Funchal Versus Boom: Cities of the World

As Funchal lives in the world of yesterday, Boom lives in the world of tomorrow.

As Boom and Funchal are quite different in infrastructure and style, they are both considered to be world cities by size, recognisability and status.

They both host a great number of people as Funchal is a touristic hub under the Madeiran flag, and so does the annual gathering of people in the city of Boom for the biggest music festival in the world, Tomorrowland.

Both are host to a great variety of people from all over the world. As a huge portion of Madeiran tourists is German, English or American; Boom has visitors from all corners of Europe, as well as people from all over the world.

Both are positioned near water or waterways, as Funchal is next to the Atlantic Ocean and my home city of Boom is next to the local waterway called Ruppel.

Both have local sports clubs like a tennis club, football fields and trails to run, even though a lot of the football fields and infrastructures in Funchal are connected to the local football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Also, Boom is connected to internationalism as the local hockey fields were used in 2012 to host the international hockey championships.

Both cities house different people from different cultures, you’ve got people from England, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Venezuela and obviously Portugal living in Funchal. In Boom the ethnicities are mainly Belgian, Moroccan, Turkish, Polish as well as refugees from eastern Europe and the Middle East.

We do notice a big difference in connectivity with other great cities, as Funchal is an isolated city on the island of Madeira, only being flanked by other coastal cities and therefore not in direct contact with cities the likes and size of Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. In Boom, it couldn’t be more on the contrary as the city has a great direct line to major Belgian cities like Mechelen, Antwerpen and the capital Brussels. The latter two provide job opportunities for the locals as they are both within a 30 minute travel time, however, travel times may elongate due to traffic jams and overloads.

Both offer a big list of cultural activities, for Funchal, which includes hikes, local Levada walks, ocean swimming, snorkelling, and city tours (providing information about the history of the city dating back to its discovery back in 1420). In addition to this, both have a wide range of cuisines. In my Belgian city, we have a local park and a recreational centre named “de Schorre”, which annually holds the humongous international music festival Tomorrowland. Also, the local dam provides a splendid view of the surroundings and gives you the opportunity to have a peaceful walk.

Project co-financed by Erasmus +.

Laurens Wouters
Students’ Union Belgian Volunteer

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