Salvador Maimó Barceló brings us closer to the Association of Neighbours des Fortí

Jul 8, 2021 | Current affairs, Featured

He has lived in the neighbourhood for 40 years and knows like no other the needs and actions that can improve his neighbourhood. This has been helped by his extensive professional experience in the Post Office, which he now transfers to an altruistic occupation focused on giving value and peace of mind to his neighbourhood.
This enthusiasm for improving his environment led him 15 years ago to get involved with his neighbourhood association.
He is currently its president and among his most famous initiatives that have been or are being planned are the Sa Riera Urban Forest and the Paseo Baluard Project.
Palma City Council, through the participatory budgets, has committed to making them effective, as they were the most voted proposals in 2016 and 2017.

What is the scope of action of the Es Fortí Neighbourhood Association?

The Association belongs to the Ponent District. The Barriada des Fortí. It is located next to the old Luís Sitjar stadium, starts in the Plaza del Fortí (former Plaza Hornabeque) and borders the Sa Riera torrent.

There are about 8000 residents. It is mainly made up of high-rise buildings. The Torre de la Caixa is one of the tallest buildings in Palma with 22 storeys in Plaza Madrid. Most of the neighbours are the second generation that arrived in the neighbourhood. There is a constant renewal of neighbours both in renting and selling flats, so we are a very heterogeneous and international neighbourhood.

What do you need to be a member of the Es Forti Neighbourhood Association?

Any neighbour is welcome. The aim is to improve and maintain the quality of the neighbourhood in all senses of the word.

To be a member of the Association, for the moment, there is no membership fee as they consider that all residents and shopkeepers in the neighbourhood should belong or be registered with the Association.

Where does the Es Forti Neighbourhood Association have its headquarters?

We have a new building that has been opened recently, during the month of July. It is open in the mornings, it is the Casal de Barri, where we do some activities such as passive gymnastics or memory. These are very simple activities due to the Covid and capacity issues. It is a small place, the current capacity restrictions do not allow for many people.

On the other hand, you can also contact or follow us through our social networks where we are very active: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and on our website, where you can see and follow all our activities and demands.

How is the Es Forti Neighbourhood Association constituted?

We are registered in the register of citizen activities of the Palma Town Hall and also as an Association we are registered in the Register of the Balearic Government.

We are part of the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Palma of which I am a member. We meet on Mondays where we deal with different issues that affect us, for example, this Monday we met with the Immigrants’ platform. We try to activate and strengthen the neighbourhood movement and networking, to generate the synergies and efforts necessary to respond to the integral improvement of our neighbourhoods.

The position of president and its board are renewed every 4 years. An Extraordinary Meeting is held. It is an altruistic job, I am retired, it is a satisfaction to be able to serve the neighbours and to transmit the complaints and demands that the neighbours make us receive in order to improve our neighbourhood.

When are the Barriada fiestas?

The most popular and most participative are the summer fiestas which coincide with the first fortnight of September. The first week are the summer fiestas and the second week is dedicated to solidarity actions. The last ones were the X Jornadas Solidarias Multiculturales in 2019. In them, newcomers are integrated and we promote the cohesion and mutual knowledge of all the neighbours.
The 7th of September is our key date and coincides with the Mare de Deu de la Salut. Our Association usually leads the floral and fruit offering in the parish church of Sant Miguel on this day.

What are the most significant proposals?

Our Association participated in the participatory budgets organised by Palma City Council in 2016. Our proposal consisted of the creation of green corridors in the Parc de Sa Riera. This was the most voted proposal in Palma in 2016.
We also participated in 2017 with another project, the Paseo Baluard from Plaza Barcelona to Son Cotoner Park to access Sa Riera Park through the Poniente area, which was also the most voted for in Palma.
Here we have put all our illusion and effort to see this new model of the city in which we satisfy, as a neighbourhood association, the needs closest to the citizens. These proposals will begin to be implemented in 2021 so that we can all enjoy a greener and more sustainable Palma.

This contribution will be the highlight and will be our grain of sand to improve our city.
The 5 most voted proposals have the privilege of being implemented by the City Council.

What other national associations have been interested in your urban forest projects?

The University of Malaga called us in May 2017, to find out about these projects that we presented to the City Council of Palma. To present them at the Urban Forest Forum, which was attended by national and international experts.
In July 2017, the international organisation Art-Peace Architects for Peace called us on its 30th anniversary to explain the projects we presented in Palma, under the title “Parc de Sa Riera, un Bosque para mi Ciudad, Palma” (Sa Riera Park, a Forest for my City, Palma).

At the insular level, when these participatory budgets were launched, Marratxí Town Council also called us to explain our experience and projects.

They told us that in the year 2022 the Association will be 30 years old, the coherence and the good know-how endorse them. The improvements are worthy of the best technical and engineering studies. Unity is strength and the sum of individual actions is transferred from the world of ideas to the real world. We can only congratulate them on the Thursday Daily Bulletin and tell them that we will be there to tell them about it.