Greetings from Changingcities (and a short summary of 2014)

Last year I was complaining that I produced only six posts, this year I produced only three, counting this one. But I don’t give up, and I will continue posting in the eighth year of Changing cities as the current blog. Looking in perspective I could have written more this 2014 as it has been a year plenty of interesting professional activities:

  • I have been in Ankara for the Intensive Program of the European Spatial Development Planning Network (see here) and I have visited Japan (for the ISA Conference) and Paris ( a short research stay in the Centre d’estudes Europeenes in Science Po). I had also the opportunity to participate in the third Annual Conference of the Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin, strengthening opportunities for collaboration. Unfortunately I didn’t find time or energy to write about Japan and the biggest city in the world: Tokyo.
  • For the first time in two years, our research group CRIT has been funded to develop a new project on Social Innovation against social excluison in Spanish Cities (INNOSOGO) and we have been working hard in the development of our other project on new forms of economic competitiveness of cities (INRED).
  • And finally, a new article co-authored with Montserrat Pareja (Towards the Creative and Knowledge Economies: Analysing Diverse Pathways in Spanish Cities) has been published in European Planning Studies, while another (Making Polycentrism) has been accepted in Environment and Planning C.

In our nice southern European city, Barcelona, 2014 has been the year of consolidation of the trends of growing social exclusion and economic growth. The city economy is performing extraordinarily well, specially in comparison with other southern european cities, thanks mainly to Tourism. At the same time, social inequalities continue to grow, with Nou Barris (my district of birth) as the poorest district of the city and the district with more evictions of Spain, and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, the bourgeois district, increasing wealth (see map below). It has been also a year of hard work of citizens, who are organizing themselves to revert this situation and to bring back the city council to redistributive policies and citizens’ participation. Unfortunately, some of them have been forced to move to other parts of the world seeking better opportunities, but we will bring back them as soon as possible.

desigualtats Barcelona

Family income Inequalities in Barcelona, where 100 is the average of the city (data from 2012, now it is even worse).

It is said that 2015 is going to be a year of changes. Let’s see what happens. I want to wish you a happy 2015 with lots of luck and positive energy.

Feliç any nou!

Feliz año nuevo!

Frohes neues Jahr!

Happy new year!

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