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Seville: A Carefree and Slow City in South Europe[World Model Cities for Leisure Development, Song Rui (ed), Social Sciences Academic Press (China), 2012]

发表于 cjyyzb4

It’s a city of water; water brings unparalleled prosperity and elegance to this city. During the colonized period, it was the only port permitted to have the access to navigation with cities of the New World, the fortune of the latter gave rise to the grace of the city. The well-known native language “la siesta” means afternoon nap, fully reflecting the relaxed South European life style. Football, on the other hand, reflects its passion and enthusiasm. This is Seville, the fourth largest city in Spain and a carefree and slow city in South Europe.

According to the results of this research, the leisure development index is 0.631, with the economic index for leisure development being 0.640, environmental index for leisure development 0.689 and the administrative index for leisure development 0.563. Its major uniqueness lies in the unique leisure culture and full utilization of it.

The experiences can be drawn from the development of leisure in Seville in the following aspects.

Firstly, leisurely life style has made it into a slow city. Building on the typical South European leisure traditions, the life style in Seville is loose, comfortable and slow. When making urban planning, the government has purposefully preserved the traditional dense blocks and narrow alleys and equipped the city with a wide range of recreational facilities that can slow down the pace of life. Both local residents and tourists extract great pleasure from it.

Secondly, it has constantly sought to remake its image as a leisure city through hosting large-scale festivals and special events. In 1929, the municipality re-planned the functions and layout of the city after the closing of the Ibero-American exposition. The related facilities had been changed into museums, art galleries, cultural institutions, fancy hotels, restaurants and bars. After the 1992 Seville World Expo, the government turned the expo site with the Spain Pavilion as its core into a theme park and the science and technology display area into the technology industrial park, the major venue for large-scale exhibitions.

Thirdly, as major carriers of leisure, festivals of all kinds are held throughout the year. The Andalusians possess an extraordinary craze for festivals. As the capital of Andalusia, Seville has held a host of significant festivals and celebrations.

Fourthly, a multilayered and diversified system of leisure industry has come into being. Boasting extremely rich leisure resources and combining real history with literary imagination, Seville has set up a multilayered and diversified system of leisure industry integrating sight-seeing, shopping, catering, recreation, festivals, exhibitions and so forth.

Fifthly,the improved transportation system has helped to save the traveling time. Taking the opportunity of hosting world expo, Seville has become the first city in Spain to offer high-speed rail service, gaining its foothold as one of the major tourist destinations throughout the country and the tourist hub in the Andalusian area. Featuring “slow life” and “fast economy”, Seville has enabled more people to know, to reach and to enjoy the South European life on a larger scale.

Song Rui