Internationalization Strategy for Barcelona City Task 1

InternationalizationStrategy for Barcelona City: Task 1

InternationalizationStrategy for Barcelona City

Task1: Metropolis Management

Administrativestructure of Barcelona City

Thecity of Barcelona is headed by the mayor, who serves as the overallleader of the metropolis. The office of the mayor has five deputieswho play different roles and report directly to the mayor. 1Belowthe deputy mayors, there is a City Government Committee and the CityGovernment Commission that oversees the administration of the city.The Barcelona Ombudsman’s Service and the Chief Executive’sOffice for the City of Barcelona reports to the City GovernmentCommittee and the City Government Commission, but each of them havedifferent functions. 2

Economicand spatial developments of the city are carried out under the officeof the chief executive, who oversees the day-to-day operations in theCity of Barcelona. The two functions (spatial development andeconomic development) are managed under different departments underthe office of the chief executive. For example, the Office of theChief Architecture, which reports directly to the office of the chiefexecutive, is responsible for the planning of the city’sinfrastructure, land use, and transport facilities. The office of theUrban Habitat management monitor changes in the population andmovement of people in the city

1.BarcelonaCity Council (2014). Themunicipal administration.Barcelona City Council. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

2.Ibid, 1.

inorder to advice the office of the chief executive on differentadministrative matters. 3

Figure1: Population growth in Barcelona

Source: Cox (2013)

Theeconomic affairs of the city are also managed by differentdepartments that also report directly to the office of the ChiefExecutive. These departments include the Department of the Managementof Economy, Business, and Employment Management of Quality of Life,Sports, and Equity Management of Culture, Knowledge and Creativityand Management of Resources. 4


Thecentral government of Spain retains the central power of planning anddeveloping the city of Barcelona, but the local government has itspart to play. The local government used different spatial instrumentsto plan to conduct its social, political, physical, and

3.BarcelonaCity Council (2014). Themunicipal administration.Barcelona City Council. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

4.Ibid, 1.

economicplanning for the city. These instruments are broadly categorized intofour. First, the land-use planning include several instruments, suchas the General Metropolitan Plan (PGM) formulated in 1976 as well asits subsequent modifications and PERIs plan, which encompasses thedetailed, general and local plans.5The strategic planning entails instruments such as Barcelona Socialand Economic Strategic Plan formulated in 1990 and its modificationsmade in 1994, 1998, and 2000 to address the current spatialdevelopment needs of the city. Infrastructure planning includesinstruments such as Llobregat Delta Agreement formulated in 1993 andthe Besos Delta Area Agreement of 1999.6Regional and metropolitan planning entail instruments such as theGeneral Territorial plan of Catalonia formulated in 1995 and theGeneral Plan of the Metropolitan Region formulated in 1998. Otherinstruments include the Metropolitan Master Pan of Barcelona that waspublished in the year 2003, which checks on new social and economicchallenges of the twenty-first century. 7

Inaddition, the administration of the Barcelona City makes the best useof the SPI tools. For example, the city has been running aRegStrat-project from 2007, which is designed to enhance theintegration of synergies of different knowledge stocks at variouslevels of governance.8Theobjective of this project was to bring together the dispersed skillsand knowledge about strategic policy intelligence (SPI) tools, whichinclude technology assessment, foresight, regional innovation audits,and

5.Marshall, T. (2000). Urban planning and government: Is there aBarcelona model? InternationalPlanning Studies,5 (3), 299-319.


7.Legislative Council Secretariat (2008). Overseasduty visit: Panel of development.Barcelona: Legislative Council Secretariat.

8.IBS (2014). Strategic policy intelligence tools for better scienceand technology investment strategies in Europe’s region. IBS.Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

evaluation.SPI tools, especially the RegStrat contribute about 3 % of theBarcelona’s goal achievement.


Thecity of Barcelona is managed by both the political and non-politicalbodies, which collaborate to facilitate the internationalization ofthe City of Barcelona. The general management structure of the citycan be divided into three bodies, which include the office of themayor, the executive structure, and the district managementstructure. 9The office of the mayor is the top management body that plays themajor role in making decisions for the city. This implies that therest of the management body (including the executive and the districtmanagement structure) is mainly involved in the process ofimplementing the development strategies.

Theexecutive body, which is headed by the chief executive officer, issub-divided into many departments, each of them paying a differentfunction. For example, the Department of Prevention, Safety, andMobility is responsible for the prevention as well as the managementof disasters in the city.10

Thedistrict management structure was created to devolve functions to thenearest reach of the city residents. The city of Barcelona has tendistricts, each of them having a relatively autonomous managementbody that is appointed by the office of the Mayor.11This

9.BarcelonaCity Council (2014). Themunicipal administration.Barcelona City Council. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

10.Ibid, 1.


bodyhas prerogative in issues regarding public roads, urban planning,personal services, maintenance of the city’s infrastructure, andpopulation. The three levels of management pursue the same goals,which are the creation of a metropolitan surrounding that willprovide the highest quality of life possible for the present, as wellas the future residents.


Themanagement of the city of Barcelona appreciates the contribution ofthe citizens towards the development agenda of the city. This isconfirmed by the presence of citizen participation rules that givescitizens air their views on different issues affecting their livesand the entire development process of the city. The citizen rulesentitled “New Citizen-participation Rules” were formulated in1986 and revised in 2002.12The rules give citizens the authority to examine internal regulationsand policies designed by the city management and make theircontributions before those rules and policies are implemented. Thisimplies that the inputs of the citizens of the Barcelona City areintegrated into the policies and rules that guide the city’sspatial development.

Inaddition, the City of Barcelona appreciates the importance oftechnology in the management of its affairs. However, the managementdeveloped a Smart City Program, which invites the views of thecitizens with technological expertise.13Apart from including the input of citizens into the technologicalprojects of the city, the Smart City Program ensures that thetechnology is not applied just for the sake, but it addresses theemerging needs of the citizens.

12.Barcelona City Council (2013). Barcelona City Council’s newcitizen-participation rules. BarcelonaCity Council.Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

13.Hibbets, J. (2013). Howcities can create smart societies.London: PFD Publications Ltd.

Barcelonais one of the cities that have adopted the EBD technology that seeksto modernize operations for the city administration and maximizecitizens’ participation in the process of developing the city’sdevelopment strategies. EBD technology allows the city to improve itscommunication with citizens, thereby providing them with betterservices and giving them an opportunity to give back their viewsregarding the management as well as the strategic planningprocesses.14Moreover, this technology allows the citizens to evaluate themunicipality’s manifesto and receive answers for their questionsefficient and quick manner.

Rolesand capacity

Thelocal government in charge of the City of Barcelona, similar to otherlocal governments has several roles to play in the administration andthe management of crime, especially the crime prevention. First, thelocal government prevents crime through the processes of planning anddesigning of the local infrastructure. This allows the localgovernment to develop crime control and prevention plan. 15Secondly, the local government enhances the sense of communitythrough the maintenance of the local amenities. This increases theinteraction among citizens, which in turn reduces crime. Third, mostof the operations of the local government are geared towards animprovement in the economy of the city. This has played a major rolein crime prevention since an increase in the economic status of thepeople is inversely related to the rate of crime.

Inaddition, the local government has a primary role of creatingemployment

14.EBD (2014). Security,robust, and usability.Miami: EBD.

15.Shaw, M. (2000). Therole of local government in crime prevention.New Muckleneuk: Institute for Security Studies.

opportunitiesfor people living in the city. However, the unemployment rate in thecity and the entire country has been increasing as shown in Figure 1.Although the government provides direct employment to citizens, thenumber of job vacancies available is limited and this forces thelocal government cooperates with the local business community increating more jobs for the citizens. The local government alsoenhances job creation by lobbying tier with the central governmentfor the growth of the local economy.

Figure2: Rate of unemployment

Source: Durden (2013)

Thegovernment plays a major role in the development of infrastructure.Especially in the metropolitan cities, the local government has itsshare of infrastructural projects that it undertakes as part of itsspatial development. For example, the local government investsheavily in the transport infrastructure to enhance the social andeconomic activities (Legislative Council Secretariat, 2008).Moreover, the local government develops infrastructure for events(such as sports) both the long-term and short-term use.

16.Legislative Council Secretariat (2008). Overseasduty visit: Panel of development.Barcelona: Legislative Council Secretariat.

Inconclusion, the City of Barcelona is managed by the Office of theMayor, Chief Executive, and the district management authority. Thelocal government uses the General Metropolitan Plan and SPI toolsamong other tools in conducting spatial planning. In addition, thelocal government of Barcelona has laws that facilitate citizens’participation in strategic planning for the city. Moreover, the localgovernment plays significant roles in the management of crime, jobcreation, and infrastructural development.


BarcelonaCity Council (2013). Barcelona City Council’s newcitizen-participation rules. BarcelonaCity Council.Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

BarcelonaCity Council (2014). The municipal administration. BarcelonaCity Council.Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

Cox, W. (2013). The evolvingurban from: Barcelona. NewGeography. RetrievedJanuary 12, 2015, from

Durden, T. (2013). Spanishunemployment tops records. ZeroHedges. RetrievedJanuary 12, 2015, from

Hibbets,J. (2013). Howcities can create smart societies. London: PFD Publications Ltd.

EBD(2014).Security, robust, and usability.Miami: EBD.

Instituteof Basaltic Studies (2014). Strategic policy intelligence tools forbetter science and technology investment strategies in Europe’sregion. Instituteof Basaltic Studies.Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

LegislativeCouncil Secretariat (2008). Overseasduty visit: Panel of development.Barcelona: Legislative Council Secretariat.

Marshall,T. (2000). Urban planning and government: Is there a Barcelona model?InternationalPlanning Studies,5 (3), 299-319.

Shaw,M. (2000). Therole of local government in crime prevention.New Muckleneuk: Institute for Security Studies.

Task2: Ecological development

Metropolisstrengths in economic development

Thedevelopment goals of the City of Barcelona are classified into threemajor categories, including promotion, development projects, and theinternational projections. These goals were developed under the SmartCity project.1The city government intends to promote Barcelona as a center forinnovation. This means that the City of Barcelona will become thecenter where governments, companies, and research groups will bemeeting share ideas and experiences. The development projects thatthe government of Barcelona intends to accomplish include theenvironmental conservation, telecommunication, water, energy saving,and transport projects. 2

Thecity of Barcelona has a large number of assets and resources thatcreates a suitable basis for future development andinternationalization of the city. Some of the key assets that thecity can use to enhance the development include land, buildings,vehicles, equipment, and machinery. In total, the fixed assets ownedby the city are valued at € 7,876,656. 3In addition, Barcelona is one of the cities in Spain that have a lotof natural resources and tourists attraction cities. For example,Barcelona has several parks (including Ia Ciutadella and Montjuic mMountain) and castles and palaces, including Guell Palace andVirreina Palace. 4

1.FIRA de Barcelona (2012). BarcelonaSmart City.Barcelona: FIRA de Barcelona.

2.Ibid, 13.

3.Deltell, S. (2014). Auditedreport of annual accounts.Barcelona: Barcelona City Council.

4.Forman, T. (2008). Urbanregions and planning beyond the city.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thecity of Barcelona has established linkages with other regions, whichfacilitates a rapid economic growth of the city. The development planfor the City of Barcelona is usually integrated with the developmentprograms in the neighboring municipalities. 5In addition, the region of Great Barcelona has strong ties with theneighboring regions, such as Igualada, Tordera floodplain, andManresa.

Theleadership of the city of Barcelona appreciates the significance ofbusiness and industry in the overgrowth of the region. To this end,the city has one of the largest industrial parks in Spain coveringabout 10 % of the entire city with surface area of about 549.7hectares. 6The idea of setting aside a large industrial park implies that thecity’s management anticipates the city to continue expanding in thefuture.

Metropolisshortcomings in economic development

Thedevelopment plans of the City of Barcelona have three majorshortcomings. First, emphasizes more on the overall growth of thecity, while little attention is paid to the development projects canhelp the administration in addressing the challenge of unemployment.The size of the population of the city has been growingsignificantly, especially in the outskirts. Currently, the city ofBarcelona has a population of 1.63 million people in the GreatBarcelona and 4.6 million in the entire urban area of Barcelona. 7Despitethe high rate of the growth of the city, little has been done doreduce the rate of

5.Forman, T. (2008). Urbanregions and planning beyond the city.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

6.Nagel, A. (2014). Parc de I’Espanya industrial.Barcelona.Retrieved January 12, 2015, from

7.Maresma &amp Association (2014). Catalonialeads drop in unemployment in 2013.Barcelona: Maresma &amp Association.

unemployment.Currently, the rate of unemployment in the city of Barcelona (21.7%), which is among the highest rate in Spain.8

Table1: Rate of unemployment in Barcelona

Type of sector

Percentage of unemployment



Support professionals










Source:Maresma &ampAssociation (2014)

Secondly,the Barcelona’s development agenda seems to be more focused on thegrowth of the light and heavy industries, leaving the service sectorbehind. The management of the city fails to understand that theservice industry has the capacity to create four out of five jobscreated in any economy. 9In contrary, the Barcelona’s service sector has declined by 15-30 %

8.Maresma &amp Association (2014). Catalonialeads drop in unemployment in 2013. Barcelona:Maresma &amp Association.

9.Connell, J. (2014). Barcelona City. BritannicaIncorporation.Retrieved January 12, 2015, from

withinthe last five years, while the industry sector has been growingrapidly following the establishment of the large industry park andthe subsequent support the manufacturing sector by the government.Lack of balanced development for the service and the industry sectorsis a serious drawback in that should be addressed adequately for abetter future of the Barcelona City.

Thecity of Barcelona believes strongly in the concept of the demand-sidemanagement, especially in the electricity and water sectors. The ideaof embracing the demand-side management in the energy sector wasbased on the City’s desire to enhance energy sustainability. Forexample, the Photovoltaic (PV) system project, which was started in1998, has been focusing on encouraging the citizens to reduce theirenergy consumption with the objective of promoting energysustainability.10A similar approach has been applied in the water sector, where thecity management has been encouraging citizens to reduce their waterconsumption by informing them about the scarcity of this resource.Although the demand-side approach seems to be theoreticallyeffective, its implementation has several shortcomings. For example,energy efficiency strategies are capital intensive their paybackcycle is longer.11Moreover, the strategies are risky because failure of the priceexpectations in the energy sector to materialize reduces financialsavings, thus increasing the length of payback cycle. The

10.Maresma &amp Association (2014). Catalonialeads drop in unemployment in 2013.Barcelona: Maresma &amp Association.

11.Rowles, P. (2014). Demandresponse and demand side management.Burlington, ON: Energy Advantage.

demand-sidemanagement approach should be reconsidered in order to help themanagement adopt more effective approaches that will help the Cityovercome the economic challenges of the twenty-first century.


Thecity of Barcelona has successfully managed to pull out of theeconomic recession. Its rate of GDP has been growing at the rate of30 %, which has allowed the city to diversify its economicstructures. 12Consequently, the city of Barcelona has generated the confidence offoreign investors, which means that the large companies operating thecity should expect stiff competition. The risk premium stabilized at240 basic points, indicating that the level of risks occurringreduced. The management of large banks operating in the city shouldunderstand that the rate of family deposits has increased by 14.9 %,but loan defaults has increased by 12.12 %.13This implies that borrowers should be screened thoroughly. Annualsale of vehicles has increased at the rate of 20.9 %, which indicatesa faster rate the economic growth and a promising market for largefirms operating in the automotive industry. The industrial productiongrew at 2.4 %, which suggests that the automotive sector is likely togrow at a high rate in the future. However, about 41 % of thecitizens reported that business has been going bad, while only 14 %of them who believe that business will go well in the future.14


Recenttrends indicate that there are three major sectors that have beengrowing at the

12.Activa, B. (2013). Reporton the state of the economy in the city of Barcelona.Silicon Valley: Slide Share.

13.Ibid, 1.

14.Ibid, 1.

highestrates. First, business and holiday tourism has grown at 437 % since1993, cruise-ship passengers by 1,485 %, English speaking tourists263 %, and international tourism 285 % in the City of Barcelona.15

Figure1: Rates of change in different tourism services

Source:Null (2014)

Secondly,the manufacturing sector has been growing steadily since 1997 todate. The manufacturing sector generates about 21 % of the GDP, wherethe metallurgy, energy, and chemical industries account for 47 %.15In addition, about 67 % of the total number of factories establishedin Catalonia is based in the City of Barcelona.

Third,sport is one of the sectors that the management of the city ofBarcelona has been using to establish links with other municipalitiesand other parts of the world. The government has launched the sportsexhibitions and competitions in the city with the objective ofattracting

14.Null, W. (2014). Inthe last 20 years, the number of tourists visiting Barcelona hastripled.Barcelona: BCNTourism.

15.Barcelona City Council (2014). Valor afegit bruit. BarcelonaCity Council.Retrieved January 12, 2015, from

thelocal and the international sportsmen and put the city in thelimelight.16In addition, the city leadership has development the state-of-the-artinfrastructure, such as the Barcelona 295 stadium, Estadi, andSantiago Bernabeu football stadiums.

16.Barcelona City Council (2014). The sports sector in Barcelona andCatalonia. Barcelona: Barcelona City Council.


Activa, B. (2013). Reporton the state of the economy in the city of Barcelona.Silicon Valley: Slide Share.

Barcelona City Council (2014).The sports sector inBarcelona and Catalonia.Barcelona: Barcelona City Council.

Barcelona City Council (2014).Valor afegit bruit. BarcelonaCity Council.Retrieved January 12, 2015, from

Connell, J. (2014). BarcelonaCity. BritannicaIncorporation.Retrieved January 12, 2015, from

Deltell, S. (2014). Auditedreport of annual accounts.Barcelona: Barcelona City Council.

FIRA de Barcelona (2012).Barcelona Smart City.Barcelona: FIRA de Barcelona.

Forman, T. (2008). Urbanregions and planning beyond the city.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gusta, M. (2014). Guideto Barcelona: What to do and see in Barcelona.Barcelona: DISQUS.

Maresma &amp Association (2014).Catalonia leads drop inunemployment in 2013.Barcelona: Maresma &amp Association.

Nagel, A. (2014). Parc deI’Espanya industrial. Barcelona.Retrieved January 12, 2015, from

Null, W. (2014). Inthe last 20 years, the number of tourists visiting Barcelona hastripled. Barcelona:BCNTourism.

Rowles, P. (2014). Demandresponse and demand side management.Burlington, ON: Energy Advantage.