Aveiro pelo NYT

(…)«There is a young and vibrant energy in the streets and on the canals. Clutches of giggling and flirting university students rush past smartly dressed 30-somethings. Elderly women perch on terraces, leaning against 18th-century ironwork, bemusedly looking on.

“I live in the city center,” Mr. Vieira said, pointing on a map to a street in the old city’s pedestrian quarter. “I can walk everywhere. And just outside of Aveiro, there are great places to ride a bicycle. There you can see herons and seagulls and wildlife. You just give them an ID and you can ride a bike for free.”

Mr. Vieira was referring to the Bicicleta de Utilização Gratuita de Aveiro, a five-year-old town hall project. Just beyond the old quarter, bicycles are parked waiting to be borrowed. The idea has been ridiculously successful, with white and green bikes everywhere.

Manning the desk at the bicycle office one afternoon was Pedro Sena, a 26-year-old student from Cape Verde studying for a degree in physics and engineering. A steady stream of bicyclists — locals, tourists, kids, adults — popped in, handed over an identification card and peddled out along the bike paths that line the canals. (…)»

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