Barcelona’s resilience journey

The vibrant Spanish port of Barcelona is among the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea and a center for international tourism, entertainment, sports, and other growing industries.

Over the last decade, the city has taken action to address a number of infrastructure failures and natural hazards, such as the loss of main transportation lines, a significant power outage, rainfall flooding, drought, and other climate-related events. Cross-cutting resilience teams were created to carry out transversal shocks assessments and to respond with coordinated efforts to systemic urban stresses.

The city has also begun to address its main environmental and pollution challenges with projects that promote renewable energies: reducing the use of fossil fuels at the port, expanding public transportation, and adopting electric vehicles for the city’s automotive fleet, to decrease air and noise pollution in densely populated areas.

Building on this positive track record, Barcelona is now proactively committed to leveraging its knowledge and expertise in resilience planning, to address the diverse array of socioeconomic challenges facing its systems and communities. The Barcelona Resilience Strategy is tasked with developing transversal actions and projects across municipal areas to tackle issues including housing affordability, economic exclusion, demographic change, the integration of migrants, sustainable tourism, and the renewal of public spaces, among other policy challenges.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Ares Gabás Masip

Head of the Resilience Department

Ares has been Head of the Urban Resilience Department of Barcelona City Council since 2014. She is currently working on the development of risk reduction assessment and implementation projects and tools, as well as the city’s Resilience Strategy.

With a background in architecture and public space, Ares has been working for the Barcelona municipality since 2006, and was previously engaged in the urban regeneration project of District 22@, through the coordination and development of public space projects and urbanization processes.

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