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by Catherine Antheunissens,

The association of 22@ professionals demands an agreement beyond 28-M to give impetus to the district as a place to live and work and comply with the compact city model of fifteen minutes

The future of Barcelona's 22@ district has been the subject of debate over the last few months as part of the 22@Futur Cycle of Dialogues organized by the association 22@Network BCN with the candidates for mayor of Barcelona. The invited mayors were Jaume Collboni (PSC), Xavier Trias (Junts) and Ernest Maragall (ERC), while the current mayor Ada Colau (BeC) was unable to attend due to schedule reasons.

The three candidates for mayor who participated agree that the 22@ district is a fundamental part of Barcelona's economy and must be a point of reference for exporting the city's brand internationally. The aim is to project the image of a compact city model based on prosperity, sustainable development and social cohesion.

The differences have been clear with regard to the new impulse that must be taken by the district 22@. While Jaume Collboni focused his argument on regaining the confidence of the business sector to attract investment, generating and redistributing wealth to improve the quality of life, the candidate for mayor Trias focused his candidacy on constituting the antagonistic and real alternative of the government of Ada Colau. The Esquerra Republicana candidate, Ernest Maragall, defended the need to rethink the Barcelona productive model for an improvement in the quality of life and the creation of added value to the Barcelona brand.

The objective of the 22@Network BCN association has been to overcome the differences between the candidates to establish a broad consensus and a joint drive between the main actors who, with the configuration of the future municipal government, will determine the competitiveness of the district.

With this commitment, the association has sought to establish commitments with the mayors in terms of territorial strategic planning and public policies that will constitute the 22@ as a global project that maintains its dynamism, potential and competitiveness. This must translate into a positive impact on the territory in social and environmental terms, attracting talent and investment. Enric Urreta, president of the association, defends that "the action of the future municipal government will be decisive for the competitiveness of the district and the city, it is necessary for the future government to understand that the improvements carried out in the district will revert directly to an improvement of the quality of life of the people of Barcelona".

This is why the 22@Network BCN association has presented proposals to promote the attractiveness of the district as a place to live and work. The objectives of the 22@Network BCN focus on the promotion of residential use to guarantee the possibility of housing for workers in the district; the improvement of connectivity in the district and its connection with the airport; the creation of facilities such as an international primary and secondary school; the generation of new spaces for socialization; the creation and promotion of training programs for the generation and recruitment of specialized talent; the support and promotion of synergies between educational centers and companies; the creation of a periodic work table between the different administrations and  22@Network BCN for a better coordination of actions in the district; the promotion of 22@ as an innovative testing ground in urban and business matters; and the establishment of a new space for congresses and technology fairs.

In summary, the 22@Network BCN association doesn't want the 22@ district to be a partisan project, but a city project that gathers excitement, restores confidence and makes the Barcelona brand happy through the impetus of the district 22@ as an essential part of the socio-economic development of the city. According to the entity, the objective of the future municipal government must be to reinvent the key factors of its initial success: the combination of knowledge, regulation and investment.


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