portada de BMM


by Joan Clos mayor of barcelona

With a great many celebrations and much ado in the media - but with no computer disasters - we have finally reached the year 2000. The brand new number has hardly had time for any of its shine to wear off and already there are more than a few who are trying play down the importance of the calendar event and carry on with business as usual. This is surely as it should be, but drawn by the novelty of the number, we cannot help but sit back and think: the new times call - particularly in the case of Barcelona - for ambition, and we must be bold in our plans and enterprises, keep our heads but be appropriately daring.
The past century has been an exciting one for the city and the last two decades have seen some exceptional achievements. But this is not the end; rather, we have only just begun. Far from resting on its laurels, Barcelona is determined to take another giant step forward and build on the firm foundations that we have laid.

It is a giant step in that the city is brimming with major projects from all standpoints. A giant step towards the new economic opportunities that we wish to turn to our advantage. A giant step towards greater cohesion. A giant step towards making the city a place of deliberate and open coexistence and diversity.

This issue of B.MM - the fiftieth, another evocative figure - reminds us of a number of the key terms that sum up the content and meaning of Barcelona's express vocation for renewal.

This is what we find in the texts on the City of Knowledge, one of the cornerstones of the city's future. This is the combination of knowing how to do something and being able to do it, with knowledge as the instrument of change. Stressing the role of the city itself, since global cohesion is based on networks, networks need hubs, and all phenomena are embodied, reflected and expressed in a specific place, a territory: in short, in the city. And the city that we want is a backdrop and a model for synergy - for blending - of growth and values, cohesion and progress, arts and sciences, technology and sustainability.
This is also what the look at culture in Barcelona tells us. On the basis of a wide range of informed opinion, we see what that culture has brought us and what it has to offer us, with the city both giving and receiving. Knowledge and culture are two terms in a single equation, prerequisites for individual and collective progress and for facing our increasingly complex circumstances with a critical outlook, creativity and independence.

And this is how we are to interpret the Monograph on the architecture now making its influence felt around the world from its focal point in Barcelona. Names and projects with their own distinctive character and two common denominators: their link to the city and their pursuit of quality. Architecture - by which we have been and are known - will continue to be one of Barcelona's identifying features, thanks to those who practise it and thanks to our constant pursuit of better quality for the city.

Richard Rogers says here that Barcelona is an example of modern urban renewal, owing to its clear and comprehensive view of the city's role and its recognition that constructed surroundings and social integration are inseparable. This is the view of a good friend of Barcelona and we may rightly take pride in it, but we also find in it the concise expression of the equation that the city has undertaken to solve and the challenge that we must live up to day by day.