North Cyprus Blog: North Cyprus and Barcelona
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23 July 2007

North Cyprus and Barcelona

Sometimes it takes a trip away from North Cyprus to remind you how lucky we are here. The talk amongst many ex-pats here is of the explosion in North Cyprus property construction, and how new apartment complexes and hotel seem to be springing up every day. It’s sometimes hard to remember that we are not alone in this – just ask any Spaniard or south Cyprus Aphrodite Hills resident...

So, when I visited Barcelona a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d get a break from construction and builders, but the city was filled with the sound of construction from dawn to dusk. However, in Barcelona most of the work being done was to renovate existing buildings. From Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece the Sagrada Familia cathedral, to ordinary 19th century apartment blocks, craftsmen and builders worked side by side to improve their city for the future. Nobody seemed to mind that whole streets had been closed for months with the construction of the new Metro, or that in certain areas, the skyline was a maze of towering cranes. If it meant a better Barcelona, all well and good.

Perhaps that’s what we are in danger of forgetting with our own property developments in North Cyprus. Most new developments are working hard to be sympathetic with the environment, (although we can all name those which are determined to stand out as much as possible). The aim to provide properties that will improve and enhance existing areas, rather than exploit or over-run them. If this ensures a better, more prosperous North Cyprus, then all well and good.

Of course, the other lesson from Barcelona is not to neglect the historical buildings we already have, beyond the high profile castles and churches. You only need to look at the crowds flocking to the harbour at Kyrenia or north Nicosia to see that historic areas are very attractive to visitors. Perhaps every new development permitted should contribute in some way towards restoration of older areas, so that both new build and historical buildings benefit from the current North Cyprus property boom.


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