Barcelona, 20 years later
In 1998, the first AMP congress took place in Barcelona, and twenty years later, this city hosts the XI Congress again. That year, Barcelona still showed the bright of new urbanism and architecture that required the Olympics Games in 1992, and the Congress witnessed that significant imaginary, the 92’s Barcelona. During these two decades the city has tried to keep alive that cozy semblance, not without controversies.
The arrival of the high-speed train at the urban centre, the new inauguration of the airport terminal, or the modifications in the port in order to host big cruises –which have turned the Ramblas into an extension of the landing gangway – have facilitated the arrival of millions of foreigners visitors every year. As a symptomatic counterpart, the house prices increase has continued due to a massive touristic affluence and the use of online platforms for apartment rental.
On the other side, urban renovation has been guided by ecological and sustainability criteria, new metro lines were made (one of them arrives in half an hour to the airport) as well as a system of trams that connects the city centre with surrounding populations. Besides, being enabled hundreds of kilometres of bike lane, rearranging perpendicularly the bus network and conditioning or getting bigger green areas around the city.
Regarding architectural matters, the transformation of some symbolic places of the city outstands as the remarkable progress that the temple of the Sagrada Familia has achieved, which is in its final stage, being the interior of the building finished and most of the towers raised up; a new neighbourhood, @22 District, which relieves the historical industrial activity in that urban area–moved out the city-to offer now other activities related to new technologies; or the Gran Teatre del Liceu inauguration in the end of the past century after the fire that finished with it in 1994.
Thus, those attending thenext XI AMP Congress will find Barcelona a bit different from the 1998’s one, but as in that time, willing to encourage the desire of visitors. Have a nice welcome, or reunion!