Barcelona City Council is finalizing a revolutionary Christmas lighting. The government of the mayor Ada Colau is determined that the Catalan capital swells the list of cities that take advantage of these endearing festivals to make themselves known to the world, encourage local commerce and draw a few smiles among their neighbors, to carve out a niche between Vigo, Malaga, Madrid … and also between New York, London, Paris …
The First Deputy Mayor and the Councilor for Commerce, the socialists Jaume Collboni and Montse Ballarín, and the designer Toni Arola, have just released the details of this initiative. “This Christmas must mark the return to normality,” stressed the first deputy mayor. “For years we have been working to make Christmas a pole of attraction for all kinds of visitors,” added the mayor of Commerce. Undoubtedly, the upcoming festivities will be decisive for the reactivation of the Barcelona economy, for the recovery of so many merchants after so many unfortunate months. The city center needs this accolade.
Plaza Catalunya, Gran Via and Aragó street will be the main axes of this transformation. The municipal spending of this shed will go from 1,622,000 the previous year to 2,057,866 euros. Ronda Sant Pere will be illuminated for the first time. In addition, Via Laietana, Urquinaona square and Balmes street will enjoy a very attractive reinforcement. Everything will have a meaning, a kind of solution of continuity. Because one of the objectives is to offer the citizen a story.
But Barcelona does not want to make this leap without losing its idiosyncrasy. The lighting of the city for next Christmas will not be visible from the moon or require sunglasses to avoid discomfort in the retina. The winning proposal of the great competition opened by the Consistory, that of the Antoni Araloa studio, is based on design and an elegant sobriety, without exaggerated and dazzling fuss.
“We rely on basic elements, in a warm and sober, but elegant light”, the designer himself stressed during the press conference held at the City Hall. “We want the city to beat from the radios that will illuminate Plaza Catalunya itself. With just a few elements we have achieved a lot. As you walk and change the perspective, the decoration will gradually transform ”.
Barcelona will thus complete the great transformation of public space lighting during these celebrations, somewhat frustrated by the pandemic. The change was already planned before the COVID broke out. The Town Hall and the main merchant associations of the city had been working on it since a few days after the Three Wise Men arrived in the city in 2019, but the mandatory precautionary measures then left the city with a bittersweet taste in the mouth.
In any case, despite all these changes, Barcelona does not want to abandon an organizational model that makes it easier for Christmas lighting to reach all the city’s neighborhoods. The City Council will continue to finance hand in hand with the merchants the lighting of the commercial areas of the city. It is not yet known, however, if this year it will return to the traditional distribution of expenses to 50 percent or if the City Council will increase its proportion again, as it did last year, when it paid 75 percent.