Interviewer: Miguel Lucena (M.L.) Interviewee: Pablo Fernández (P.F.) Director of Strategic Projects City Council of Vélez-Málaga
The BRICK-BEACH project has been subjected to a set of administrative issues that have made it necessary to request an extension to the European Union authorities for its completion. Taking into account the above,
M.L.: How do you assess the project's current state as a whole?
P.F.: First of all, I would highlight the important involvement of the partners and the quality of their work. At a technical level, the necessary projects and tests have been carried out to obtain the administrative authorizations, which has allowed us to demonstrate the viability of the proposed project. We are satisfied because the knowledge acquired during the development of this Initiative can be applied in different places, offering a novel solution in managing construction and demolition waste for the regeneration of beaches.
M.L.: Are you ready to complete all work packages by the established date?
P.F.: The complexity of the project and the delay in administrative procedures, including those derived from the general health situation, have prevented the project's execution from being completed, so the current feeling in this regard continues to be one of uncertainty. We continue to work to achieve the highest degree of implementation possible.
M.L.: What aspect would need to be improved or modified to bring the project to a successful conclusion?
P.F.: It does not seem that the climate challenge and the circular economy are central axes of government actions. Citizens are aware but perceive it as something distant that could be postponed or developed in other scenarios. On the other hand, after three years of administrative procedures, the authorization of Coasts (the national public administration) has not yet been completed. It is urgent to support public administrations with the personnel and training necessary to speed up the processes that allow the planned investments to be completed.
M.L.: How do you assess the reaction of civil society to BRICK-BEACH?
P.F.: In general, the project's reception has been very positive. Numerous associations and technicians from very diverse backgrounds continue to be interested in it. At the local level, greater involvement of the younger strata of society, more aware of environmental problems and with a greater capacity for illusion, is perceived. On the other hand, a certain resignation is observed in front of the problems in the sectors with the most significant capacity for action, even in the groups directly benefited by the investments, which is logical in processes that are so long in time.
If the regeneration of Mezquitilla beach is not carried out
M.L.: What palliative measures could be implemented?
P.F.: We hope that the plant's construction can guarantee the future regeneration of the Mezquitilla beach with recycled aggregates, even after the execution period of the obtained subsidy has passed, thanks to its economic viability.