A new look for Loulé city

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

To mark the centenary of the Republic of Portugal, Loulé Câmara has announced works to transform the city centre into a pedestrian friendly zone that will be able to better accommodate major events in the city.

Loulé mayor Seruca Emídio said: “The concept of the redevelopment is to create a more sociable area for pedestrians, which can be used more as a square than as a street or road for vehicles.”

In the past, Loulé has hosted large outdoor events within the city centre including the very popular White Night celebration that takes place in August and Festival MED, and it is hoped that the redevelopments will make events such as these more enjoyable for spectators and easier to access.

“The streets in the centre of Loulé will be transformed into an area more akin to a plaza, making it more suitable to hold major events both cultural and social as the roads can easily be closed to traffic,” said Seruca Emídio.

Works to remodel the central areas of the Largo Dr. Bernardo Lopes and the Praça da República have already begun with trees being removed, although plans released by the Câmara show that 32 trees will remain in the centre of Loulé.

“With these works we aim to give the centre of Loulé a new image highlighting landmark buildings such as the municipal market and the university,” said a spokesman for Loulé Câmara.

The project will include works on the basic road infrastructure in the area including parking and pavements while water, electricity, telecommunications and street lighting will also be updated in the centre.

The tarmac on the road and parking spaces will be replaced with more traditional calçada cobble stones, and benches and litter bins will be installed throughout the city centre.

The need to continue to allow traffic to flow through the centre for businesses has been addressed and the Câmara will keep one lane of traffic in each direction.

However, the focus of the area will be on making the centre more accessible for pedestrians.

Seruca Emídio said: “The redevelopment is sensitive to the trade that is already in the centre of the city and it is hoped that works will make the centre a more appealing public space that people will want to return to.”

The works are expected to take place over 225 days and are set to cost more than 700,000 euros.

For further information, please visit Loulé Câmara website at www.cm-loule.pt (only available in Portuguese).