A global city which stands up for its residents“We can’t be a global city at the expense of residents”. The city faces 2018 with the challenge of defining itself as an international leader, in order to attract talent, creativity and productive investment, as well as using municipal powers to help protect the rights of tenants.
Barcelona City Council is preparing to run an international campaign during the Mobile World Congress to relaunch the city, with no hang-ups, outlining the city’s strong points and potential in terms of innovation and research, and translating events such as the phone congress into solid investment and quality jobs.
The Mayor, Ada Colau, announced the campaign at the traditional conference ‘The Mayor Responds’ at the Catalan Journalists Association, inviting a broader outlook, as well as an internal perspective.
Right to housing
“If we let property speculation drive out our residents, we all lose out, because we lose our neighbourhoods”, explained Colau, pointing out the risks of a global city, an asset which Barcelona does not want to give up on, in the same way it doesn’t want to give up on its most important asset: local people and neighbourhoods.
To this end, the municipal government is preparing a modification to the by-law regulating total renovation projects for buildings. One of the main reasons for the loss of housing is the rise in rental prices, favouring major investments and the purchase of entire blocks to force out residents and renew whole buildings.
The modification to the by-law is designed to make building owners guarantee the rights of tenants in cases of building renovation, ensuring they are rehoused during and after the renovation.
Beyond the sphere of municipal powers, Colau called for a major city pact to regulate rental prices and pointed to two main areas: longer contracts, which are currently limited to just three years by law, and limits on arbitrary price hikes when contracts come to an end.
This city pact, directed at municipal groups, seeks to make the Government of Catalonia and the Spanish state jointly responsible for reforming the law on property rental.