The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, neighbourhood organisations and economic and social change agents have signed an agreement to modify the 22@ district, to provide it with more social housing and public transport and to avoid the gentrification of the neighbourhood. In this way, the main transformation will be that the percentage of land reserved for social housing in the northern area of the Catalan capital will increase from 10% to 30%. And most of that will be rental housing, although the plan is to also grant some land to cooperatives and social entities so that they can build protected flats in another form. Similarly, The Town Hall wants the 22@ district to be a space for trials and experimentation in the search for solutions to issues relating to housing and mobility.

The 22@ district comprises 200 hectares in Barcelona, which started to be transformed in the year 2000 and which has turned Poblenou into a hub for small and large technological companies. It is a model for long-term success that is now going to change its strategy to obtain a mixture of uses between tertiary and residential. For that reason, on the 80 hectares that are still left to be developed – above La Diagonal – the surface area dedicated to public housing is going to be increased. In total, between 5,000 and 6,000 new flats will be constructed in the space.

Ada Colau has highlighted the critical efforts that many players have made to be able to sign the document that reviews the 22@ district after 18 years of development. “It is a transcendental agreement for the city. Technological innovation is not enough to make a city”, said the mayor. In this sense, she highlighted the importance of building more housing to bring life to the neighbourhood.

The agreement that has been signed this morning establishes two areas within the technological district that will require Modifications to the General Metropolitan Plan in order to carry out the new transformation. On the one hand, the neighbourhoods of Provençals del Poblenou and Maresme, and on the other hand, the areas of Bogatell, Trullàs and Plata del Poblenou. Whilst in the first spaces, the idea is to obtain an equilibrium between offices and housing, increasing the land available for the construction of public homes, in the second, the plan is to declassify the whole area to preserve the old fabric of Poblenou. The experts understand that these buildings, due to their morphology, are not ideal for housing technological activities (…).