Barcelona – Spain
Barcelona is the capital and most populous city of Catalonia, a region with its own language, character and history. Barcelona is also the second largest city in Spain and had a population of 1,621,537 in 2009 within an area of 101.4 km2. The city is situated between the Llobregat and Besòs rivers on the Mediterranean coast. Barcelona is one of the world’s major global cities and was the 4th most visited in city Europe, and 16th-most-visited city in the world, in 2009. Culture and the arts flourish in Barcelona, which has a rich history dating back 2000 years. Today, the city blends modernism and tradition to create a unique Mediterranean city.
Barcelona is a city committed to sustainability. Sustainability regulations in Barcelona, for example, require solar panels to be fitted to all large buildings as part of an objective for these buildings to heat 60% of their own hot water.
The Design Institute has worked in Barcelona for many years, and in 2012 the Global Cities Institute also named Barcelona as a focus city. Barcelona has recently signed onto the UN Global Compact Cities Programme hosted by the Institute, and partnerships have been developed with international organizations based in the city including Metropolis, United Cities Local Governance, and Citymart.