portada de BMM


by Joan-Anton Benach editor in chief

On the cover, an image of the Mies Pavilion - "the most beautiful architectural show in the world" - discussed inside in article by Ignasi de Solà-Morales. It contained the first Monograph, focussing on the urban renewal of Ciutat Vella. Miquel Siguán wrote on the subject of schools and awareness of the urban environment, and Josep Martí Gómez interviewed Antoni Clavé. Outstanding among the other reports and articles was one on Collserola, a park - as it said - for three million people. Marta Pessarrodona delved into the secrets of Francesc Català Roca's photographic view of the world. These were some of the subjects dealt with in the first issue of Barcelona. Metròpolis Mediterrània. It is appropriate to recall them now because they are a small reminder of the effort that the magazine has dedicated from the start to selecting its material, subjects and contributors with care.
That first issue was published in the spring of 1986, when the city was diligently and enthusiastically, i.e. unspectacularly, readying itself to be worthy of the Olympic Games. Fifty issues have been published since then, although this is not an especially impressive number, but one that in fact has its merits, if we consider that every issue during the first phase of the magazine's existence ran to over two hundred pages. With B.MM construction of what has been called a library of urban culture began, a body of work that, within a comprehensive framework of contemplation and debate, has often provided a point of reference for understanding the changes that Barcelona has undergone in connection with the impetus of 1992. Nevertheless, we also intend to make it a point of reference for the changes that the city will undergo during the first decade of the new millennium, before and after 2004.

B.MM's history, however, has not been either uneventful or straightforward. In the brief but inevitable backwash of the Olympic Games, the magazine disappeared from view for a time. A good thing it was, too, since other institutional periodicals, affected by less drastic circumstances, have disappeared off the publishing map altogether. For eighteen months - from autumn 1993 to spring 1995 - B.MM went unpublished, and when it reappeared, it did so with a new look and format and, it is true, with fewer pages, although it compensated by being published more frequently. Its reappearance, which was very well received by the media at large, was the unequivocal expression of the will to keep the medium for communication, documentation and exchange of opinion that the magazine had created open, above and beyond the merely circumstantial or instrumental function that anyone making an overly superficial analysis might attribute to it. In this respect, we owe a vote of thanks to all of our colleagues who, on the basis of their thorough familiarity with the local world of periodicals, have stressed the unique personality of the magazine, which has always focussed and will continue to focus on the city, with all of its creative energy.
So, with an eye to continuity, it seems fitting to dwell somewhat on the event of the publication of the magazine's fiftieth issue. Along with the regular sections, it contains a survey of a small group of professionals, artists and intellectuals on Barcelona's cultural development in the past ten years, with a generally rather critical regard; as a sort of prelude to what the "City of Knowledge" ought to be, there are two conceptually and descriptively fundamental articles; and since town planning and architecture have played key roles in the new Barcelona, there is a comprehensive rundown of the work now being exported by our professionals in these areas. The occasion also called for the updating and publication of a complete index for the magazine: it is our pleasure to offer this material to all who have followed B.MM's biography to date.