Eight weeks before the municipal ones, the Government of the mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and her members of the PSC, takes advantage of the last days available before the electoral law prohibits it (because it would be considered an electoral campaign), to make visits to works, city festivals in which he avoids the word inauguration or announce commissions for the writing of future projects. The pace is frenetic. A good thermometer is the amount of renders (virtual images of how a work will look) shown. Last week there were seven: the future kennel, Mar Bella promenade and park, Hortes de Sant Bertran, pedestrianizations in the Camp de l’Arpa, the Font Trobada in Montjuïc, the park in the Marina neighborhood and Gran Via between Glories and Poblenou.
This Monday he presented the tender for the drafting of projects for future facilities in the old Modelo prison: a school and the memorial space. But the consistory also informed of a new calendar: the works add more delay. From having the first facilities working in 2026, the Xirinacs school institute, the sports center and the Memorial space, it will go to 2027. This, if the next mayor is convinced by the winning projects (of this or any other plan) and considers it positive to invest in they.
That of La Modelo, which is worth remembering that it closed in 2018, is not the only case of projects that were included in the “leftist agreement” signed by commoners and socialists in the summer of 2019 and that are late. The list of promises in that document also includes plans such as transforming the Rambla del Carmel (in 2019 the winner of a project competition was chosen), the completion of the Paral.lel reform, continuing the coverage of the Ronda de Dalt ( budgeted, but without a schedule), redeveloping the surroundings of the Sagrada Familia, a project for the ring roads that surround Ciutat Vella (Sant Pere, Universitat, Sant Antoni and Sant Pau) or finishing “all” the Glòries park and tidying up Gran Via between the square and the boulevard of Poblenou.
In other cases, in the document of the municipal government agreement, there were projects that have passed through the hands of successive mayors and are not advancing: the Parque de los Tres Turons (whose start of works was announced for 2020) or the Morrot (the plan of the mayor Xavier Trias was parked, but the current executive promised to “intervene”) are two examples. There are also projects that accumulate delay that do not depend exclusively on the City Council, such as the expansion and modernization of Sants station. And one last chapter: long-awaited urban reforms that have begun, but are behind schedule compared to the announcements. This is the case of the reforms of La Rambla, Via Laietana or Meridiana (the commitment spoke of transforming it up to Fabra i Puig and Felip II has been reached, although the executive projects have been drafted so that only the work remains to be tendered).
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In some cases, such as the Parque de los Tres Turons, about which the City Council has not reported since 2019 (when a contest was resolved to rearrange the complex), urban planning sources now point out that it is “in the final phase of analysis of the drafts and study of the landscape elaborated to incorporate new arguments and complement the documentation from the landscape point of view with a view to the management of the park”. It will still be necessary to “agree with the neighbors the following steps”. It is also unknown, beyond the Paseo de la Mar Bella, what will happen to the platform where a failed marine zoo was projected. A huge cement slab that remains without a defined use. The consistory is not very specific: “The future of the marine platform is part of the debate that we are having to define the coastal plan, in a global reflection to recover spaces linked to citizenship, relate them to neighborhoods and for people to enjoy from the coastal strip, take a walk, that the city does not live behind your back. We want to define projects of public interest with the participation of all the actors involved in each area”.
The La Model memorial space will “musealise” ten cells and will include the panopticon, the parcel room and the booths
The Councilor for Democratic Memory of the Barcelona City Council, Jordi Rabassa, explained this Monday that the future memorial space of the old model prison will maintain the fourth gallery, all its floors. Both this gallery, emblematic because it housed political prisoners during the Franco regime, will be preserved, as well as the panopticon (the central point where the six galleries converged). Ten of the cells will be “museumized”, to count the different profiles that the prison received. The so-called gypsy chapel, where murals by Helios Gómez are preserved. Rabassa explained that two other highly symbolic spaces in the compound will also be maintained in some way: the parcel room where Salvador Puig Antich was executed, and the booths where families, friends or lawyers visited the prisoners.
The future memorial space “is a milestone in the structure of the city’s democratic values,” said Rabassa, who has estimated that the space will add almost 6,000 square meters. To decide what the memorial will be like, references to other prisons in museums in other parts of Europe have been sought. “There will be talk of the labor and social conflict, of the Francoist and previous prisoners, of the women’s prison system, of prison reforms, of penal treatment, of the law of bad guys and thugs…”, he celebrated about what will be included in the future space. “Everything that has to do with the prison system since the beginning of the 20th century,” she added. Meanwhile, he has applauded that the La Modelo venue is already a “reference cultural space in Barcelona where 210,000 people have passed.”
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