The Municipal Government Team (Compromís and PSPV-PSOE political parties) and the two main opposition parties (PP and Citizens) have approved the 2030 city model, the Valencia Strategic Framework, which aims to define the guidelines and principles for development for the city, on the basis of “sustainability, health and prosperity”. The model was backed by practically the entire Council. Only Vox voted against it.
As the mayor, Joan Ribó, stated, the objective is “to achieve a fully healthy, sustainable Valencia, with a diverse and productive economy that prioritises innovation and new technologies. We have a plan for the city and I want to open it up to all citizens”, he said. After the meeting of the Board of Spokespersons that gave the green light to the document, Ribó explained that Valencia City Council “is working towards a consensus that will allow us to move forward as a society in the medium and long term: plan the direction we want to go in a process that involves all citizens”. “That is why”- he added – “I want to thank the work that municipal, government and opposition groups have done together to reach that prior consensus”.
The 2030 Valencia Strategic Framework defines the projection of the city based on six views, which constitute “an open-ended starting point to collectively rethink and outline what Valencia we want for 2030”, as established in the text. These ‘views’ are developed from a series of challenges identified with the function of “guiding the definition of the Missions, strategic lines and objectives; and they are defined as a Healthy, Sustainable, Prosperous and Entrepreneurial City, one that is Shared, Creative, and Mediterranean.
The document has been prepared on the basis of the character of Valencia as a Mediterranean city, to define “its own model in consensus with the government and opposition groups, and society as a whole”, in the mayor’s words. The Strategic Framework is based on seven guiding principles of the strategy; it includes two key conceptual references: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Urban Agenda; part of the exceptional context of the Covid-19 pandemic; and sets out six ‘views’, twelve strategic lines (with 48 objectives), and six missions to transform the city and guide innovation; finally, it has a comprehensive system of indicators. And at the centre of every action, as a fundamental part of it, are people.
A LONG-TERM VIEW TO THE FUTURE
The spokesperson for the Compromís Municipal Party, Carlos Galiana, highlighted “the absolute majority support for the proposal of the Strategic Framework of the City of Valencia shows that we are a government that takes a long view towards the future and that knows how to negotiate, dialogue and generate consensus, which is very important, today more than ever”. “In addition”, he added, “the 2030 Valencia Missions, included in this framework, show us the way forward to involve not only the public sector but also the private sector, academia and civil society in the future of Valencia”.
The spokesperson for the PSPV-PSOE Municipal Party, Sandra Gómez, highlighted the importance of “showing political vision in important moments”, and stressed that “once again, municipal political parties, with the exception of the extreme right, have come to an agreement to design the Valencia of the future”. Gómez stressed that this Strategic Framework “is a plan from Valencia for the world, not from the world for Valencia. It is not about an aspiration to be like others, but to get the best out of ourselves, because although all large cities share similar aims based on the SDGs, this is a clearly Valencian strategic framework, a framework adapted to reality of the city, how we experience it and how we coexist in it”.
For her part, the spokesperson for the Municipal Popular Party, María José Catalá, emphasised that what is needed is “a strategic city plan and to address such important issues as improving the response to the pandemic, a tax model that helps startup companies and job creation, the preservation of our Albufera natural park, mobility in dialogue with all the stakeholders involved and the boosting of infrastructures for the city”. For this reason, Catalá stressed that her group has presented “more than twenty amendments to improve the future of our city, which must get away from sectarian attitudes, and commit to being an entrepreneurial and competitive city”.
Finally, the spokesperson for the Municipal Citizens Party, Fernando Giner, described the 2030 Strategic Framework as “a good plan for the future”, and agreed that “the city must be projected beyond one term of office”. Giner recalled his contributions to the Reconstruction Plan and the budget agreement for aid to the self-employed and families, and a school cheque. “In other words, we are always thinking about a medium-term strategy, combining it with short-term actions, especially in this crisis situation and always arriving at a consensus. For us, having a strategic framework that future mayors must respect is fundamental”. Giner stated that “economic development has to be the priority”, that “no one should be left behind in this crisis situation”, and that the objective is “to have a sustainable and accessible city”.
The document will be submitted to the Municipal Council Plenary session next Thursday for initial approval. Afterwards, an open-ended process of dialogue and collaboration will commence with society as a whole that will have two phases: first, a process of open and plural participation around the six defined views of the city, which will review and validate the Strategic Framework, which will return to the Municipal Plenary session for its final approval in a period of about six months. And secondly, the start-up of Work Groups that will explore in greater depth the diagnoses of each of the strategic lines, analyse the critical issues, define the roadmap to follow, outline the definition of action programs, and promote the projects linked to each strategic line. These working groups will have the participation of representatives of the public administration, the private sector, civil society, university research centres, and the media. As the document itself points out, “these groups are the key space for dialogue and deliberation, they constitute the centre of reflection, and they provide the bases for strategic decisions”.
The Strategic Framework document of the city of Valencia includes in its text the commitment to “be designed with a spirit of collaboration and dialogue between actors that allows a broad spectrum of visions about the present and the future of the city to be included and, at the same time, to make the strategy a living instrument that evolves with the changes in the context that may emerge”.