22@, the technological district of Barcelona

The 22@ district of Poble Nou in Barcelona is a project that aims to transform 200 hectares of Barcelona, from industrial land into an innovative district. Turning what was once an industrial area into a space where companies and universities can share knowledge and technologies. And this, combined with a dynamic environment, where you can enjoy culture, sports, free time, shopping.

The industrial district of Barcelona

Historically, the Poble Nou district was the main production area for cotton fabrics in Barcelona. The activity of the factories was so high that the neighborhood became known as the Catalan Manchester. These textile factories were out of town because they needed a lot of space to extend at the sun the pieces they produced to dry and ventilate them.

From 1960, factories began to leave the area and moved to the outskirts of the city. Many of them ended up closed in the 1970s when they became obsolete. Thus, the area was slowly abandoned

The 1992 Olympics recovered part of this neighborhood: some of the old abandoned buildings and railway facilities were demolished. This allowed Barcelona to open to the sea. With the recovery of the seafront, five kilometers of beaches and fifty hectares of gardens were created. But the Poble Nou area was still no men land.

A transformation that continues

In June 2000, the development of the 22@ project began, which should be completed by 2025.

The name comes from the transformation of the name of the old industrial district, 22A. Because the intention was to install the knowledge industries and new technologies, the A became an @ and thus the district’s name was born, 22@.

In fact, the intention was to build an absolutely new neighborhood, with new concepts and where green spaces, sustainability and technology were at the forefront.

The project planned to build around 4,000 officially protected homes and about 114,000 m2 of gardens and equipment.
Among other innovations, all buildings are connected to a heating or air conditioning distribution system. This prevents each building from having its own system. A 13 kilometer network of underground galleries connects them to each other and supplies them with hot or cold air, as appropriate.

The waste recovery system is also innovative, allowing selective collection. And the relationship between private spaces and common areas also changed, in a neighborhood where one of the first superblock in Barcelona was put into operation. A concept that seeks to delimit the space of automobile traffic, to make cities increasingly pedestrian.

22 @ transformed Poble Nou into a technological platform, where a series of activity hubs were created. Universities, such as UPF or UB, are located close to post-university training centers, R&D centers (research and development) and importants companies in each sector. The idea is that up to 150,000 jobs will be created.

22 @ is one of the most modern districts in the world. An experiment that already works and helps us imagine what the cities of the future will be or should be like. Do you want to know more about this district? We tell you about our 22@ tour.

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