Can Mumbai be developed on the lines of Barcelona?

Xavier Trias, the Mayor of Barcelona, says they are ready to collaborate with authorities to develop Mumbai the way the Spanish city has been

As one of Europe’s leading vacation spots and a major cultural centre, Barcelona is always full of visitors. It is a transport hub with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe’s principal seaports. It is also the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain. But few know it is also the country’s second largest city with a population of 1.6 million.

The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias and the Deputy Mayor Antoni Vives spoke at ‘Barcelona, a social dream’ at Y B Chavan Centre on Thursday. The talk was held by Mumbai First and its chairman Narinder Nayar was present. Also seen is Eduardo de Quesada, Consul General of Spain. Trias and Vives spoke about how Mumbai could also be developed like Barcelona. Pic/Bipin Kokate
The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias and the Deputy Mayor Antoni Vives spoke at ‘Barcelona, a social dream’ at Y B Chavan Centre on Thursday. The talk was held by Mumbai First and its chairman Narinder Nayar was present. Also seen is Eduardo de Quesada, Consul General of Spain. Trias and Vives spoke about how Mumbai could also be developed like Barcelona. Pic/Bipin Kokate

It is also the sixth most populous urban area in the European union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr and Milan. No wonder its mayor, Xavier Trias, sees the similarities with Mumbai and feels it could also be what Barcelona has become.

Trias and Deputy Mayor Antoni Vives are in Mumbai and spoke at ‘Barcelona, a social dream’, a function held by Mumbai First, a non-profit organisation, at Y B Chavan on Thursday. Interestingly, Mumbai mayor Snehal Ambekar, who was invited, did not attend.

Trias, and Vives, spoke about the development of their city, and how Mumbai could be developed on the same grounds. Trias said, “We would like to collaborate with the authorities on Mumbai and discuss urban issues and help them with tackling problems.”

“We will be happy to have BMC’s representatives at Barcelona to showcase the various development work we have done and can plan various other things,” he added. In a presentation on Barcelona to the representatives of the municipal corporation, Vives showed how they worked to create open spaces though development was the core focus.

Vives said, “Earlier our city’s beaches were not so attractive but now the water front is the major attraction. Also, we have made real estate affordable for people.” Antoni claimed his city could have been a twin city to Mumbai with the same traffic issues, problem of lack of open spaces and no developed market.

Rajiv Jalota, the additional municipal commissioner and representative of BMC at the event, said, “We have had a visit to Barcelona on our agenda for almost two years. Now we will surely pushb for it at the earliest, and work on the suggestions for development.”

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