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The Metropolitan Manifest Assembly celebrates its first meeting in Barcelona

ca Arrenca l'Assemblea a Barcelona en The Assembly begins in Barcelona es Arranca la Asamblea en Barcelona

March 21, 2024

The objective of the deliberative process is to imagine metropolitan spaces that can influence cultural policies from the perspective of an ecosocial transition

The former headquarters of Editorial Gustavo Gili, in Barcelona, ​​hosted this Thursday, March 21, the first of the three face-to-face meetings of debates of the Metropolitan Manifest Assembly, which aims to explore and experiment with new spaces of governance and democratic processes in the development of cultural policies. Sixty people from 12 cities in the Barcelona metropolitan region have already begun to participate in the deliberative process organized within the framework of the European Capital of Democracy (ECoD) in collaboration with the Manifesta 15 Barcelona Metropolitan Biennial.


©Manifesta15 Barcelona Metropolitana - Helena Roig

The Manifesta headquarters has been chosen as the venue for presentations to representatives from Badalona, Barcelona, Cornellà de Llobregat, El Prat de Llobregat, Granollers, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Mataró, Sabadell, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Cugat del Vallès, and Terrassa. This first session aimed to collectively develop an initial diagnosis to work on proposals during subsequent meetings: "From the European Capital of Democracy, we want to work with democracy on major challenges, but also with proximity democracy, where a group of people gather to find a series of solutions as we are doing with the Assembly," explained Arnau Monterde, Director of Democratic Innovation at the Barcelona City Council. "The construction of this culture of participation in the management processes of common affairs is the foundation of the democracy that is intended to be promoted from the ECoD initiative." Hedwig Fijen, director/founder of the Manifesta International Foundation, added: "Our goal is to take this consultation a step further by studying possible forms of cultural collaboration in the metropolitan area and stimulating ways to decentralize culture in the long term." Precisely, the metropolitan dimension comes hand in hand with the Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Barcelona (PEMB): "You are here mainly because you are metropolitan people. It is in this space of the 5 million city where we need to work to face the major challenges," emphasized Oriol Estela, general coordinator of the PEMB.

Capital Europea de la Democràcia

Culture, Ecology, and Metropolitan Dimension

The expected outcomes include exploring how this Assembly can be useful in generating cultural proposals and policies, as well as assessing how it can become a permanent instrument for participatory governance in this specific field. The objective is to ensure that cohesive and cross-cutting cultural policies are developed and implemented, guaranteeing the legacy of the Manifesta 15 event in the long term. Additionally, this proposal will address the convergence of three essential aspects: culture, ecology, and the metropolitan dimension. The results and conclusions will be presented during the Manifesta Biennial in November of this year, and workshops and other programs will be developed in response to the work of the Assembly.


The Assembly will consist of a total of three face-to-face meetings on March 21 in Barcelona (the one already held), April 25 in Sabadell, and May 23 in L'Hospitalet, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. In addition, from the website of the European Capital of Democracy, participants will be able to access the citizen participation platform that will serve as the central axis of the entire process.

The project is organized within the framework of the European Capital of Democracy (ECoD) —formed by the Barcelona City Council and the Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Barcelona (PEMB)— and Manifesta 15 Barcelona Metropolitan.

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