dijous, 20 de gener de 2011


22@ is a huge urban plan of turning the old industrial area into the new economic center of Barcelona. As most of the industry from the industrial age has vanished, there is great land to expand the city. The area was also planned within the Cerdá plan with Glóries as the heart of the city. The plan covers a large area, and consists also of numerous plans of smaller scale.

It is regulated to continue the Eixample structure, but structural problems arise as the area covers Poble Nou, wich is an old town with its own structure, and the structure of the industrial land. Also the developers have more freedom which has been an issue of much discussion. Instead of continuing the block system of Eixample, there are built towers, and it’s also criticized for not giving habitation priority. As we now see the Forum and Glóries area with an overweight of commercial buildings, kind of leaves the area as dead land. Most of the old buildings are being demolished to give place for the new structures, but there are also some old buildings prevented.

The start of 22@ was demonstrated by building the Torre Agbar, a symbol of the new economic centre. Even the king of Spain came to open the building. In the economic swing of the early 00 decade, a lot of towers and buildings were built, but the development has somehow slowed down after the financial crack of 2008. Still, it is expected that the area will be full of towers in 10 – 20 years.

In Oslo we have a similar situation by the port, which has up until now been the industrial area of the city. It has been worked on for a long while to open up the city to the fjord. The building of the new area Bjørvika, is a part of this plan. It started by the building of the new opera, symbolizing the start of the development of the area, which is meant to house several museums, the economical gravity, and habitation. It is an area much criticized because of both the structural plan and the fact that this will be a high end area where only very rich people can afford to live, which counteracts the desire of urban heterogeneity. Still, the plans of making public buildings, are still contributing to make this area public. But this is also much criticized because it tends to move already established museums from their areas, leaving them dead.