31. Cultural and political outreach
In the 19th century, the French model of territorial organisation coupled with a centralist Spanish government led to the revival of Catalonia’s linguistic, cultural and political heritage. Barcelona emerged as a modern, middle-class and industrial city, socially highly polarised until the mid-20th century, which aspired to achieve self-rule.
Since the 1960s, economic growth and the subsequent democratic transition and expansion of services have meant that one of the main municipal policies has been to build an image of the city as a European metropolis in lockstep with the rise of critical and reformist views.