AN Italian village has based its new urban regeneration plan on a model first rolled out by Mojacar more than half a century ago.
Gangi, a small, quaint town in the Sicilian mountains, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, similar to how Mojacar is regarded in Spain.
In a new development, the town’s mayor has launched adverts in the local press offering free housing to anyone who settles there in the hope of relaunching its economy.
The idea is reportedly based on a system used by former mayor of Mojacar, Jacinto Alcaron, in the 1960’s.
Alcaron placed advertisements in the local newspaper offering free plots and abandoned houses to anyone who would build and rehabilitate them.
At the time, there were no more than 500 hundred residents in the town, with many emigrating to Catalonia and Andorra.
But with the help of local writers, artists and businessmen, Mojacar soon began to fill and was shaped into the beautiful town that it is today.
Gangi has suffered a similar fate in recent years and has seen a number of residents leave due to lack of job prospects, with resident numbers falling below 7,000.
Potential residents will have to pay a deposit of 5,000 to guarantee that work will begin and will have three years to completely rebuild it, reform it or turn it into a business.
Hundreds of requests have reportedly already been submitted, with the town hopeful of emulating Mojacar’s success.