Editorial, 16 April 2022
Pau Solanilla, head of Promotion at the City Council, advocates recovering emotional spaces with the rest of Spain after the “broken consensuses”.
The Commissioner for the Promotion of the City of Barcelona, Pau Solanilla, sees a “reputational problem” for the Catalan capital in the rest of Spain, which he attributes to the independence process, and in view of which he advocates recovering emotional spaces.
In an interview with Europa Press, he assured that Barcelona has this problem in the rest of Spain and not at an international level and defended the fact that the city “is doing quite well” in its recovery after the health crisis.
“Without any doubt, the ‘procés’ in Catalonia has been a reputational bomb for Barcelona in the Spanish state. It has also affected us internationally, but much less so. That is why I say that emotional spaces have to be recovered”, he said.
On the other hand, he considers that “the Barcelona brand shines at an international level” and gave as an example the holding of the America’s Cup, which the city will host in 2024.
Even so, he believes that the refusal of some projects and investments, such as the Four Seasons hotel or the expansion of Barcelona-El Prat Airport, demonstrates “the loss of internal consensus” and he defended the fact that, in his words, when institutions, companies and society are united, the city is unstoppable.
“When basic consensuses are broken and debate is polarised, Barcelona’s reputation suffers or deteriorates”, he said, which is why he called for collective intelligence in order to build basic city consensuses once again.
He also believes that the people of Barcelona need “a bit of self-esteem”, which he believes is recovering with events such as the Vuelta Ciclista a España, the America’s Cup, the Winter Olympic Games – which he sees as a great opportunity if they are held – and what he called the technological spring, with events such as the Mobile World Congress, the Advance Factory and the Integrated Systems Events (ISE).
On the city’s economic recovery, Solanilla celebrated the fact that the levels of job creation have risen: “We have recovered the lost ground of 2019 and we still have room for improvement because tourism has not yet reached its cruising speed”.