Maracena is a Spanish municipality of the Province of Granada, Andalusia (Southeast of Spain). Maracena township has the following key feature: it has a large increase in population during the twentieth century (in 1900 the municipality had only 3,000 inhabitants which increased to 20,298 in 2008), so the existing population multiplied by 6 at the beginning of this last century.
Maracena features a single population center, where is almost 100% of the population. The population increase is explained by its location in the metropolitan area of Granada. The capital city remains as an administrative and finance center, but the population has moved his residence to nearby municipalities such as Maracena.
Maracena evolution throughout the twentieth century has been superior to both the corresponding variation of the city of Granada and the Andalusian region. One of the main reasons has been its proximity to Granada, which made it an ideal place to live, with all the advantages of living in proximity to Granada without the pressure of the city and more reasonable housing prices. This means that the population center of Maracena density exceeds that of Granada, with its associated advantages and problems.
The immigration to the municipality has increased since the eighties, in the last five years there was an increase of more than 50% of the immigration. It is difficult to say whether this trend will continue, because it depends on many internal and external circumstances, in recent years, municipalities in the metropolitan area have seen their population rise very quickly, so it is likely that at some point the growth will slow down and remain stable.
The main economic activity in Maracena revolves around services, with a little industrial presence. That is why most of the emission sources are diffuse.
Maracena joined the Aalborg Charter in plenary on 31 July 2002 unanimously. Then the same day (31 July 2002) was agreed to join the RECSA (Andalusian Sustainable Cities Network) promoted by the FAMP (Andalusian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces). Maracena City Council has taken advantage of the Local Agenda 21 Program from the Provincial Government of Granada, as the Coalition Agreement 2008-2009, signed for the financing of the Local Agenda 21 plan.
Maracena City Council over recent years has worked extensively in municipal planning, establishing plans and ordinances reference for various general areas and regional planning, strategic development of the municipality, as well as others that cover specific areas: public lighting, waste management, and mobility, among others.
Given the characteristics of Maracena, the energy characterization remains limited mainly to be consumers of resources generated in other territories, given the size and configuration of no wind, waterfalls, etc. that reduces the potential for energy self-sufficiency, being the main resource the Solar Energy. Thus the main power generation objective is related to photovoltaic’s, solar thermal, and biomass facilities.
The council is convinced of the importance of the implementation of sustainability strategies in the municipality. Thus different actions have been already promoted:
- Energy audit in street lighting and municipal buildings.
- LED Public Lighting in the municipality center. Incorporation of electronics control for public lighting, as well as more efficient lamps in other zones.
- Urban public bus
- Municipal rooftop solar PV installations
- Municipal Bicycle system loan (almost running)
- Biomass boilers in municipal buildings
- Remodelling of places for the promotion of pedestrian transport.
- Improving supply-sanitation network, rainwater irrigation.
- Efficient management of waste and recycling by installing underground recollecting points.
Now the municipality is working on improving and applying the main working lines under its Sustainable Energy Action Plan, with which it aims to save an ambitious 27,76% of its CO2 emissions by 2020. Speaking about new initiatives, as the economical crisis is affecting every program of the institution one of the main lines of work will be the next years in the field of Energy Service Companies, as the capacity of investment of the municipality is very small nowadays. Sustainable energy actions already implemented (or in implementation) in Maracena are:
- Replacement of 18MV 250W and 30MV 125W (8250W) by 80LED 39W (3120W) in public lighting in the city center
- PV facilities on public roofs for different municipal buildings (police, Health Center, Elders Residency, Sportive City) since 2011
- Bike rent system (6 spots to rent approximately 40 bikes) since 2011
- Specific Building energy audits
- Biomass facilities in primary school (90 kW AND 180 kW)
- Metropolitan Metro has been completed and will be operated in 2014