The city is in a long process of metamorphosis that wants to reach the final touch, through the future pole of biomedical activity (‘biopol’) and the burial of clothes, to the triad of deep changes that have passed through the last four. decades from the elementary, the establishment of offices and equipment in the consecration of popular urban plans in the 80s, until the end at the beginning of the century of the economic district of Barcelona around the epicenter of the Plaza Europa and the adjacent market places. .
For the present “third urban and economic transformation” of the great city, indeed the current Council of the city of L’Hospitalet -historically with socialist governments, today with an absolute majority, looks at the future inspired by the conglomeration of biomedical companies. the socio-economic impact of the great transformation of Plaza Europe which, with the burial of two kilometers of Granvia and the urbanization in a field of 365,000 square meters of buildable space, which today houses large companies such as the construction company Copisa or the pharmaceutical company Ipsen. -, place a local model around the so-called city model.
This inspiration results as a result of what the council calls a “successful” model: when it began in 2001, just before the urbanization works of Plaza Europe, L’Hospitalet had some 66,000 jobs placed in 2011. There were now 75,000 (12% more) jobs in the municipality. Today, more than 100,000 jobs are located in L’Hospitalet, according to municipal sources. The “biopolis” project provides for the creation of another 29,000 direct jobs.
“During the same period, the large surrounding Catalan cities such as Barcelona, Sabadell or Terrassa grew less or did not grow at all. What is the differential effect of L’Hospitalet? Plaza Europe”, says Raúl Alvarín, director of the Consorcio per la Reforma de la Granvia de L’Hospitalet , the state is made up of the General Council of Catalunya and the city of L’Hospitalet, which in its day promoted the reform of Plaza Europe and today it does the same with Biopol-Granvia Urban. The Master Plan (PDU), an urban instrument – initially approved last December – on which the aforementioned biomedical center is based and which provides for the definitive burial of Granvia.
According to Alvari, the future “biopol” will mean “squaring the circle” that was drawn decades ago: “From 1981 to 2023, L’Hospitalet tripled its green area, increased its services and reduced its population by about thirty thousand inhabitants.” it’s a lie… No, it’s true and it’s already happened” [se refiere a la Plaza Europa]: L’Hospitalet project is not a single project, but a transformation to reduce density, attract economic activity and increase green areas, although it continues to fall below the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), Alvarín added.
The director of the Consortium notes the environmental criticism, some of which also lead to the speculative shadows of PDU Biopolis, which are led around platforms such as No Més Blocs; Saboga or SOS Baix Llobregat i L’Hospitalet, which cries out against the “passport culture” in which the city suffers from one of the highest population densities in Europe.
Although specifically stated against the PDU as the cornerstone of the third transformation of L’Hospitalet, the opposition to local urban changes goes further and, of socialist political criticism, represents the other side of the coin, less dominant but sound in places. of the City model for L’Hospitalet.
Companies that pay for Social Services: the ‘L’H model’
In April 2022, mayoress Núria Marín presented at the European Forum local urban changes and their correlative social and economic impact. Through the thesis “L’Hospitalet model”, he illustrated an illustrative metaphor: “The large team of Economic Districts generate for the City Council, including the Real Estate Tax and the Economic Activities Tax; 31 million of cash. Do you know what the annual budget of the Social Service of the city is? 30.8 “millions of dollars.” “To generate wealth to distribute it”, in the words of Marín, is the opinion to which the city has subscribed from the institute, which has set up in this last transformation “what it wants to be when it grows up”, says Francesc Belver (PSC), first lieutenant mayor of L’Hospitalet and head of development local economy.
That maturity, Belver emphasizes, is projected through the logic of specialization, with which the municipality is required to occupy a central position in the metropolitan area of Barcelona with 3.3 million inhabitants. “Our specialization is based on the biomedical field” [vía ‘biopol’]; in the field of technology [vía Mobile World Congress en la Fira]; and in the cultural sector [vía Distrito Cultural]Belver points out.
For his part, Nestor Cabañas, technician from the Strategic Office of L’Hospitalet, also links the concept of the ‘third transformation’ of the city to the ‘city of 15 minutes’, to the citizen’s access on foot or by bike to basic social services, and to the “40-minute city” : “In 40 minutes by public transport we reach 3.3 million metropolitan residents,” Cabañas adds.
From a suburban bedroom to a fertile city.
Another of the contextual foci that focused Marín’s narrative in the Forum Europe, the past of L’Hospitalet, affirmed that it would perish before the accession of the Democratic Consistory to the greater “suburb”.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the city surrounded by the Llobregat River was the destination of powerful internal migrant waves, which caused the municipality to double its population from 1940 (50,070 inhabitants) to 1960 (123,282 inhabitants).
“It was the origin of the high density of the northern neighborhoods like La Torrassa, La Florida or Pubilla Cases, where many people work mainly in the automobile seat sector, and in the construction of the subway and the textile industry”, comments Alvarín, who describes the southern area of the city (rambla Marina de Bellvitge) to “cultivate the fields and villages with little urban development.”
As of 1979, when local democratic governments were restored, two major urban changes took place in the city. The first, with the removal of the “Carrilet”, the railway that connected L’Hospitalet with the agricultural area of Baix Llobregat, and its corresponding urban transformation up to the current civic road. Second, the development of the neighborhoods of Bellvitge and El Gornal, which have gone beyond strictly urban with the provision of services and equipment.
After the Law of Vicinity, that nation in L’Hospitalet, in the time of Celestine Corbach. [alcalde del 1994 al 2008]”, remembers Alvarín, he promoted a comprehensive chain of projects in the local demarcation such as Collblanc-La Torrassa, where he highlighted the reform of the Parc de la Marquesa and later the Pubilla Houses-La Florida and El Gornal.
This urban redevelopment, which took place in the second transformation of the so-called L’Hospitalet from 1996, signified “the change from a ‘sleepy city’ to a ‘productive city’, the ideas of Deputy Mayor Belver, which is a trend that crystallizes in the equivalence of active people and jobs in located in the city, the correspondence that the consistory foresees, when the future ‘biopol’ comes into operation, taking into account the project around twenty years and this in the middle. of This project is the work of fundamental transformation to be completed by 2028