Juan Antonio Sagredo, Source: Juan Antonio Sagredo, Ayuntamiento de Paterna

We intend to make Paterna a modern, innovative, sustainable, intelligent and integrated city

We intend to make Paterna a modern, innovative, sustainable, intelligent and integrated city

Interview with Juan Antonio Sagredo, Mayor of Paterna

Juan Sagredo is an engineer born in Paterna. He has worked since 2001 in Ferrocarrils of the Generalitat Valenciana. He has studied at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, receiving his final degree from the University of Bristol. Member of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), Sagredo has been Mayor of the city since June 2015.

Mr Sagredo, how would you describe the city of Paterna for our audience?

Paterna is a city of 72,000 inhabitants, the industrial engine of the province of Valencia and one of the most important business enclaves in Europe. It also has a rich historical and cultural heritage characterized by the Moruna Tower and the caves.

In addition, the city is known for its Cordà, declared a festival of national tourist interest in 2017, a fixture in which more than 70,000 rockets will be fired in less than 20 minutes in just 100 meters from the street.

A few years ago, Paterna shared its ambitions to become a Smart City. What does this mean to you and where are you at with this goal?

One of our challenges is to turn Paterna into an intelligent, sustainable and integrated city to be at the forefront of the future, continue to grow and improve the quality of life of our inhabitants in the hands of innovation and always with sustainability as the fundamental axis of our management.

In September the city was recognised by the government with the prestigious label City of Science and Innovation. What concrete measures, practices and strategies does this label reward?

This distinction places Paterna at the national forefront in terms of business innovation, recognizing the high scientific, technological and innovative potential of its institutions and companies and represents a further step in the promotion of R & D & I in our territory to improve the social well-being and the quality of life of the citizens.

A few days ago, the Technology Park of Paterna became a Management and Modernization Entity (EGM), a pioneer in Spain. What will be its impact on the local business, in your opinion?

Paterna is an eminently industrial city that stands out nationally and internationally for having five business parks. The Technology Park is one of these five areas. Paterna has made history by becoming the first city in Spain to adapt to the Law of Industrial Areas and will serve as an example for the rest of municipalities that seek to boost their business areas.

With the approval of this conversion, the Paterna Technology Park achieves a pioneer management model at the national level that will strengthen the public-private collaboration of this business area, making it possible to improve the management, modernization and promotion of the business area.

Paterna is the city with the highest rate of employed persons in the Valencian Community and one of the highest employment rates in Spain. How did you achieve this result?

Job creation is one of the pillars of our government's political management along with security and cleanliness. These are the three things that most demand and concern our citizens.

From our municipal government, we have oriented our policies to favour business dynamism, we have signed economic agreements between the City Council and all our business areas, we encourage entrepreneurship and the creation of local employment with economic aid called Entrepreneur Check and Employment Check and we favour the constant arrival of new economic activities in the business areas of Paterna and the expansion of the companies already installed.

All these have allowed us to continue with the constant trend of reducing unemployment in our city.

Would you say a few words about the Guardian Project, aimed to preserve drinking water: why was this collaboration launched and what concrete actions do you envisage?

The Guardian Project is an innovative project, financed with European funds, which we are carrying out jointly with the city of Riba-Roja and which is based on reusing purified water to prevent fires.

The Guardian project is a clear example of Paterna's commitment to sustainable development and the fight against climate change. We have a policy marked by the UN. Guardian actively contributes to goals connected with access to water and sanitation, climate action and sustainable communities and cities.

We have put the investigation at the service of our neighbours of the Parc Natural del Túria, protecting, on the one hand, the security against the risk of forest fires, at the same time that we make efficient use of a scarce resource such as water.

Finally, is there any other local innovation and good governmental practise that you would like to share with the other mayors of Europe?

In Paterna we base our management and the orderly and sustainable growth of our city on the Actua Plan, the urban development strategy co-financed by the EU Funds and the City Council of Paterna with which the municipality will receive an injection of 20 million euros.

With this plan, we intend to make Paterna a modern, innovative, sustainable, intelligent and integrated city.

The Plan Actúa contemplates the improvement of the safety of the level crossings and the conservation of the paternal cultural heritage, the creation of pedestrian living areas or the remodelling of public park equipment as well as the urbanization and recovery of the most degraded neighbourhoods.

The objectives of this plan also include the improvement of access to new technologies, facilitating connectivity to all citizens; energy efficiency, with the installation of photovoltaic panels on roofs of buildings and public facilities and social inclusion, with the creation of a coworking centre or a business revitalization plan.



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