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by Catherine Antheunissens,

The 22@Network BCN claims the definition of the 22@North strategy as the opportunity to solve the shortcomings of the 22@ district regarding the lack of facilities and spaces for residential use, training, socialization and improving connectivity

One year after the approval of the MPGM of the 22@nord, the professional association 22@NetworkBCN and Barcelona Activa gathered this morning the main entities of the district to present the barometer/observatory of the 22@ to define and debate the development strategy of the 22@Nord.

Enric Urreta, President of the 22@Network BCN has vindicated the need to agree on the economic model of the 22@Nord that should allow the district to overcome the current challenges it faces, closely connected to housing, connectivity and landing of talent, companies and investments.

In this sense, Urreta has affirmed that it is necessary to make 22@ a space not only to work, but where you want to live, which is why he has demanded that the development of 22@Nord include equipment, services and spaces necessary for the residential use, the training, the socialization, and improving connectivity, both within the district and with the rest of the territory.

Isabel Sabadí, Executive Director of 22@Network BCN, has substantiated the meaning of these demands with the presentation of the main conclusions drawn by the 22@Network BCN Observatory, an initiative funded by Barcelona Activa with the purpose of generating socioeconomic reports of the district. According to Sabadí, the conclusions obtained from the 22@ model of governance are benchmarks and must continue to be based on public-private collaboration.

Today, 22@ is home to 12,150 companies, 9 universities, 3 technology centers, 5 incubators and accelerators, 35 coworking spaces and 700 startups. The Innovation District has become a pole of attraction, with a consolidated and constantly evolving ecosystem, with 78% of the technology hubs located in the city. In addition, 59% of Hi Tech companies in all of Barcelona are concentrated in this district.

The 22@Nord, where around 3,000 people live today and with the Provençals neighborhood of Poblenou which has seen significant population growth in the last 20 years, is in line with the strategy of the whole 22@ district.

During her speech, Laia Bonet, Third Deputy Mayor and Head of Economy at Barcelona City Council, emphasized the need to promote social, economic and environmental balance, which must consolidate the 22@ as a urban and "human" cluster, which participates in the competitiveness and dynamism of the city, while promoting a more inclusive and sustainable model of prosperity. "The 22@North will become a new investment attraction and extension of the technology hub, thanks to a strategy based on the promotion of creative industries and the green and circular economy. We draw the creative mile (Eix Pere IV and Cristòbal de Moure) as an example of economic development based on talent, creativity and sustainability", explained the Deputy Mayor.

Albert Dalmau, Head of Economy, Resources and Economic Promotion of Barcelona City Council, has pointed out that defining the strategy of the 22@North is also talking about the city model that we want to promote. For this reason, Dalmau has gone a step further and claimed that the 22@North strategy is the major economic offensive of the city of Barcelona in order to offer 80 new hectares of development, with 1,000,000 m2 new economic roof and more housing. This bet will be realized with public-private collaboration and the City Council bets to act as a tractor and promotes the green axis of Cristóbal de Moure and the Creative Mile of Pere IV".

The event has emphasized the will of the 22@Network BCN association to bring together and promote the joint synergy of companies, society, academia and administrations was evident, which is why a round table has been organized with Cushman & Wakefield, EURECAT, the UPF, Barcelona Regional, Anteverti and T-Systems, a company that has recently moved to 22@North.

During the round table, several questions were put on the table that the entities consider essential to take into account when defining the public policies and strategic planning that must define the development of 22@Nord and the future of the district

The entities have agreed on the need for 22@North to have spaces for different uses for housing development and facilities that promote the international appeal of the district. At the same time, they claim greater regulatory simplification and flexibility for the real promotion of collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation, encouraging the transfer of knowledge and the joint synergy that should allow the creation of projects, products and services that contribute to generating a real impact for society as a whole.

The 22@NetworkBCN wanted to highlight the need for the debate on the future of the 22@ to have long-term working perspectives and for the 22@ to continue to be an "economic engine for Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and the South of 'Europe", according to Bonet.

An exemple of one of the latest actions at the 22@ has been the 22@ Office, located at the MediaTIC which, in two years time, has attended more than 650 requests (90% information and urban advice, and 10% procedures for the start of activity).




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