A cross-cutting account of a bold, innovative and solidarity Barcelona

Institutions, companies and citizens have teamed up to create a consensual and collaborative account of Barcelona to improve the city’s reputation, attract talent and investment and help with social and metropolitan development. The Barcelona Brand Book brings together the results of a participatory process, with input from all stakeholders helping to shape the city’s image together.

31/01/2019 17:02 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

A participatory process was started in 2017 to improve the city’s reputation and build on what sets it apart from others. The process sought input from everyday citizens, professionals from various spheres, municipal and metropolitan stakeholders, journalists and international companies. The goal was to share the attributes that the various collectives associated with the city and to come up with a common narrative offering a cohesive vision and building on Barcelona’s strengths and abilities.

As a result of this process, the new Barcelona Brand Book provides an inclusive synthesis of an attractive city, not just to live in or visit, but also as a place to work, study, invest or start a business in. The document uses the data from the participatory process as its starting point, developing a discourse which synchronises the messages of all parties with an interest in the city’s reputation, embodied under the concept of Always Barcelona. This label was conceived a year ago to improve the city’s position at a local and international level and is now being used to renew its image and feature in a new reputation campaign.

The discourse is based on the six pillars which define the city’s DNA and which provide a common thread for the new Barcelona brand:

  • Connection: As a city we’re well-connected with the world and we also develop our surroundings from a metropolitan perspective, facilitating citizen mobility. This desire to knit the city together is reflected in the layout of 73 rich and diverse neighbourhoods, always linked. Connectivity is also promoted beyond the geographical perspective, with initiatives to foster knowledge and innovation networks and to attract investment in research and technology.
  • Initiative: The people of Barcelona stand out for their enterprising and creative spirit when it comes to taking on challenges and opportunities. The city is at the forefront in public-private collaboration and the circular economy, which not only stimulate the local economy, but also promote citizen participation in a more sustainable and resilient city.
  • Soul: The city’s streets and squares fill with culture and opportunities for people to enjoy their free time, with traditions and popular festivities which attract residents and visitors alike. The city’s wealth of heritage is also intact and is being promoted with new uses affording social roles for different sites and buildings. Barcelona is also characterised by an increase in urban greenery in public spaces in the last few years, bringing positive effects in terms of the health and quality of life of its citizens.
  • Contrasts: We’re young and old, sea-loving and mountain-loving, from the metropolitan area and from the neighbourhood. These contrasts enrich the urban ecosystem, where diversity and multiple voices go hand in hand. Barcelona is recognised for its modernity and avant-garde, which also combines with the traditions which form part of the character of the city’s people.
  • Talent: We’re a leading city in design and innovation, with a creative and enterprising ecosystem enabling Barcelona to retain local talent and attract talent from abroad.
  • Commitment: Barcelona is known for its solidarity spirit, the way it stands up for things, its capacity for social action and cohesion. Barcelona’s people are committed to protecting the environment and the fight against climate change, demonstrating this with everyday actions which help to improve environmental quality in the city.


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