Former Barcelona Chief Architect Vicente Guallart speaks at RANEPA
On July 9, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) was visited by Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect of the Barcelona City Council in 2011-2015, who spoke about the transformation of urban infrastructure.
“I have developed projects around the world and I would like to share my experience,” the guest said. “I'm interested in how the digital revolution will affect urban development.” Vicente Guallart is the founder of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and has worked with digital technologies. As an architect, he worked with projects around the world including those involving tourism.
Mr. Guallart said that, as a former head of a city department in Barcelona, he understands the complexity and importance of working in the city administration. “We live in a world of cities, but what do you do with cities that already have infrastructure?” the expert wondered before he told the audience about the history of Barcelona.
The first industrial revolution affected energy, transport and communications, so it was about figuring out how to build a city from scratch. During the second industrial revolution at the beginning of the 20th century, there were various initiatives, many of them quite successful. “Cities often get an opportunity to attract investments. So, in Barcelona, sport became an instrument for the development and presentation of the city,” the speaker said. At the same time, its economy was growing fast, especially the sector for repair and maintenance of private vessels and the port business. Now Barcelona is one of the largest ports not only on the Mediterranean, but also in the world.
A city must constantly invest in its development, and a general vector in the economy must be determined. Cities need to compete among themselves. “Russia is a great country, but, as I see, you have to work more on the image, and investments will propel economic development. There is great potential here. It is important to understand the city’s potential to develop it – and great prospects will open up,” the Spanish architect concluded.
The invited expert – Chief Architect of the Barcelona City Council between 2011 and 2015 Vicente Guallart – delivered a lecture for students of the top-level managerial personnel reserve training program of RANEPA Graduate School of Public Administration.