return to nē42

by Joan-Anton Benach, Managing Editor.

We have wanted to focus the debate introduced in the present 42 number of B.MM on some of the issues of current concern to the residents of the Poble Nou district in connection with the effects that the large-scale city-planning projects soon to be carried out in the vicinity are likely to have upon that historical neighbourhood. The extension of "Diagonal" avenue and the development of the new Diagonal-Mar area will inevitably lead to the collision betwen old and newly created "habitats", so that we should try to work out a solution that would cause as little damage as possible to the population concerned.
If we are to take steps consistent with the principle which claims that "a city belongs to its inhabitants", and if we want this assertion to transcend the limits of a well-meaning slogan and actually reflect the fundamental conception that inspires a progressive municipal policy, it seems absolutely necessary to attend to the growing public concern over the future of a district that, like all the peripheral areas which have at some time had to undergo alterations so as to form an urbanistic "continuum" with the metropolis, cannot be expected to adopt an attitude of irresponsible indifference or of blissfully contemplative acceptance towards the changes that are being forced upon its inhabitants. This is why our magazine has asked Elisabet Fejero, Rafael Encinas, Carles Guiral and Joan Maria Soler to voice their opinion on the current reality of Poble Nou, a district which they know well and to which they profess true commitment in their respective positions and through the exercice of their diverse personal responsibilities.

Following the line taken by our publication when reporting on the momentous urbanistic transformation prompted by the celebration of the 1992 Olympic Games, B.MM will strive to give the most extensive and thorough account of the stages and characteristics of this new large-scale city-planning venture which is due for completion in 2004 and which should serve to "put the finishing touches to Barcelona", including very ambitious undertakings within the whole eastern area of the city.
In this context, listening to the many Poble Nou residents who have raised a voice in an attempt to ensure that those city-planning operations are carried out in a way that might harmonize with the citizens' interests, could only be viewed as a priority matter by a publication like ours, which is permanently trying to vindicate its condition of "magazine of the city".
Where strictly cultural matters are concerned, this new edition of our magazine features an important piece of research centred on the period of time during which the most significant aesthetic movements of this century took definite shape, when great exhibitions played a far-reaching role by importing their own dynamic into the art world. Professor Bracons is the author of this study which refers to Barcelona as a lively setting in which plastic art manifestations could have a decisive influence on future art forms and styles. An exhibition could become the driving force behind a swirl of heated discussion and polemic, as well as an essential point of reference for many years afterwards. Backed up by Pilar Parcerisas's expert comments, an extensive bibliography and a basic account of events in chronological order, we feel confident that the study which we present in our "Quadern Central" section will serve as a handy work of reference and, eventually, as a basis for the kind of thorough historical research that, as Bracons reminds us, still remains "to be done and thought out".