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May 21, 2012 / landscapeiskingston

Public-private initiatives support the economic management of European waterways

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Waterways Forward partner, Association of Riverside Towns of the Castille Channel, (SIRGA)-, has identified the following good practice –  EXCHANGE: Public & Private Participation.  The Castilla Channel runs through a predominantly rural area, formed by 38 small munic­ipalities, with a very low popula­tion density. The development of public-pri­vate initiatives for the economic management and recovery of the Castilla Channel resources has been developed as a solution to a lack of dynamism in the community. This solution also reduces the costs and risks associated with private initiatives.

The stretch of the Castilla Chan­nel that runs through the town of Melgar de Fernamental is only 11 kilometers. However, it is be­coming a tourist attraction due to the improvements and renova­tions carried out in recent years. The works carried out included: 

  • hydrological and environ­mental recovery of the canal;
  • restoration of lock number 42Waterways Forward partner ,
  • renovation of the lock keep­er’s house into a centre display­ing the old Channel trades
  • transformation of a warehouse into a Rural Tourism Centre
  • San Carlos de Abánades vessel – providing boat trips between lock 14 and the aqueduct of Abánades. 

Knowledge exchange within the Waterways Forward project

“The exchange of experiences and knowledge is fundamental to us. In terms of Governance, it is the starting point to establishing good practice. We have obtained invaluable in­formation about other projects oc­curring in Europe in similar water­ways that could only have been possible by talking about our experiences and exchanging in­formation on projects.”  Source: Javier San Millán, President of SIRGA 

This example of good practice dem­onstrates it is possible to devel­op activities along the canal that are both multi-functional and complementary. Even within the low-density demographic area -where there is a lack of private enterprise- it is the public bod­ies that regenerate the area and make it available for private use. This is quickly becoming the most adequate way in preserving and managing the heritage as­sets built along the canal.

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  1. Claudio Repossi / May 22 2012 3:59 pm

    SIRGA is making a great job in valorization of the “Canal de Castilla” and the private/public partnership is a key aspect. above all when it’s necessary to find new/multi functions to those historical canals that risk to be abandoned or recognized for irrigation only

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