Lluís Recoder: «We'll Be More Competitive If We Can Do More With Less»

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On Tuesday, 26 June 2012, Lluís Recoder, the Catalan Minister of Planning and Sustainability, inaugurated the roundtable seminar "Regenerating - Catalunya_ciutat" ("Regenerating - Catalonia_City"), organized by the Directors of the Official Master's Programme on Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes at the UIC School of Architecture (ESARQ).

Lluís Recoder: «We'll Be More Competitive If We Can Do More With Less»

The ceremony
was presented by UIC Rector Pere Alavedra and Vicente Sarrablo, the ESARQ Director. Director
Sarrablo emphasized the importance the ESARQ places on multidisciplinary
education for UIC architecture students and the school’s interest in being an
active participant in the social debate about the city of Barcelona. “That’s why”, he said, “we’re
happy to be able to hold events such as this one, where there are synergies
between areas such as industry, sustainability, urban planning and geography”.

Professors Pere Vall and Carmen Mendoza, the Directors of the Master’s Programme,
stressed how important it is for all fields to join forces in order to build
the kind of city we really want. “Catalonia
City”, said Professor
Vall, “is much more than just statistical data. We have taken up a lot of ground,
but we’re convinced that we have built up the city very little”. Professor
Mendoza insisted that certain topics must be discussed, such as “the
environmental point of view; the natural and constructed landscape, understood
as culture; and especially the need for social infrastructure to be the
backbone of change so that it may be implemented with the true intention of building
a nation”.

During his
opening speech, Minister Lluís Recoder gave examples of different cities as he spoke about
the need to build in an orderly and sensible manner. “We’ll be more competitive
if we’re more efficient, if we can do more with less”, he said. With this in
mind, the former mayor of Sant Cugat emphasized that bureaucracy must be eliminated and
citizens must be freed from excessive regulations as a way of encouraging
pragmatism and resourcefulness. “We should be stricter with the essentials
while being more flexible and hands-off with the minor details. There is so
much bureaucracy that we end up penalizing those who want to do things properly
while not controlling those who do things incorrectly”.

The roundtable
featured Ramon Folch, the Director of Estudi Ramon Folch, a socio-environmental consulting
company; Willy Müller, the General Director of Barcelona Regional; Joan Nogué,
the Head of the Human Geography Department at the Universitat de Girona and the Director of the Landscape Observatory of
Catalonia; and Rosa Serra, the Coordinator of the Area of Knowledge and New
Technologies of Barcelona Provincial Council. The moderator was Francesc Muñoz,
a geographer and the Director of the Urban Planning Observatory.

The experts in the different disciplines reflected on
the main challenges facing the contemporary Catalonia city. They spoke about
globalization, internationalization and new technologies, and focused on how
these challenges relate to the feeling of belonging, of place and uniqueness, as
well as the need to redefine new points of reference in the landscape.

Many people participated in the debate, including
special guests Bet
Alabern, Marta Benages, Romina Canna, Carles Llop, David Martínez and Daniel Módol.