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Barcelona and Rome

February 1, 2017

This week Rome launched an agreement with the Catalan city of Barcelona regarding a series of themes of the digital economy: open data, participation, smart city strategies, transparency, and the digital agenda. Barcelona’s Mayor Francesca Bria met with her Roman counterpart, Virginia Raggi, to discuss what promises to be an important step for both cities. Rome’s Commissioner for Innovation, Flavia Marzano, said the initiative “will help stimulate Rome and restore its place in the international scene.”

For Rome, if it is properly inspired to follow Barcelona’s lead in urban innovation, it could mean bringing Italy’s capital back from the brink of collapse to finally start to count again in contemporary discourse.

Over the years I’ve travelled to Barcelona repeatedly, both independently and accompanying student groups on architectural and urban design workshops and investigating initiatives such as Pobleneu and the Mediatic Building, MACBA/Centro di Cultura Contemporanea, and various experiments such as the occupied former hospital Can Masdeu.

Below are some of the images from those trips. I always find inspiration in Barcelona and return to Rome optimistic that we can get back on track toward sustainable growth in Italy’s capital.

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