The 2016 European Mobility Week was held under the banner of “Smart and sustainable mobility – An investment for Europe”, referring to the close ties between transport and economics, with the aim of strengthening the social aspects of responsible mobility.
As a pedestrian city, Pontevedra has seen its local economy and social sectors bloom over the last few years. A city in which services and administration jobs predominate should keep on growing despite the downturn that hit the national economy starting in 2008 (financial crisis, substitution of salaried workers with the self-employed, complete restructuring of productive sectors –such as banking and the construction industry– and the sharp decline in the number of contracts offered by public bodies).
When a comparison is drawn between employment figures in the private industries for the period 2001-2015, the increasing importance of local commerce, hospitality services, communication and culture may be noticed. The culture sector amounts to 7.2% of the local productive activity, while the sum of these four areas of specialization now represents 40.6% of the local economy (33.4% fifteen years ago).
91.5% of the population prefers proximity commerce
A recent survey on local shopping concluded that 91.5% of the population buy their groceries in convenience stores or supermarkets located close to their homes, and that 53.4% never use the car to purchase goods.
Just 11.4% of the local population always resort to the car when they need to buy groceries: 18.6% use their private vehicles for this purpose less than 4 times a month, while 15.6% do it between 4 and 8 times a month.
The great majority prefers city shops to buy
Another result of the survey indicates that 95.3% of the local population prefers to shop around the city, instead of going to large shopping malls in the outskirts (12.2%) or even out of town (7.2%). In this open question, a few people added that they were used to combining purchases in the city center with special offers found somewhere else.
Those who visit Pontevedra to go shopping as a leisure activity choose paid parking facilities (53%) and free-of-charge parking areas (47%), although the latter may be preferred by professionals and businesspeople for work-related chores.
More companies for a new mobility
The number of local companies has increased from 10,641 to 15,215 between 2005 and 2015, which points to a remarkable economic expansion of 42.9% over the last decade. There are now 4,574 more companies operating in Pontevedra.