves environmental issues related to subsidies, tips to be more energy efficient and places to recycle waste.
    • Allows citizens to report any environmental issue to municipal services.
    • Provides citizens with knowledge and tools on good environmental practices, training sources and awareness materials.
    • Updates and news related to environmental matters.

Xirivella if also part of the HORTA SUD EN BICI initiative together with most municipalities in the south and west of Valencia.

  • “Mostra Internacional de Pallasses i Pallassos” (International Clown Show): it´s celebrated every November in the municipality. This International Clown Event has been held in Xirivella for more than 25 years and has become a meeting point for clowns from different parts of the World, mainly from other countries of the European Union.