News Barcelona redefines its future as a metropolis of 5...

Barcelona redefines its future as a metropolis of 5 million


A leap in scale. Barcelona want to tackle their main challenges for the future of the hand of the metropolitan region. Already working on it before the irruption of the Covid-19but the confinement forced by the pandemic has made clear what we already knew, the absurdity of certain administrative boundaries, and has shown that the city real far exceeds. To give response to the needs of the next decade is not enough to think in the capital strict 1.6 million inhabitants, nor in the sum of the first crown, of 3.3 million. Many of the challenges (mobility, housing, poverty, industry, scanning, air quality, tourism, research,…) need to be addressed from a territory much larger, the made up of the seven counties –Barcelonès, Baix Llobregat, Maresme, Garraf, Alt Penedès, Vallès Occidental and Vallès Oriental– and its 164 municipalities, with a surface area of 3.126 square kilometers (about 30 times more than the term of the city center), in which they reside 5.1 million people.

The mayors of Barcelona (Ada Colau), Terrassa (Jordi Ballart), Mataró (David Boat) and Granollers (Josep Mayoral) met yesterday at the town Hall of the Catalan capital and the first city council of Sabadell (Marta Farrés) and Ruby (Ana Martinez) were added electronically to give the starting signal for the development of a new plan, Barcelona Demà. Compromís Metropolità 2030
. It will be the sixth strategic city since 1990, and the first that will be deployed on the metropolitan region, after which the last two were extended to the first crown, coincident with the Area Metropolitana (AMB). The intention is that you incorporate all of the municipalities that so wish, and that the document is ready to deploy its first projects in the spring of 2022.


It is anticipated that the document will be ready to open in the spring of 2022

Colau, who is also the president of the AMB and of the association Pla Estratègic Metropolità de Barcelona (PEMB) –the entity that will be flying the work– stressed after this first gathering of mayors that “the real city is 5 million, the of the metropolitan region”, and that “the great challenges that we have (in accordance with the agenda 2030 sustainable development) it is impossible for Barcelona to be able to face alone.” This “step forward”, he continued, “timely and also essential”, what you want to give it as a “capital cooperative, not arrogant, because we are all cities interdependent”.

The mayor Colau claimed to be the work of Pasqual Maragall in the construction of this vast space –“posed, and led to the royal city was not the municipality, but the metropolitan territory”, he recalled– and he stressed that this dimension is also a “historic demand of the large municipalities of the second crown”.

The interest of the cities, which do not form part of the AMB (ranging from 36 municipalities, covering 636 km2) participate in the definition of this shared future, as was clearly expressed by the mayor of Terrassa, the third city of Catalonia in number of inhabitants “We are metropolitan, but we are not a part of the spaces where the decisions are being made metropolitan and we want to participate, we want to be in the kitchen”, said Jordi Ballart. “We had the feeling we were the backyard of Barcelona –regretted– and we continue to suffer injuries, as the rates of railway”.


The extension wants to give a response to the interest of the municipalities that are not in the AMB

Also the mayor of Mataró abounded that must be overcome municipal boundaries and at a county level. “There are situations that require a look together, you do not understand where it ends Mataró, Argentona and Barcelona,” said David Boat, who recalled that in the “Europe of the cities, we have to play in a collaborative way”.

But do not expect the 2022 to act, according to the mayor of Granollers, Josep Mayoral, who recalled that ten years ago the Generalitat, in agreement with the municipalities, approved a territorial plan for the metropolitan region, with a committee of management which has not met since 2011. For this reason, he urged the conseller of Territori, Damià Calvet, to summon it. The councillor also claimed to work as in projects such as the rail link between their city of Mollet del vallès, Terrassa and Sabadell, the balance of the investment to the first and the second crown or leave regulate in a manner different episodes of contamination in one or the other.

The PEMB, formed in association 2000 with a vision of metropolitan, is formed by the Barcelona city Council, the AMB, the Chamber of Commerce, the Cercle d’economia, Consorci de la Zona Franca, the Fira, Foment del Treball, the port, Aena, DC.OO and UGT, and the University of Barcelona. Its executive committee is headed by Jordi Marti, councillor for the Presidency of Barcelona, in his quality of vice president of strategic planning of AMB. Of face to the new plan, will have a commission territorial, formed by mayors. But this structure is not assumed, at least for now, the creation of a new agency, with ability to direct policy that can complement and even replace the AMB. “It is a space of shared reflection and consultation, to consensus building,” said Colau. Although he left the door open to that in the future may become something more. “It is a debate relevant –acknowledged by the mayor–; we must reflect if the current governance has to be revised or not.”

The work will take place in six major thematic clusters –each with two commissioners, technicians, coordinated by the engineer, Marc Garcia– addressing the main issues related to social cohesion, climate emergencies, economic model, culture, innovation and education, governance and outreach.


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