Barcelona is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. It is a Mediterranean and cosmopolitan city with Roman remains, medieval quarters and the most beautiful examples of 20th century Modernism and avant-garde. It is no surprise that emblematic constructions by the Catalan architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Doménech i Montaner have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.The city's origins are Roman, and its long history and economic dynamism have made Barcelona a cultural city, which can be seen in the historic-artistic heritage and the promotion of the most innovative artistic trends. A wide cultural programme will take visitors to museums, exhibitions, open-air sculptures… and many concerts, plays and dances. Popular culture also has its manifestations in this city, which still conserves its most cherished traditions, like the fiestas of La Mercè or the festivities in the neighbourhoods of Gràcia, Sants and Poblenou. These are all exceptional opportunities for getting to know the city's more festive side.
Data and facts
- Population: 1.61 million. In the catchment area of the city live about 3.24 million people (2017).
- City area: 102.15 km²
- Population density: approx. 15,748 inhabitants / km². The city district with the largest area (21.50 km²) is Sants-Montjuïc, the district with the largest population is Eixample with 263,000 inhabitants.
- Number of visitors in 2016: 7.48 Mio. This is an increase of 135% compared with 2000. 1.6 visitors came from abroad and 1.6 million from Spain.
- Languages: Catalan (català) and Castilian (castellano)
95% of the residents understand Catalan and 75% speak the language actively.
- Number of banks: 1086 (in 2016)
- Private water consumption: 63 million m³ (2016) and 71 million m³ (2005)
- Gross domestic product: € 76.6 billion EUR (2016)
- Hotels: 381 (2016)
- Nights: 19.6 million (2016)
- Passengers airport Barcelona: 44.2 million
- Passengers airport Girona: 1.8 million
- Passengers airport Reus: 0.7 million
- Passengers harbour (all): 2,58 million (2016)
- Cruise ships: 758 (2016)
- The Barcelona harbour has the most passengers in Europe and ranks fourth in world (2014).
- Arrival: 76% of visitors arrive by plain, by train 11%, 6.2% by car and 3.7% by bus.
- Restaurants: 45.4 % of visits were in traditional restaurants, 8 % in restaurants with an international cuisine, and 15.8 % in bars and cafes (2015).
Ranking of the world's best restaurants: 5th place (source: 2009 Anholt-Gfk Roper City Brands Index).
- Visitors of fairs: 1,83 million with 64 fairs (2016)
- Number of museums: 66
- Parks and garden: 69
- Payment: 24.30% of all payments made by credit card.
- Number of stores: about 35,000
- Beach Length: 4.2 km sandy beach
- Modernisme: more than 2,000 buildings of the Modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau) are registered in Catalonia.
The City Council of Barcelona is the top-tier administrative and governing body of the municipality of Barcelona, Spain. In terms of political structure, it consists of the invested Mayor of Barcelona, currently Ada Colau, the Government Commission, and an elected 41-member deliberative Plenary (Consell Municipal) with scrutiny powers.
Barcelona is the second largest city of Spain, its largest port, and its chief commercial and industrial center. Barcelona has served as a crossroads of manufacturing - a vital centre of trading and shipping - since before Christopher Columbus set sail for the Americas. Its strategic location, on the Mediterranean Sea and near the border with France, has made its emergence as the principal industrial and commercial centre of Spain inevitable.
The mainstay of the Barcelona community's economic life is based on cultural commitment to manufacturing. Barcelona's reputation as a world centre for art, architecture and design is growing yearly with a plethora of cultural activities on offer. Besides highly developed economy and rich culture Barcelona also has high quality education. It is also the seat of two universities and many other educational institutions.
Barcelona is Spain's foremost center of industry, both heavy (iron, steel, copper) and light (especially textiles). Spanish publishing houses are concentrated there. Traditional industries range from shipbuilding to skilled handicrafts. Textiles, machinery, automobiles, locomotives, airplanes, and electrical equipment are the chief manufactures. International banking and finance are also important. Tourism first became important in the late 1950s. Barcelona is today a very popular destination. So popular that it is getting really hard to find to stay during official vacations or international fairs. But because of such boom, a lot of have been built and they offer comfort, quality and great value for the money, ideal for leisure and business travelers.
Barcelona as the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia accounts for more than a quarter of Spain's GDP. The growth of the economy has been the driving force behind Barcelona's physical expansion and the region benefits from a large local market of some four million people. The economy is particularly strong in the motor vehicle industry, electrical engineering, publishing, wine production and consumer goods.
After years working in city government, Rueda started the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona, a public research consortium, in 2000. He’s a noted expert in the field of urbanism, an author of books, and an in-demand speaker, but above all, his life has been a long and committed affair of the heart with his home city. He has been immersed in Barcelona urban planning for almost 40 years. Now his vision for the city has found its way into an urban plan that has the backing of the current municipal administration. It is currently being implemented, with the audacious goal of replicating Barcelona’s five existing superblocks, ahem, 495 more times.
The plan, which contains not only superblocks but comprehensive programs for green space, bicycle and bus networks, and much more, will not eliminate cars in the city, or deny one to anyone who needs one. But it will radically reduce their prevalence, the amount of space they occupy, and demand for their services. If it is fully implemented (a task that could take multiple administrations, even multiple generations), it could make Barcelona the first plausibly “post-car” major city in the world — a place where most streets are not for cars and most people don’t have one.
Like much of the rest of the world, Europe is facing a number of major transformations in several social areas driven by factors including climate and demography. The public sector is facing huge demands due to these challenges in many areas of its responsibility, like environmental protection, healthcare, elder care, and education. A huge element of digitalization, new solutions, structures, and public-private co-operation in different forms are quite necessary for Europe to overcome the challenges society is confronting and remain highly competitive. Within the framework of various programmes and projects aimed at creating smart cities, several of these issues have already begun to be addressed.
The high-tech improvements seen throughout Barcelona offer a strong template for various other cities looking to improve their technological infrastructure in similar ways. Now, let’s have a look at some of the smart technologies that have transformed Barcelona into a smart city.