July 21, 2024 | 12:30


Citizen proposals in Bilbao: from a canine DNA census to children's discos

Citizen proposals in Bilbao from a canine DNA census to children's discos

Jeickson Sulbaran

June 25, 2024 | 4:00 pm

The letter to Olentzero from the people of Bilbao: 590 proposals for the Participatory Budget

The proposals presented to the Participatory Budget program in Bilbao are the closest thing to the letter to Olentzero for the people of Bilbao. Only, in this case, the titmouse who determines whether the request is feasible and is granted is, in the first instance, the City Council and, in the second, the citizen himself, doubly sovereign. Among the 590 wishes that have been requested this year there are some that are repeated several times, such as those who request the preparation of a census that allows fining to those who do not collect their pets' feces or the implementation of public urinals in areas such as Ibarrekolanda, Parque Europa or the surroundings of Bilborock.

Dogs and cats: more proposals than children in Bilbao

Taking into account that in Bilbao there are more dogs than children, the ideas designed for pets add up to dozens of proposals. “Assess the option of txisalekus/kakalekus for dogs in the largest parks in Bilbao, thus promoting their cleanliness in the grass area,” read two proposals; one of them citing the Etxebarria Park and another, Doña Casilda Park. There are also several that request training devices for dogs in Ibaieder Park or installing fixtures on fountains so that dogs can drink from them. In that sense, probably the most ambitious is the one that requests a canine DNA census to control feces and be able to fine the owners, "as is already done in many cities such as Malaga, Zaragoza, etc."

Citizen proposals in Bilbao from a canine DNA census to children's discos

With regard to cats, there are many proposals that request “sufficient” financing and year-round application of the CER method – capture, sterilization and return – of feline colonies. In relation to this, there are also those who ask that colonies be marked to reduce the speed of traffic or that cats have free veterinarians 24 hours a day.. In addition, another proposal requests the construction of cat houses, a measure that has already been implemented by the Barakaldo City Council.

Climbing walls and skating rinks: the growing demand for sports leisure

The proposals to install elements related to leisure and sports are also repeated. The inclusion of calisthenics elements is requested in Plaza Kirikiño or in Santa Ana, Estrada Entrambasaguas and Santiago. A climbing wall or pump track is also requested, between the Elorrieta and Tellaetxebidea walkways, as well as a small climbing wall “taking advantage of the improvements in the old Ramón y Cajal school.” However, the most repeated request is undoubtedly the one requesting to create a specific facility for the practice of artistic roller skating, “reusing public spaces that have enough space for the creation of this type of installation.” In that sense, there is a specific proposal that the Irrisbizi Bilbao Skating Club does not have any specific facility and “more and more children practice it.” The vast majority of applications do not propose any specific space, except for one, which suggests Eskurtze Park as an ideal location.

Uncivil acts and vandalism: public bathrooms and graffiti cleaning

Regarding proposals related to civility, there are some that seek to raise awareness against urinating in public. One proposal, for example, proposes placing a sign “with a message not to urinate in those places in each district that are used as urinals.”. There are also two proposals to place public urinals in the vicinity of Bilborock, “an area that is very busy spatially at night”, due to the nightlife venues located on those streets. And there are those who request a public bathroom next to the Santutxu metro station “so they can relieve themselves when they arrive from a long trip on the metro.”

Regarding vandalism, there are proposals that urge "cleaning the graffiti next to the Zumalakarregui and Mirador a Bilbao elevators, both are on the wall and are practically identical, large in size and similar in spelling." There are also others that, in general terms, censure this practice that "affects buildings, facades, furniture, installations, information signs... nothing is free, both in the public and private sectors." Along these lines, there is a proposal that seeks to replace the “thug scribbles” on store shutters with “the art of graffiti.”

Culture and youth: festivals and tributes

Regarding the more intangible proposals, related to culture, there is one to promote a Festival of Silence, a “five-day event with silent leisure activities in public spaces, in which sound is perceived through headphones” to raise awareness about “noise pollution”, or a Bilbao All Iron Festibala, “an annual festival that celebrates and highlights Bilbao's mining past in the neighborhoods where the old mines were located.” Another proposal, in tribute format, proposes creating a mural dedicated to Kepa Junkera, while the residents of San Ignacio propose creating a sculpture on the Paseo del Canal dedicated to Luis del Olmo, creator of Don Celes.

Through the Children's Council, children under 16 years of age have been able to present their petitions for the first time. Thus, among other proposals, they have requested that “a discotheque activity with different themes be organized once a month in each district of the city.” In general, they also ask that more trees and plants be planted, as well as more cultural offerings in Basque for children and adolescents., with plays, concerts and shows. In the area of ​​works, younger Bilbao residents request that the lighting on Amadeo Deprit Street or Jaén Street be improved with LED or low-consumption lights, installing streetlights on both sides of the road. They also demand that children's games be covered in neighborhoods such as Zorrotza, Abusu and Rekalde. In addition, they require that signs announcing the prohibition of smoking be posted in spaces intended for minors.

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