When we think of sustainable destinations, Benidorm is not the first option that comes to mind…. nor the fifteenth. In spite of this, the city of Valencia has this prestigious distinction with much merit. Today we will discover the keys to its peculiar urban model and its impact on the environment.
Nestled between the sea and the mountains, the city of Benidorm had no choice but to grow vertically to accommodate tourists who arrived on the peninsula during the 1960s and 1970s in search of sunshine in a grey Spain, marked by the dictatorship. So, in a short time, Benidorm went from being a fishing village to becoming one of the most important tourist centres on the coast. Considered the third European city in number of skyscrapers, last summer it ranked fourth in the list of destinations in Spain with the most overnight stays according to INE (National Institute of Statistics) data.
However, the city of Alicante rubs shoulders with destinations such as Costa Rica for its sustainable character. The high and vertical density leads to an efficient use of supplies as the energy, water and fossil fuel consumption is reduced to a single core. Thus, the ecological footprint of tourists who stay overnight in Benidorm is much smaller than those in destinations with extensive models.
Compact cities are therefore the true sustainable destinations. And, it certainly seems difficult to find anything more compact than this tourist town in Alicante: beaches, thousand of apartments and hundreds of restaurants and pubs on the same street.