THE HORIZON - 2004
by Joan Clos, mayor of barcelona
has arrived at the close of a rather intense political and electoral
cycle. Over a period of nine months we were called to the polls
to elect members of our European, municipal, regional and national
governments, with results that now require some assimilation.
This is neither the time nor the place for any sort of comprehensive
analysis, but it is safe to say that the city's dynamics remain
largely unchanged, requiring a certain amount of negotiation and
compromise between institutions and different levels of government
and therefore obliging us to work together in an honourable and
is at a critical juncture, with a series of initiatives that we
must carry through with our best efforts. There is not sufficient
room here in this Open Letter to go into the large number of projects
in detail, but there is one common element that is at once a point
of reference and a caution on our calendar, and that is 2004.
Barcelona's new goal on the horizon is 2004. It is a goal that
includes a number of projects - from the superspeed train to the
airport - that are scheduled for completion then. It is a goal
that includes the Universal Culture Forum, an event that now has
a preliminary programme and has entered a decisive phase in its
development. And it is a goal that includes town planning and
environmental initiatives in the Bes˛s and East area of the city,
an area that Barcelona shares with Sant AdriÓ, Santa Coloma and
Montcada and that, from the narrows to the mouth of the Bes˛s
river, is destined to play a key role as an urban and metropolitan
axis. We can look forward, then, to 2004 as a unique moment, a
very tangible burst of change, but the period starting now and
leading up to that date is just as crucial, or perhaps even more
so. And we can rightly say that it is doubly important.
the first place, there is the consideration that Barcelona must
be capable of renewing itself in order to make continuing progress
and improvement, to take part in the new economy and build the
city of knowledge. This is a concept that we will see developing
day by day and that will also be reflected on the pages of BMM,
thanks to the new section inaugurated in this issue.
there is also the consideration that Barcelona, while transforming
itself, must also maintain its characteristic features, the aspects
that we see as identifying our city, such as quality planning
and respect for our common ground, cohesion and coexistence, civic-mindedness
and plurality, creativity and freedom, complicity and the sense
of taking part in what the city has to offer and what it requires.
issue's monograph shows us the Boqueria Market of the 21st century,
with an explanation of the extensive renovation project now being
prepared, but we can rest assured that the personality that has
made it the city's most representative market will remain unchanged.
In the same way that the Boqueria Market combines past and future
while above all brimming over with vitality, Barcelona will renew
itself while preserving its distinctive character.
combination of change and identity, in short, dynamics, is the
key to building, understanding and interpreting Barcelona.