Ada Colau Ballano is the first woman to become mayor in Barcelona’s history. She has devoted a large part of her life to social activism and the defense of human rights. She helped to launch the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) in 2009. She founded Guanyem Barcelona (subsequently Barcelona en Comú) in 2014, a political citizen platform that won the municipal elections in 2015. She was re-elected as Mayor of Barcelona in 2019.
Barcelona is a cultural role-model around the world. It is a UNESCO City of Literature and a Cultural and Science Capital. This is a priority sector for the City Council, which is why it spends 6% of its budget on it. Measures in recent years include the creation of the Barcelona Science Plan and the Barcelona Cultural Rights Plan, two globally pioneering initiatives, along with the City and Science Biennial and the Hypatia European Science Prize. In addition, the City Council continues to innovate with major projects, such as Ciutadella of Knowledge, where 1,200 researchers will be based, and the boost to research on urban challenges.
Other programmes have also been launched to help science and culture reach all the city’s neighborhoods and those most in need, with projects such as “In Residence”, the Neighborhood Plan and the EscoLab programme to promote culture and science programmes in childhood, particularly among girls.