New governance strategies
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Selected Examples of successful practices

Barcelona Regional

Modern public urban planning agency


Barcelona Regional is a public agency for strategic, urban and infrastructural planning on both a city and metropolitan scale, yet exists outside the formal regulatory planning system. It was created in 1993 based on the experience gained during the urban transformation of the city of Barcelona for the 1992 Olympic Games.


The Barcelona City Council leads Barcelona Regional, with the participation of nine other public shareholders, including the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the Port of Barcelona, Barcelona International Airport and the Zona Franca Consortium.


Barcelona Regional was established as a public institution dedicated to strategic, urban and infrastructural planning to support its members and other public authorities at the metropolitan scale and for major urban projects within the city of Barcelona. Since its establishment, the agency has participated in numerous transformative master plans, such as the environmental recovery of the Besòs river, the urban development management of the area of the Forum of Cultures in 2004, the infrastructural and urban renewal plan for Barcelona’s former industrial area of Poblenou (also known as the innovation district of 22@Barcelona), and the planning of high-speed rail infrastructure, including La Sagrera and Sants. These major projects were approached from a comprehensive perspective through an extensive multidisciplinary team of architects, town planners, engineers, geographers, economists, and biologists. Besides functional works, it also develops research activities to collect information and data on urban, economic, social and environmental indicators, which are then analysed and used to feed into didactic manuals and other publications about the city and metropolitan area of Barcelona.


Barcelona Regional provides strategic urban planning capacity to the City Council of Barcelona and its members by developing studies to promote urban innovation and knowledge about the city and the metropolitan area of Barcelona, a city particularly known for its design excellence. Barcelona Regional conducts these activities outside the formal regulatory planning apparatus. As an urban think-tank, it attempts to think outside the box on proposals that range from a single neighbourhood to the entire metropolitan area, including the development of major transformative projects in the city.



Ring Roads Barcelona. Past Present Future (c) Barcelona Regional
Ring Roads Barcelona. Past Present Future (c) Barcelona Regional