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Los Mateos, new life for the surroundings of the ancient military fortress in Cartagena

17 January 2017

How involvement in the URBACT Maps network can enhance and support the local community's engagement. 

Something is moving among the ancient walls of Los Moros Castle, fortress on the hilltop overlooking the beautiful sea view in Cartagena, the Spanish partner in our URBACT Maps network.

Casco Antiguo – the company appointed by the Municipality to follow our European project, aimed at giving new life to dismissed military assets – is working hard in cooperation with the “Dignity and Respect” association active in the district of Los Mateos (adjacent to the historical building), counting on the support of volunteers from the same area, the local University and two environmentalist associations: Anse and Creect.

Involvement in the URBACT Maps programme has given new impulse to initiatives and plans for the entire district of Los Mateos, which can pride itself on the presence of important heritage such as the Castillo de los Moros, whilst experiencing social difficulties that have led to neglect and to the risk of emargination.  

What’s going on, then? First of all, teachers and students of Anibal Primary School, based in the precint, were called to a drawing contest for children on the topic “For a renovated district and its fortress”. The competition took place in the month of December, with the final verdict awaiting the winner by the end of February 2017, when diplomas will be handed out to all participants.

In the meantime, residents have willingly lent more than a hand in cleaning the Northern side of Los Moros hill, with the aid of the tools donated by La Huertecica association, whilst the Municipality has taken hold of the mechanical cleaning operations not only in the same area, but also in the nearby Torreon Street and Fortress Pit.

The first month of the new year will see in Cartagena the reopening and tidying-up of a public park in Borderan Street, with more cleaning and gardening tasks undertaken by members of Creect and Rascasa associations in Mompean and Vigia Street. Between January and February, native species will be planted on the hill and in the area of La Molineta, near Anibal school, involving teachers, students and volunteers representing Anse. Los Moros Castle and its surroundings will be given a clean-up by volunteers from the Technical University of Cartagena, aided by residents, with tools offered once again by La Huerticica. The Municipality has assured that waste containers will be placed too.

The need to boost social inclusion and a stronger sense of citizenship in Los Mateos district was among the main topics discussed during the transational meeting of the Maps network, which took place in September 2016. The constitution of the URBACT local group and the activities that our project is bringing along have given new sparkle to an urban area that deserves to enhance the beauty of its location and the liveliness of its social and cultural context.

To follow the evolution of the community’s efforts to achieve not only a cleaner and renewed environment, but also a stronger cohesion among locals, check our facebook page, but also on Twitter. 

For a brief but intense encounter with the people who are directly involved in the MAPS network in Cartagena, you can watch the latest video on our YouTube channel, presenting the Spanish ULG: