Barcelona’s 22@ District: The technological district in Barcelona
The Barcelona’s 22@ district, known as the 22@ or the Innovation District, is an area of Barcelona with nearly 200 hectares built with the aim of transforming the old industrial land of Poblenou (Sant Martí district) into an area of strategic concentration of knowledge-intensive activities. At 22@ ‘s district, a new compact city model is being created, with companies, universities, research, training, and technology transfer centers coexisting with housing, city facilities, and green areas.
Origins of Barcelona’s 22@District.
In the year 2000, the Barcelona City Council approved a new urban planning ordinance to transform the old industrial area of Poblenou. Changing obsolete factories that had long ago been abandoned or were simply not very productive into a magnet for new activities. The area in the 22@ zone is basically the whole south-eastern quadrant of the city, from Gran Via to the beltway and from the Olympic Village to Rambla de Prim, which is the equivalent of 115 blocks in the Eixample, which allows more construction, more public spaces or green areas, and subsidized housing. The previous industrial activity is replaced by offices or other business services and equipment related to new technology and knowledge.
22@ District nowadays
22@ Barcelona’s project is building a new compact city, where the most innovative companies co-exist with research, training, and tech transfer centers, as well as housing (4,000 new subsidized residences), facilities (145,000 m2 of land), and green areas (114,000 m2). This new city model coexists with the neighborhood’s industrial heritage thanks to the Industrial Heritage Protection Plan. This plan is written jointly by 22@Barcelona and the Barcelona City Council. It should be noted that 114 elements of architectural interest have been preserved (like chimneys of old factories).
If you like modern architecture, you definitely cannot miss a walk around this neighborhood.