Photo taken by me on 7 December 2006.
For the past month Plaça Catalunya has been covered by two pressurized plastic domes of 44 and 16 meters (144 and 52 feet) in diameter, with a height of 16 and 4 meters (52 and 13 feet), respectively. They are fixed to the ground with a ballast of water. The large covering creates a space of 1,519 m2 (16,350 ft2), and the small one, a surface of 200 m2 (2,150 ft2). The larger space is used for exhibits and the smaller for meetings and presentations.
So what of the purpose of this? It is an exhibition of various projects of the Strategic Metropolitan Plan of Barcelona. The Plan came into being as a response to the new economic and social challenges of the 21st century and in order to give shape to a metropolitan area that thinks strategically.
Barcelona extends beyond its city limits. It is a metropolitan city in which three million people live and which includes 35 municipalities, all with their own identity, which must be preserved. Planning and actions with a regional view are necessary in order for this urban space to move forward and to achieve progress. This is the route to ensure that the benefits are common to all of the communities.
All social sectors are involved in the Plan by means of a work methodology in which the consensus, joint leadership and cooperation of the stakeholders has led to an agressive future plan for the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Unfortunately, El Masnou is just beyond the boundary of the current plan. Stakeholders include private entities, and public and governmental institutions.
All of the municipalities, along with the social and business stakeholders, have reached agreement on participating in and drawing up a plan that will serve in the creation and promotion of new projects that bring together a territory with similar characteristics, in terms of mobility, communications, housing or coexistence.
Here is a map of the infrastructures that are being developed from the Plan’s website. I live on the coast at the right-edge of the map.
One of the cool things is the floor of the exhibit space. It is illuminated from underneath covering more than 600 m2 (6,400 ft2) reproducing the metropolitan territory in high-definition.
Some examples of the Plan’s projects are:
- enlargement of the airport (El Prat) including new terminal and runways,
- high-speed rail (AVE) which will connect to Madrid and France,
- Line 9 of the Metro that will go from Badalona to the airport,
- high-tech business parks,
- higher education campuses,
- planned living areas and parks.
I am looking forward to see how successful they will be in executing this Plan. I like the fact that it is regional and not just the city of Barcelona. Also the inclusion of both public and private sectors and the use of consensus, joint leadership and cooperation of the stakeholders.