. The mayor of Malaga has been giving more details of the city's plan for a major new landscaping and pedestrianisation scheme to link the port to the tropical gardens on the edge of the historic old town.
The plan would see the busy road which runs along the edge of the port placed in tunnels from Avenida Manuel Agustín Heredia in the west along Paseo de los Curas to the Paseo Marítimo in the east, close to the Gran Miramar hotel. Much of the area above would be turned into gardens and public spaces. In addition, the wide Paseo del Parque avenue, which runs past the city hall, would be partly closed to traffic.
Major new underground bus interchanges would be built at the Plaza de la Marina, across from the port, and under the front of the city's main railway station.
Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, said this week that the scheme would cost 442 million euros and funding will be sought from regional government, national government, EU funds and private firms.
City planning experts believe that a good part of the funding can be raised from the private sector because of planned new bus station facilities, extra shopping areas, car parks and land sale.
"It's a project to make you fall in love with the city," De la Torre said, adding that it was "a revolutionary operation", but "viable" at the same time.
The council believes it will take eight years to see the light of day, including the planning and construction phases.
All change at bus stations
The idea for the scheme started as a way to update the bus stations in the city.
The Plaza de la Marina, that lies between Calle Larios and the port, would see an underground bus station of local and longer-distance buses and an international competition will be organised to design the new, much enlarged, square above it.
New, extra car parking would be put under the quays of the working port across the road to replace that lost at Plaza de La Marina.
Across the city centre, within a new, main bus station beneath the esplanade of the AVE train station would be a shopping area and relocated taxi ranks for both rail and bus travellers. Pedestrian access would be through one of the historic station entrance buildings still standing.
The existing, large bus station alongside the main railway station would be sold and developed to generate an estimated 40m in funds towards the overall plan.
Paseo del Parque
The new underground road along the port will be built as two wide tunnels, one on top of the other for each direction of travel.
This would divert enough traffic to also mean that the Paseo del Parque main avenue from the town hall towards the Alameda could also be pedestrianised, merging in with the surrounding tropical gardens with access just for public transport.