Fwd: BBC - Travel - Seville goes green : Eco-tourism, Spain
- Interesting. In 2006, when I was there, this was not a
nice city to walk in except for a few small areas in
>Welcome to the new Seville, a cleaner, greener and more breathable metropolis, where bikes, pedestrians and streamlined electric trams roam. This Spanish city has bidden adios to the organized urban chaos found in so many Mediterranean cities and embraced a more sustainable outlook.----- ### -----
>Kick-started by proactive city mayor, Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín in 2007, the lightning pace of Sevilles greening defies its laidback fiesta and siesta image. In the span of just five years, the Sevillanos have instituted a community bike-sharing scheme, a surface tram, an underground metro, two high-speed train links, a pilot electric car programme and -- 20km away in Sanlúcar la Mayor -- the first commercial solar power plant in Europe.
>After decades of driving chaos, the inauguration of Sevilles <http://www.sevici.es/>Sevici bike-sharing scheme in April 2007 was something of a godsend, even for avowed car users. Sevici was the second bike-sharing initiative in Spain (there are now nine), opening a few weeks after Barcelonas <http://www.bicing.cat/>Bicing programme. Despite subsequent copyists -- Paris Vélib was launched in 2009 -- it remains the fifth largest scheme of its kind in Europe, with 2,500 bikes on offer. Grab a two-wheeled machine from any of the 250 docking stations and you will quickly discover that cycling suits this flat, balmy metropolis.
>Most of Sevicis 250,000 daily users are local, but visitors can take advantage of the sharing system by purchasing a seven-day pass online for 10 euros (plus a 150 euro returnable deposit). You will need to proceed to the nearest docking station and punch in the number from your coded receipt to get your bike. Seville has 120km of city bike lanes and the first 30 minutes of usage are free. Beyond that, it is one euro for the first hour and two euros an hour thereafter.