Athenea Digital (2004-11-01)

City, metropolis and global/local world

  • Francisco Quintana

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1, no. 6
pp. 66 – 79


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The political and economic changes of the 70s, in part to do with the ending of the 'fordist model', decisively affected the structure of cities, especially those which had been significant industrial centers. In the case of Barcelona, the response of institutions and private capital was, through a series of Strategic Plans, to redevelop the city both territorially and economically so as to bring it into the web of global investment capitalism. The approach adopted - the so-called 'Barcelona model' , or 'the model of city as company' - involved (in spite of resistance by residents and by 'okupa' squats) re-working the city on the criterion of profit, or financial advantage. The result has been the transformation of Barcelona into a metropolitan space which is both specialized and multi-centered, and wholly integrated into the ebb and flow of multinational capital. Nevertheless, after all the plundering and pillaging, what is clear is that the powers that be have failed in their bid to turn Barcelona into a top-rank global (and local) city, the capital of a new southern European macro-region.