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Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeLatest NewsBarcelona Architecture Festival Designs the Barcelona of the Future

Barcelona Architecture Festival Designs the Barcelona of the Future

These days, Barcelona has been filled with exhibitions, debates, itineraries, augmented reality installations, workshops, podcasts and even Model cooking. Or, what is the same, Architecture Festival in Barcelonawhich will culminate this Sunday after ten days spent in different parts of the city. Organized by the Barcelona City Council and the College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC), it was created with the aim of transforming the urban space. in a platform for new architectural and design talent adapting the environment to the new challenges of the 21st century and keeping a close eye on the emergency of climate change. All this is the result of the UIA-UNESCO World Capital of Architecture 2026 designation of the city last July.

Architecture, not architecture. As one of the curators of the festival explains, Joseph Louis de Vicente, the term doesn’t just refer to buildings and streets: “Today’s architecture is a way of asking oneself what organizational decisions are and approaching the fact of coexistence in society, taking into account how a car moves in a city, the Wi-Fi network available or the views, that share the ecosystem itself.” In this line the activities offered by the festival present architecture through five different concepts: classes, cultures, species, generations and materials..

Second Deputy Mayor of the Barcelona City Council and Advisor for the Environment, Urban Planning and Mobility of Barcelona, Janet Sansnotes that the city should be “a space of refuge from the uncertainty of what is to come, as well as a model for us to imagine a habitable future”. He describes architecture as a key element of the process as it is “a collective tool for social change”. Environmental, energy, food and social issues are also part of the change and placed at the center of attention at this festival, which aims not only to welcome 2026 as the capital of architecture, but also to take the lead in order to meet with the sustainable development goals of the Agenda for the period until 2030 and move towards 2050.

in the key of the future

According to Sanz, the Barcelona of the future has already begun: Eixample, Barcelona’s large central district, will begin its transformation in June with Superilla Barcelona (a reorganization of traffic that frees up urban spaces for activities and pedestrians), following the events. similar in the vicinity of San Antonio, Poblenou and Horta, while the work of Meridiana will be completed in two years. In terms of mobility, it is planned to complete the connection of the tram along Diagonal Avenue in 2026 – in 2024, the route from Plaça de les Glòries to Girona Street will start operating. “You want to turn around what have been big roads so far and sew up the city”, shows the advisor. Thus, the city is moving towards a model in which everyone has a place.

On a way innovation and progress, Sans highlights the recognition that the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation gave this week to the Catalan architecture studio Lacol, which was awarded the 2022 Mies van der Rohe Prize for New Architecture for its La Borda project. This is a cooperative house located in Barcelona, ​​made of wood and with outdoor access, which reduces energy consumption during construction and allows you to pay a more affordable price on the bills.

At the festival, they highlight the importance of not only building, but also reclaiming, reusing and utilizing spaces at all levels.. They argue that it is necessary to decarbonize cities and phase out fossil fuels as part of the Paris Agreement of 2030, which will affect the way we eat, move and live. “We are talking about a commitment to future generations who should inherit the city and the world that we are creating in the coming years.”

reference city

Barcelona has always been “lab city”, says Sans, adding that right now he is “exporting the model as part of the Superilles project.” Even though it’s a link, he claims he’s also influenced by metropolitan areas like Copenhagen – the next World Capital of Architecture in 2023 – which has played a prominent role in the festival these days. In the social sphere, Barcelona has a long way to go. While in the Danish capital 20% of the housing stock is public, in Barcelona it is about 2%, the vice-mayor specifies. It also highlights that 4,500 community houses are being built, but that every effort must be made to make housing affordable.. Sanz also argues that there needs to be a game-changer and a change in the role of some individuals who exploit cities, “especially with regard to house price speculation.”

The recognition of Barcelona as the 2026 World Capital of Architecture is based on how the city has been so far., but at the same time it acts as a precursor to what the future will be like. De Vicente believes that it is a pioneer and a benchmark, and that this festival accompanies the journey of creating a city “for all”. In this way, Sans shows that “cities don’t walk alone, they do it together, collaborating and sharing.”

Point in first edition

This weekend the festival comes to an end in its first edition, which will conclude on Sunday with a meeting at twelve o’clock in the afternoon with the architects who participated in the festival, who will exchange thoughts between generations and disciplines. However, there will also be two presentations on Saturday afternoon. One about the people and social sciences applied in Civitas and another about the universe of utopias as new opportunities to become cities, both in Sala Moragas and El Born, the Center for Culture and Remembrance. In addition, starting at 7 p.m. in Ronda de Sant Antoni, one of the installations will move, accompanied by a performance.


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