Today, Friday the 13th of December, the City Mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Juan José Cardona, visited Parque de Santa Catalina square that shows a brand new image after the refurbishing works carried out in the first stage of urban-restructuring and improvement of this strategic place of the city.
The green areas of the Park have been enlarged; terraces, modernized; pavement, improved; and lighting, renovated with sustainable elements. Besides, it has a new underground channelling for electrical and watering at the segment between Luis Morote and Ripoche streets.
The works include the removal of the old pavement and the installation of 850 square metres of the new Ecogranic paving, a new generation ecologic and air-purifying material, in red colour that will improve the image of continuity of the pedestrian area between Parque Santa Catalina square and Luis Morote Street, hence improving accessibility.
The first stage of this project has been carried out over an area of 3.850 square metres, paying special attention to restructuring the flower beds to bring back its historic location of 1947.
In this regard, the green areas have been enlarged from 850 to 1200 square metres, with 760m2 of grass, 200m2 of season plants, 160m2 of bordering plants, and 80m2 of colour bushes. Besides, the ficus and palm-trees of this area have been healed and rejuvenated, thus achieving a brighter and clearer urban landscape.
Efficient terraces and lights
Another novelty of this new image of the Parque Santa Catalina is the adaptation of the terraces of the bars and restaurants of the area to the municipal ordinance and their location on the new pavement. In this regard, the older marquees have been removed and the furniture have been normalised so that chairs, tables and sun umbrellas have a much modern look, more welcoming for citizens and tourists, specially cruiser passengers who arrive at the city by Santa Catalina Dock.
Santa Catalina shows a new lighting which is adapted to the current regulation against light pollution to avoid inappropriate emissions of light and to reach efficient lighting levels at night. To achieve that, the older lampposts have been removed and its number has been increased with the 28 new ones.
The renewal of the channelling of electrics and watering has also changed the underground core of Parque Santa Catalina. Workers have installed 2 kilometres of underground pipelines for the low-voltage electrical grid, and 400 metres of watering.
One of the main spots of the park is the sculpture of Lolita Pluma (F. Ávila, 1998), which has been set on its original location after an integral renovation while being placed on a pedestal amidst a garden area, thus making its view much easier.
Unused urban furniture, like public telephone cabins and advertising billboards of different sizes have been removed from this area, and the benches have been relocated to improve the pedestrian areas between the flower beds. This new disposition turns Parque Santa Catalina into a park for walking and for the joy of citizens and tourists.
The second stage, after Christmas
The second stage of the project of improvement of the urban landscape of Parque Santa Catalina will start on the second fortnight of January 2014, and will include the reorganisation of the segment between Ripoche and Nicolás Estévanez streets.
The House of Tourism and Casa Fataga, motivating elements that improve the attention for visitors
The project of improvement the urban landscape and tourist services at Parque Santa Catalina square started last April with the opening of the House of Tourism, a facility with the characteristic of being the first intelligent tourist office in Spain that complies with the technologic requirements established by the National Integral Plan of Tourism for the 21st Century.
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City Councillor of Tourism of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Pablo Barbero, and City Councillor of Central District, María Amador, presented on Tuesday the 19th of November the renewed Tourist Information Office at Parque de San Telmo after a refurbishing that started last October. The improving works carried on this building have enabled to introduce new technology in this tourist service of the city to make the visitors’ experience better.
The reopening of this office is integrated in the City Council’s strategy to adapt the tourist information service to the new communication tools. Its refurbishing was commited to protect the heritage of this historic building and, at the same time, to adapt it to the needs of an ever innovating tourist urban destination.
Pablo Barbero explained that this intervention was “much needed since the Parque de San Telmo is one of the gateways to the city for tourists who arrive from the south of the island and from the airport. It is also the entrance to the borough of Triana and to all its culture, gastronomy and shopping offer.”
The renewal adapts to the requirements of information tools required by the National Integral Plan for Tourism for tourist offices of the 21st Century. In this regard, the PIT of San Telmo square has an iPad Tablet with 3G connection and a credi-card-terminal to ease the access and purchase of excursions, Tourist Bus tickets, LPA Card, guided visits, etc. Another novelty of this building is the sustainable equipment thanks to the outside lighting, whith is time-regulated.
The Tourist Information Office is located at the former Press Kiosk, next to the Hermitage of San Telmo. This building was projected by Eduardo Laforet and built in 1927, is catalogued in the Municipal Heritage as an Artistic Historic Monument. It has an octagonal plan and a façade enclosed by a portico of classical columns with arches in gothic gable.
The outer refurbishing works consisted of repairing and painting the façade and windows; removing the filtering from the dome and adjusting the outer lighting to save energy; installing poster hangers and identification and informative panels and plaques.
In the interior, the furniture has been replaced by a new one which is better looking and information oriented. It suits the needs of the tourist informers and to the new technology tools, as well as to the exhibition of promotional and commercial material. A wooden floor has been installed to enhance the durability and maintenance of the PIT.
New Tourist Office at the Town Hall
Barbero came early with the information about the new tourist information office the capital city will have at the Town Hall before the end of 2013, to complete the network of Tourist Information Offices of the city.
The City Council of Tourism currently counts with an office of Attention to Tourists at the House of Tourism, in Parque Santa Catalina, and four Tourists Information Offices located at Plaza de Canarias, to help cruise-ship passengers; at Hurtado de Mendoza Square and at the Promenade of Las Canteras Beach and the new of Parque San Telmo. Tourist informers have helped 45.700 visitors since January 2013.
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