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1998 Spanish Best Practices selected by the International Jury >

Calvià Local Agenda 21: Sustainable Development in a Tourism Municipality (Spain)

Nota del Editor: existe una actualización de esta práctica.

Para ver la versión en castellano de este documento, pulse aquí.

Reference Date: 26-07-98

Experience selected in the 1998 Dubai Award for Best Practice, and catalogued as GOOD. ( Best Practices Database.)
País/Country: Spain

United Nations Region: Europe
Ecological region: coastal
Activity: city/town
Partnerships: Local authority. Regional Government. Community-based organisation (CBO).

Themes = Urban and Regional Planning: localizing Agenda 21.

Main contact:
Ayuntamiento (Local Authority)
Margarita Nájera Aranzabal (Mayoress of Calvià)
Ca'n Vich, 29
Islas Baleares
Tel: +34-971 13 91 00
Fax: +34-971 13 91 48

Secretary of State for Trade, Tourism and Small and Medium-sized companies (Regional Government)
Carlos Díaz. Director General for Tourism
José Lázaro Galdiano, 6
Secr. Estado de Comercio, Turismo y PYME
Tel: +34-91 343 35 00
Partner One Support Type: Financial Support

Department of tourism for the Balearic Islands (Other/Regional Government)
José M. González Ortea - Councillor for Tourism
Can Despuig, 5
Conselleria de Turisme de Baleares
Palma de Mallorca
Tel: +34 971 17 61 91
Partner Two Support Type: Financial Support

Associations of Hotel Owners (Community-based organisation (CBO))
Miguel Romaguera - Manager
Avda. Las Palmeras, 14 -1.
Magaluf (Calvià)
Mallorca-Islas Baleares
Tel: +34-971 13 06 95
Fax: +34-971 13 21 75
Partner Three Support Type: Technical Support

Nominating Organization Address:
Spanish National Comittee (Other/Public, private and civil association)
Marta García Nart
Paseo de la Castellana, 67
Ministerio de Fomento
Tel: +34-91 597 75 72
Fax: +34-91 597 86 04

Financial Profile:
Total operating budget for the year 1998:
Contribution from Calvià Town Council: Pesetas 45 million.
Contribution from Secretary of State for Tourism: Pesetas 45 million.
Contribution from Department of Tourism, Regional Government of the Balearic Islands: Pesetas 45 million


1. Location: Municipal district of Calvià (Mallorca).
2. Date of start of the initiative: 1996
3. Prior situation: Large Mature Tourist Resort, with offer based on sun and beach. Advanced breakdown of public and private premises and equipment. Uncertainty for future through loss of competitiveness and tourist attraction.

4. Situation afterwards:
Calvià is developing and applying new long-term strategies based on reorienting development towards new criteria of sustainability, assuming a marked vocation for harmonising these strategies
through "Calvià Agenda Local 21".

It ensures its financial, social, environmental future and its heritage through a strategic conception of balanced tourist development, considering the environmental factor as a key
aspect and making the application to Calvià of the Resolution of the Rio Summit Meeting in 1992 a reality.

5. Most important impacts as a result of the Good

6. Lessons provided by the good practice

Capacity of a tourist resort to redefine its strategies by following an integrated conception of local development. Shows the possibility of real application of the Rio Summit Conference Resolution of 1992 in a town with widespread participation and social consensus and ensuring future generations the capacity to satisfy their economic, social and environmental needs in an environment of balanced tourist development.

Key Dates

Nov. 95: Official presentation to Ministers and Heads of European Tourism.
Feb. 96: Full council agreement for undertaking the development of Local Agenda 21.
July 96: Declassification of 1,350 hectares of building land.
April 97: Approval of the "Calvià Declaration" on Tourism and Sustainable Development.
Nov. 97: Award of Sustainable Cities Prize.
Dec. 97: Creation of Citizens' Advice Forum.


1. Situation before the start of the initiative

Calvià was a mature tourist resort town, with its offer based exclusively on sun and beach. There was an advanced level of the breakdown of public and private facilities and equipment, with a high degree of environmental impact, especially on the coastal area. Given new outlooks and tourist demands, it was noted that there was evident uncertainty about the future through the loss of its competitiveness and its tourist attraction.

Traditionally, Calvià and the institutions associated with this Project (Central Government and Autonomous Community), have maintained relationships of collaboration and co-operation in the development of different initiatives and programmes, especially those deriving from the nomination of Calvià as a resort town involved in the achievement of tourist excellence.

The town's economy, based solely and exclusively on a tourist industry with a markedly seasonal nature and with evident signs of ageing, influenced the whole of society of Calvià, characterised by noticeable seasonal fluctuations in employment, with periods of full employment, coinciding with the high season and others with a
high rate of unemployment in the low season. That is to say, the society and its economy were highly influenced by the different cycles of tourist flows.

On the other hand, the tourist industry, in its quest for the best offer of sun and beach, used a land with unbeatable natural conditions to set up on the coastal area, with the evident destruction of coastal spaces. At the same time, the resources needed for servicing the tourist population were affected by the peaks cause by the seasonal nature of the market and its sizing and availability became ever more difficult.

Faced with the situation describe above, and with Calvià town council being aware that the town could not continue to bear the high pressure on natural resources that arose from the single cash
crop of tourism with a marked seasonal nature, the need was posed to break away from the trends and to face up to the threats that had arisen from its own work by reorienting its economic, social and environmental development towards new criteria based on sustainability.

2. Preparing the information and clarifying the priorities

At the end of 1994, the Town Council of Calvià contacted working groups which were drawing up strategies linked to the Local Agenda 21 and the conclusions of the Rio de Janeiro Conference, who then drew up a document entitled "Local Agenda 21 for Calvià", which was presented at the Meeting in Calvià of the European Ministers and Heads of Tourism, in November 1995.

This document was discussed by the Full Meeting of the Town Council on February 1st, 1996, which held a wide-reaching debate on the future development of the town, concentrating on these key points:

This institutional initiative was the starting point for a number of initiatives that are being introduced in Calvià, based on Local Agenda 21, which we shall described in detail in this document.

Once the basic lines of its project had been established, the Town Council of Calvià started contacts and negotiations with the central government and with the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands, which ended in the signing of an Agreement between the Ministry for Public Works, Transport and the Environment, the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands and
the Town Council of Calvià for collaborating in the development of Local Agenda 21, for setting up in Calvià a Pilot Scheme for Sustainable Development in Mature Tourist Resorts in the Mediterranean, within the aims and programmes of the DG XI "Group of European Cities towards Sustainability".

3. Formulation of objectives, strategies and mobilisation of resources

Calvià is developing and applying short, medium and long-term strategies based on refocusing its economic and social development towards new criteria, based on sustainability, summarised by:

Local Agenda 21 for Calvià has served as a basis for defining the long-term plan of action but, in parallel to this process, different specific projects have been executed in the short and
mid-term, the appropriateness and relevance of which were obvious for achieving the objectives of sustainability that Calvià has committed itself to, amongst which and without including them all,
we may quote the following:

4. Process

The most relevant phases of the process of Local Agenda 21 for Calvià may be summed up in:




The Bodies, Institutions and Society as a whole have been made aware of the need for the initiative, there is also the municipal power and leadership for carrying out far-reaching actions
on the matter of sustainability and the firm political decision of all the municipal groups to carry out the process. Furthermore, it has the support of institutions, bodies and entities, therefore no major difficulties are foreseen for its development. The greatest opposition to some measures has come from the owners and promoters of the building land.

5. Results achieved

The process for the development of the Local Agenda 21 for Calvià through actions and strategies in the short, medium and long-term, aimed at sustainability at sustainability have allowed the preparation and set-up of short-term projects which are the basis for guaranteeing the future of the whole process planned, amongst which we may highlight:

  1. The revision of the General Town Planning Project focusing it clearly towards criteria of Sustainability and the rational use of resources.

  2. Urban remodelling for tourist areas, in collaboration with the Autonomous Community.

  3. Actions within the 1998 Plan for Excellence, with an investment of Pesetas 135 million, and similar amounts since 1994.

  4. Policy for "Opening" with the demolition of twelve public and private buildings.

  5. Subsidies for the refurbishment, construction and purchase of dwellings for residents and workers, with an investment of Pesetas 150 million.

  6. Implementation of a specialised Service in training and employment, with 1,500 clients in 1997.

  7. Promotion for the project for changing the season nature of tourism, with a large increase in tourism during the winter season (15% more in 1997).

  8. Start of the definitive decision-making process for the initiatives included in Local Agenda 21.
    Granting of priority to strategic objectives and key objects included in the studies corresponding to the different Key Subject Areas.

  9. International recognition of the Local Agenda 21 process: Award to Calvià of the European Prize for Sustainable Cities 1997.

The municipal organisation, strategy and policy have been established for the development of Local Agenda 21 and there is a firm will of all the Political Groups to execute the projects, so much so that the whole municipal policy has been aimed at the practical application of the conclusions of the Key Subject Areas and, finally, of the provisions in Local Agenda 21.

At the same time, the participation, co-operation and decision-making in the whole process have been institutionalised for the Central Government, the Autonomous Community, the Town Council, the Citizen Assessment forum, etc., which has allowed
greater integration and co-ordination amongst all the agents involved.

6. Sustainability
Through the studies on the different Key Subject Areas, drawn up by experts on each one of the subjects, we now know the state, evolution, scenarios and alternatives for the different
aspects of local development and its relationship with sustainability and the local quality of life.
The strategic objectives and key objectives that arise from these studies allow a future scenario to be chosen as a reference for local development which, once checked by the Assessment Forum and
the corresponding bodies, they are given priority by the Town Council bearing in mind its aim of ensuring the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources and the quality of life in general.

The time scale studied for the different works to be developed allows a projects plan to be drawn up for the short, mid an long-term, which is coherent and fits the real needs for action on the subject of sustainability, establishing indicators an
objectives, together with a process for monitoring and possible adaptations to future needs or those not detected initially which will ensure the continuity of the whole process.

The identification of problems and their causes has been carried out through the study of the situation beforehand and the present one for each one of the scenarios envisaged by the Key Subject
Areas "KSA" (Local Environment, Tourism and Local Economy, Cultural Heritage, Population and Quality of Life, Town Planning System and Key Environmental Sectors), analysing in each one of them the different alternatives for the future and preparing proposals for objectives and programmes to be developed using a common methodology for each one of the KSAs and with all of it based on
indicators for sustainability.

Since the time of its preparation, Local Agenda 21 has followed a painstaking process of publicity and adaptation of the municipal structure and organisation so as to guarantee its execution,
mechanisms have been set up to achieve the objectives proposed and different specific projects have been carried out in the short and
mid term, which gives the whole plan credibility. This has allowed both the Central Government and Autonomous Community to participate in the project and jointly co-operate financially both in its
development and in the execution of projects proposed in the Key Subject Areas.

This project is being carried out as an initiative of the Authorities to guarantee the economic, social, environmental future and the future of the heritage of Calvià from the viewpoint of
sustainability and based on the investments needed for the performance of different projects of very different types. Their financing, according to their nature, is paid for both by the Town Council of Calvià and in collaboration with Central Government and the Autonomous Community, therefore there is no pre-established system for the recovery of costs.

The resources needed are managed according to the nature of the project and their financial cost.
Thus, the initiatives for publicising are mainly financed on the basis of the Agreement between the Town Council, Central Government and the Autonomous Community, with others referring to specific projects being executed with finance from the European Union, the Pla Mirall Consortium, specific Agreements with other Institutions, etc. all of which bearing in mind the municipal capacity to generate the resources needed to pay for the loans.

7. Lessons learnt

Taking the Rio Summit Meeting Resolution as the basis for its preparation, and within the process of Local Agenda 21 for Calvià, the Town Council has attended and participated in different
Meetings and Conferences on this subject, which have allowed it to gain the prior experience needed to develop the project.

8. Transfer

Local Agenda 21 for Calvià intends, in parallel to its execution, to develop a pilot experiment which may serve as a reference in other mature tourist resorts around the Mediterranean coastline and it is planned that an observatory will be created which will allow the experiences obtained to be exported to other towns with similar

Local Agenda 21 for Calvià shall be an example within the international context of the effective application on a local scale of the 1992 Rio Summit Resolution an its conception and results
have already been recognised on a European level, with the prize awarded to Calvià by the DG XI of the European Union as the "Sustainable Town of Europe 1997".


Este documento se ha editado a partir de una versión inglesa.
Revisado por Gloria Gómez Muñoz.

1998 Spanish Best Practices selected by the International Jury >
Ciudades para un Futuro más Sostenible
Búsqueda | Buenas Prácticas | Documentos | Boletín CF+S | Novedades | Convocatorias | Sobre la Biblioteca | Buzón/Mailbox
Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Grupo de Investigación en Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Sostenibilidad
Departamento de Estructuras y Física de la EdificaciónDepartamento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Territorio