Uniting Nationalities and Sharing Ideas in Marbella – summary notes (Nicole King)

Tuesday the 5th of April was the first United Nationalities of “Marbella Now” TV Summit at the Laude International College in San Pedro to discuss key issues to the international community in Marbella. We grouped the morning into four main themes and we discussed how to make
Marbella more sustainable, Marbella as a year round destination, how to improve
integration with the Spanish community and Marbella as a charity hub.
A local representative of the National Police force, Francisco Ruiz, took time to explain
the importance of working with the police and reporting crimes to help them identify
patterns. He stressed how important the foreign community is to them and how they
would be happy to run security and safety briefings for local communities. He also said
that apart from the Police stations in Marbella and San Pedro there is an office in
Marbella Town Hall where foreigners can report minor crimes (S.A.T.E.).
Many interesting and positive ideas came up in the interactive sessions, a list of which
is at the end of this event “summary”.
The Sustainable Marbella session was led by Founder of environmental charity
Arboretum, Alejandro Orioli, together with Georgina Shaw of Shaw Marketing and
received loads of feed-back in the areas of transport, food and energy. Popular ideas
were creating community allotments, supporting local growers by joining some of the
existing consumer groups which are sourcing locally grown fruit and vegetables; stop
drinking bottled water due to its negative environmental impact, favouring filtered tap
water. Most participants urged for the reduction / elimination of all plastic packaging,
using shopping “baskets”, to educate on recycling and promoting solar energy.
On the topic of the transport options around Marbella, Spanish and foreigners alike
expressed the need for a more prompt and extended bus route service around the
city, suggestions of additional bike paths, rickshaw bike service and to perhaps
increase the horse & carriage service, installing proper water and shade facilities for
the horses and specific pickup / drop off points throughout the city as alternative
transport, but also to help cut down on pollutants whilst enhancing the tourist
attraction. Also a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus service was suggested and the creation
of a Marbella car sharing internet portal.
The charitable Marbella session led by Caz Stevens of The Live Lounge was
particularly fruitful. It was agreed that too many charities depend on local residents
and that perhaps we need to appeal to our happy tourist. Representatives from Triple
A, Debra and The Rotary Club of Guadalmina discussed the logistics of joint
fundraising for all the Marbella charities during the peak tourist season. Emphasis
was also made on individuals being inspired to take action locally by applying the
principles of community care and helping out the elderly or ill in their local areas with
food and company. A “calendar website” was suggested to list all the Marbella
charities, what they are and what they need and where to offer and ask for volunteer
support.
Debate was fierce during the session on how to integrate with the Spanish community,
with passionate pleas to stop the “them” and “us” mentality and to make an effort to
learn the language in order to be able to take part in the community in a meaningful
way. Many people agreed that the internationalism of Marbella was what made it so
great, but that we shouldn’t isolate ourselves within our own language groups, but
instead try to share ideas and cultures to make Marbella an even better place to live,
finding this event to be an ideal platform.
Marbella’s access to so many golf courses and our Exhibition centre were the main
points raised regarding further promotion of Marbella as an all year round attraction,
plus the suggestion of international music festivals and to offer “yearly” packages to
ensure our tourists keep coming back.
A very positive outcome was the belief that the international community could play a
more important role in supporting the Town Hall and the concept of being more
proactive and positive, rather than simply waiting for others to make things happen
was very well received by us all.
In order to take the next steps we need to establish a leadership committee for each
category so, if you interested in forming part of the committee, please let me know
which category you wish to be involved in as soon as possible to keep up the
momentum and get the ball rolling. MiMarbellaRTVM@gmail.com .
We will also keep you updated on these projects and progress weekly via Marbella
Now TV www.rtvmarbella.tv and Mi Marbella FM.
Thank you all so much for coming; see you soon I hope J
Nicole xox
POST IT NOTE SUGGESTIONS:
SUSTAINABLE MARBELLA
1. Glass bottles instead of plastic, food packed in paper instead of plastic
2. Reduce plastic packaging; take your own useable containers
3. Buy loose fruit & vegetables, take your own bags
4. Publicise farmers market and local produce
5. Grow your own vegetables and fruit and teach how
6. Purchase foods with less packaging, recycle
7. Baskets not bags: Filtration systems for water, obligation to know how to recycle
8. East less meat to reduce eurothane – home compost.
9. Allotments, parcels of land made available, for people where all produce beyond
personal need is put into a market. Local produce, locals buy, encouraging waste
recycling to use as compost. Allotments could be for communal use in
neighbourhoods so all volunteers work on them. Experimental ways to collect water
for irrigation.
10. Grow your own veggies, a water well, solar power – Food and Price, energy –
environment – transport, buses, Spanish pressure groups
11. Create a community Food growing on public land – improve our system
12. Buy local produce
13. Make allotments in urbanisations, hotels, etc.,
14. Tap water, filter water, recycle
15. Buy local
16. Local farmers markets help local community farmers
17. All year farmers market with local fresh produce
ENERGY
1. Offer special incentives for using solar energy
2. Stop burying people in coffins and cremation but use as fertiliser to rebirth trees /
oxygen etc.
3. Open Windows instead of using air conditioner / wear jumper instead of heating.
4. Solar power tax and water filters
5. Solar energy, Street lamps, busses etc.
6. Turn engine off when not in motion, if you see someone speak up
7. Solar panels – improvements, make it obligatory, subventions and taxes to be
benefitted by using solar panels and less involvement of major companies.
8. Horses & carriages, but with shade and correct water and living conditions
throughout Marbella with pick up and drop off points wherever possible, at
reasonable price.
9. Recycle – reusable energy
10. Is it true that in Spain if you make your own energy you have to pay the energy
company for your excess and give it to them for general use? This needs to be
confirmed / checked out and campaigned if it really is that way.
11. Recycle waste management and compost.
TRANSPORT
1. Use Bikes where possible and share rides
2. Car pools – bike use, bike lanes and less IVA on transport
3. Create Marbella car sharing portal internet service
4. Designated cycle routes, better pavements to encourage walking, more
public transport and for it to run on-time.
5. Improve existing transport , always late, never to time schedule, more routes,
more zones (Spanish person – translated)
6. Taxis, public transport discount for those who are Town Hall registered
7. Trams, small busses throughout community, hop on hop off busses free to
public, constantly running through the 27kms, get the government involved.
8. Tourist hop on hop off busses with daily, affordable charge.
9. Rickshaw bicycle service
10. Use Bla Bla car, car pooling, sharing, pick up points by area, social media
and webpage, calendar of when people going where locally.
11. Mini transport electric, zones central stop and go, service like
www.ridefreebie.com – clean energy, free ride, hop on off.
12. Take the bus, more demand might increase supply and improve service.
13. Bike lanes, better and more bike lanes.
CHARITABLE MARBELLA
1. Central point age registration to help with what and where, area, needy
people, facebook or web to register volunteers, times and areas available
2. Chiringuitos, restaurants and tourist area listing charity events, 1€ donation
to split
3. Small hotels and parking and tourist places big visible collection box for
Charity Marbella
4. Too many charities depend on residents, need to appeal to our happy tourist
5. Put a small stamp on postcards to tourist pay a few cents towards Marbella
charities
6. Make a central collection from June to end August as first step
7. Supermarkets and food donations; care bundles, packages for homeless,
include feminine hygiene in donation
8. Donate like France leftover food to animal charities or homeless
9. Volunteer at local health centres, schools to interact with elderly such as age
concern , visiting the elderly, cooking for them, taking them shopping or to doctors
appointments..
10. Collaboration between charities and help line to direct people
11. Incentives: lot of lazy people that need to do something maybe go to help
and get a coupon free coke etc.,
12. Pick up trash, litter picker, who get’s x gets 1€
13. Don’t throw away any food, donate to less fortunate, communicate with
people to help each other
14. Make a list of official charities for a website with relevant links
15. Take care of those who are not already covered by a specific charity
16. Bracelets with profits distributed equally to all charities
17. Give more information to the community to know who needs help and let
people know how they can help
18. Help soup kitchen, clothes, collaborate by driving people to therapy, dialysis,
out…
19. Corporate Marbella charity
20. Sell alternative stamps with a part to charity
21. Cans for collecting money and 100 prizes for those who collect the most – to
be shared amongst all Marbella charities.
22. Schools to collect, beach, all charities
23. Social urban arts project, commission artists to create murals that everyone
gets involved with, 3D art.
24. Use existing money raising like Lions or Rotary to head up the all for one
25. Short term social jobs, no autonomous contracts, humanitarian purposes
26. Volunteering possibilities similar to life coaching empowering those in need
to improve their living conditions.
27. Make extra food for elderly or infirm neighbours, check on your neighbours
COMMUNICATION & 12 months a year tourism
1. Event calendars
2. Join art and culture groups i.e. inter-nations art.org
3. Protect people and animals working in tourism, rides, and carriages
4. Talk to each other
5. Update event calendars already exist, plus inform the press
6. Present Marbella as more than just beaches, Sierra Nevada also
7. Collaborate with tourists offering year round packages
8. Plant “Dama de Noche” everywhere and make it our “national” flower/fragrance.
9. Promote the 32 golf courses in and around Marbella – unique service
10. Make Marbella a centre for conferences, events, expand “palacio de congresos”.
11. Create a leadership group; bring together the heads of charities, media, and
social media groups
12. Work with the Spanish community
13. Give Marbella a re-brand to be more sustainable, focused to attract different
people
14. Come together to make big changes / collaboration
15. Use music to bring people together as international language, festival like
Eisteddfod.
16. Learn Spanish and don’t isolate yourself within the guiris
INTEGRATION
1. Learn Spanish
2. Start with the kids, help them to be a part of the community
3. Face racism within the community
4. Start to change, teach and change
5. Don’t think about them plus us
6. Embrace the culture of Spain plus learn about the politics and what’s
happening here
7. Love Marbella and remember why we moved here
8. Be grateful that we’ve been so well received and not frustrated by it not
being like back home
9. Take the merits of all the culture of Marbella to make it even better
celebrated by national society community – art galleries – golf courses.
10. Learn from the kids, get on our part of the community,
11. Find out what’s going on in Spanish community before it happens
Quite a bit to be getting on with…… I hope to hear back from those interested in
taking the next steps to get the leadership committees up and running J