Known as Pontus Veteris in XXII, was named Pontevedra (Old Bridge, from Latin) after the integration of Gallaecia in the Roman Empire. It is an old city but, at the same time, the most modern not only in Spain but also in the whole EU.
Years ago the mayor banned traffic from the centre, which means that there is not a single pollutant car engine that makes noise, but clean and quiet streets for walking, running, riding the bicycle and enjoying the fresh air.
Pontevedra pedestrianized its 300,000 square meters and, oh surprise, life did not stop and the industries didn´t go bankrupt, people can still commute, children reach the school and the ambulance still comes to help you. And check this out: 65% of trips in the city centre are made on foot and almost 70% of CO2 emissions have been reduced. The city received the European international prize “Intermodes” in Brussels in 2013, the United Kingdom. The Nations Habitat Award in Dubai in 2014 and the “Excellence Award” of the Center for Active Design in New York City in 2015.
In 2010, Pontevedra was the first provincial capital in Spain to reduce the maximum speed in the city centre to 30 km. per hour and introduced the Metrominuto pedestrian plan for urban mobility, it is a map with the appearance of a subway map, but for pedestrians and marks the distances between the most important points of the city and the time it takes to make it on foot.
Pontevedra is the second city of Galicia for its rich heritage, and now it is even more charming without clouds of smog and an endless soundtrack of motorcycle engines, so typical in Spanish cities. Now you can really enjoy the beautiful and picturesque medieval squares, which look so natural and medieval with birds tweeting, people walking, as the only vehicle that reminds you of the current century is the bicycle.
Also Pontevedra is the capital of the tourist region of the Rías Baixas, with extensive coastline and around 45 different beaches. Famous of its food taken locally from the ocean, known as delicious and of very high quality.
For Stephen Burgen from The Guardian “it’s a paradise” https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/sep/18/paradise-life-spanish-city-banned-cars-pontevedra
Well, if you imagine yourself in one of those medieval squares, sitting on the terrace of the bar with glass of Spanish wine, getting fresh air coming from the Rias Baixas bringing that smell of fish and seaweed, I´d agree, definitely this is a paradise, the Paradise worth of visit.
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