For months, Pregnant women who give birth in the Maternity Hospital of the Virgen de la Salud Hospital in Toledo do not receive flowers of the businesses of the branch in the neighborhood of Palomarejos. These businesses, flourishing for years, decided shutting down bad business prospects for the imminent cessation of activity of the hospital center, with more than 50 years of history, something that will occur very soon when the move to the new hospital in the Polígono neighborhood ends at the end of the year.
Like florists, in recent times other types of shops have closed in this neighborhood of the clothing industry or the hospitality industry, among others, and the neighbors wonder what will become of this populous neighborhood that grew and developed around the Virgen de la Salud hospital building, which was inaugurated in 1965, when your activity ceases. At present, the building has a faded façade and numerous blinds deteriorated and discolored by the passage of time can be seen from the outside, as happens to the surface of many of its streets and to urban furniture.
5,623 registered. Palomarejos occupies a total of 28.22 hectares and has 183,642 square meters of residential buildings; 2,334 homes, 143 residential buildings and 5,623 people registered in the neighborhood, located between avenues de Barber and Europa y Portugal.
Are there any plans to revive this neighborhood when the hospital closes? On October 20, 2020, the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, announced that the Palomarejos neighborhood will undergo a “great urban renewal plan” when the Virgen de la Salud hospital closes its doors at the beginning of June 2021 (has been delayed a few months). He said it during the presentation at the Fuensalida Palace of the Transfer Plan from the Toledo University Hospital to the Santa María de Benquerencia neighborhood, “which will last 148 days ‘net’ and will end on June 4”.
Page added that said urban renewal plan would constitute “a great opportunity for the city of Toledo, since a substantial part of the Toledo of the future is going to be planned in this area of the city and it must have everything.”
Almost a year has passed since those words and the Toledo City Council has plans for the neighborhood, although they are still poorly defined. Municipal sources They have indicated to ABC that the transfer to the hospital of the Polígono and the Civil Guard Command in La Peraleda «It is going to modify the social, economic and urban structure of the Palomarejos neighborhood». For this reason, «we have been working on the development of a planning of regeneration of the neighborhood taking advantage of the changes that are going to take place by eliminating a focus of attraction and activity such as the Hospital ”.
Sustainable development. The same sources understand this moment “as an opportunity to turn the neighborhood into a model of sustainable urban development», In line with the objectives set by the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). To carry out these objectives, the City Council ensures that it will use all the tools available to it, «mainly the new urban planning of which we will soon have an advance, in addition to European funds ”.
Among the main points of this positioning is an agreement with the Social Security Treasury, owner of the plot on which the Virgen de la Salud stands, to determine the future actions on this soil. As for the Civil Guard Command, the intention is “to maintain its residential use to promote housing for young people.”
It is also the intention of the City Council to facilitate the rehabilitation of homes, improve the energy efficiency of buildings and accessibility and digitization. «Interventions in the urban environment based on energy sustainability, the adaptation of green areas to climate change, sustainable mobility (charging points, bike lanes …), digitization (wi-fi zones)“, These sources add on the objectives of the plan, which also includes” actions to promote local employment to alleviate the loss of a focus of attraction of activity such as the Hospital and offer a solution for the Korean neighborhood.
In short, an «ambitious approach that is not limited to spatial planning, but moves towards a model of social cohesion that makes the neighborhood a friendlier and more comfortable space for the neighbors», They add. To do this, «throughout the process we are going to promote co-governance and the participation of the groups and associations that operate in Palomarejos. We want citizens to be a driving force behind this project, forming part of the decisions throughout the process.
Neighbors: “we don’t know anything”. Well, these neighbors with whose decisions – says the City Council – will count at all times to materialize the plans that are had for the neighborhood, are completely unaware of the project. So he assures Paco Arce, representative of the veteran neighborhood association “La Voz del Barrio”, born in 1972, and that, regardless of the “uncertain” future of Palomarejos after the closure of the hospital, They demand immediate improvements for the day-to-day life of the neighborhood.
This Monday, September 13, at the meeting of the Central District Citizen Participation Council, made a proposal on maintenance actions, «with new investments that are needed for the neighborhood“And they criticized what happened in previous councils:” approving the proposals that were presented and not executing them since there was no budgetary allocation for them, resulting in the councils being turned into a ‘joke’ “.
Necessary actions. Paco Arce gives some examples of peremptory needs for the neighborhood, such as the replacement of trees and shrubs in various streets and squares (before the Filomena disaster); dry trees that should be removed after the effects of this storm in the streets of Cáceres, Segovia, Corpus Christi, Lisbon and plaza-roundabout of Holland; repainting of benches; repainting of the sports court on Santander Street and its confluence with Barcelona Street, «which has been used for a long time as free parking and guarded by the classic ‘gorrilla’, so it is convenient to find out if this abandoned land is public or private, with the aim of tidying it up »; solution to the existing waterfall in Nara City Square, in front of the headquarters of the National Police, “which has been in a state of abandonment for many years”; and repainting of road markings, since in its day there were some unpainted pedestrian crossings in the neighborhood.
For all this, the neighbors consider that maintenance is “vitally important” and it must be undertaken as soon as possible. But they also have many other doubts and demand information from the District Presidency about the Virgen de la Salud hospital, “the fate of the buildings and the treatment with other administrations”, and ask: “Is there anything new with reference to the central administration owner of the building of the old school for nurses’?
They also want to know the result of the georadar study of the land that was destined for the Civil Guard barracks in Vega Baja, and in what situation is the possible exchange of the Benemérita barracks and the La Peraleda land.
Finally, they want to know if the plan is written remodeling project of Avenida de Barber, main street of the neighborhood.