Urban Governance of Employment Activation. The Case of Barcelona Activa (Spain)

Octubre 2006
Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP) CSIC, Working Paper. 2006-11

Alessandro Gentile

Within the framework of the “knowledge society” and the globalized economy, with the consequent processes of rescaling nation-state and improving of more horizontal modes of governance, many European urban areas carry out activation policies through their capacity to mix productive flows, foreign investments, social characteristics and local economic development. According to this perspective, activation policies have to be interpreted as territorial qualified initiatives that contribute to shape local socio-economic growth. Barcelona Activa is the local development agency of the city of Barcelona (Spain) designed for the increase of employment, business cooperation and local entrepreneurial spirit. This agency promotes Barcelona through citizenship participation and professionalization, public-private partnership and integral plans of urban marketing. I will focus my analysis both on methodological strategies and governance outlines of this agency, approaching activation policies as indispensable instruments for the improvement of Barcelona as one of the most important southern gateway to Europe.