Opinion 

City and Event

A New Urbanistic Phase

Oriol Bohigas 
05/06/2002


The usual disdainful critics think it is a provincial gesture that the growth – or urban improvement – of Barcelona should always coincide with more or less extraordinary events: the incendiary revolutions of the eight hundred, the demolition of city walls, the Expo of 88, that of 29, the Olympic Games. (A slightly presumptuous list which leaves out negative events that also had their impact, like the immigration wave of the fifties and sixties, that led to the disaster of metropolitan suburbanization). This critical account pleases me because I think it is a good thing that Barcelona should be a provincial city, since it cannot be a State capital. Only the word “province” bothers me, an Elizabethan error that was meant to be merely administrative but has ended up being political. Let’s not say, then, “a provincial city”, but “a peripheral city”. I do not deny the pros of being a capital, but, if it cannot be so, it is better to be outside than to be inside. So I find it admirable that Barcelona should seek its redevelopment relying on its own social and economic movements and popular events, namely, on its own centripetal and centrifugal motions. I believe it is better to be a city than to be a capital...
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