In this thread, I wanted to show some excellent public spaces that I recently photographed while visiting the in-laws in Puerto de la Cruz, in the northern part of Tenerife (Canary Islands). Tenerife was developed as a mass tourist destination from the 1960s, with predictably dire consequences. The old town centers, however, survive and recently have received needed attention.
The first picture gives an idea of the sort of high-rise, cheap-holidays-for-boozing-foreigners that dominates part of Tenerife. One positive to point out, though, is the retail at ground floor and generally dense fabric (compare to the high-rise sprawl north of South Beach...)
Moving toward the seaside promenade, some examples of modern low-rise retail surmounted by living accommodations.
The following is just a place to sit, note the nice structure and planting.
The pictures that follow show some general aspects of street life in 'downtown' Puerto. Locals and tourists mixing and people enjoying the weather (this was just after New Year's). Small offices, hotels, apartments, shops, restaurants in a mix that would make Jane Jacobs nod in approval.
In the old cathedral square, the quality of the landscaping and the state of the old architecture is admirable. DON'T TELL ME THIS STUFF IS EXPENSIVE, the per-capita income, while high by world standards is about that of the US or even Germany or UK, etc.. The central courtyard of EVERY shopping mall in the Southwest could be of this quality. They should be MADE to do it.
Moving back toward the newer part of town, an example that even modern buildings/settings can maintain a neighborly feel. Note the paving stones which tend to calm traffic (they are noisier inside the car and bumpier than smooth asphalt).
Uphill (wayyyy uphill, Tenerife is a volcanic island with very steep slopes), the town of Orotava has many fine buildings. This is one smallish square looking nice with the Christmas lights. Temporary stalls for a Christmas market on the left, a bandstand at the back. The bottom of the bandstand contains a small cafe with outdoor tables. All very civilized.
The bandstand itself. Let's compare that to the 'gazebos' you would tend to find in a typical pseudo-TND.....This is the real thing. Perfectly doable today.