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From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Metròpois Barcelona [ Saturday, 09 Dec 06 | 20:56 ]
[Tags|, ]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

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.


[User Picture]From: beartech420
Saturday, 09 Dec 06 | 21:54 (UTC)
Chuck! thank you for the great pics of those domes!
best regards,
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 04:40 (UTC)
You're welcome Pete!

I had seen domes before, but what I found really neat was the floor which appeared to be a giant satellite image illuminated from behind. I took a walk along the coast and recognized many things that I see at ground level. It's too bad that they stopped about half a meter from where I live.

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[User Picture]From: kodanuki
Sunday, 10 Dec 06 | 02:42 (UTC)


run logan RUN!
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 04:36 (UTC)

Re: Sanctuary!!!

Hi Ollie!
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Sunday, 10 Dec 06 | 22:15 (UTC)
Heheh, I'm a ranter, I know - but you forget that we have elections in 5 or 6 months and what do we elect? The Municipalities!
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 04:35 (UTC)
I understand your cynicism. I come from the SF Bay Area where they talk about regional urban planning, but don't get this far. I can see that a number of these projects are in progress. I also know that plan execution leaves something to be desired.

Last month in California I voted for bonds to do similar types of infrastructure improvements, but not on such a comprehensive scale. You wouldn't believe how long they talk about doing things before they actually start doing them. And this is from one of the richest and most progressive areas in the US. One person can stall a project for years through lawsuits.

I think a difference is that in the US there is stress on individuals rather than community. An example is the reliance on private vehicles rather than public transport. Urban planners have said for a long time that the US model is not sustainable long-term (primarily due to energy requirements). At some point there will have to be big changes. I don't know whether it will happen in my lifetime or not.

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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 14:44 (UTC)
That's very interesting to know and thanks for sharing.

There's something I forgot to mention before: this is the 3rd or 4th regional plan. The first one was during the Republic and the second one in 1976. There was another before the olympics and now we have a new one. So it's been something vigent and alive for us!
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 17:33 (UTC)

Regional plans

... this is the 3rd or 4th regional plan. The first one was during the Republic and the second one in 1976.

I assume you mean the Second Republic. :-)

It's a good thing that they have been revising the plan, since things change!

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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 20:22 (UTC)

Re: Regional plans

Actually the scope of the plans has been changed. The first one outlined some planning issues such as the Autovia de Castelldefels and the planning for Gava Mar. It also included knocking down the center and building skyscrappers, "a la LeCorbusier", who was one of the creators of the plan. The airport on Montjuic mountain was never executed either

The one from 1976 actually defined the usage of the land and limits the growth of all the metropolitan cities. This avoids a scandal like the ones in Marbella and Andratx, although you know the spanish frase "Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa".

The olympic one is the first that included exhaustive public transport planning and the current one is basically a new set of goals, with pretty much the philosophy based on the olympic one
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From: (Anonymous)
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 14:49 (UTC)
I forgot to mention that the two big projects that affect my town (and yes, I could step on my house, hehehe) are the Aerospatial Industrial Development in Ca l'Alemany and some collateral stuff from the airport as well.
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 11 Dec 06 | 17:37 (UTC)

I could step on my house

I spent a lot of time walking on the floor looking for various landmarks and places that I have visited. I have seen other "maps" done this way, but not on such a large scale.

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