Despite the difficulties of the last few months, with the attacks in August and the events of last October, Barcelona’s strengths are still very much intact. The city is resourceful and resilient and does not flinch in adversity. Our data and initiatives reinforce this idea.

Aspiring to 5G

Barcelona wants a leading role in the development of 5G in Europe and to play a part in the design and testing of the latest advance in mobile bandwidth Internet connections, the next driving force in the technological revolution. Experts say that the deployment of 5G will generate 130,000 million euros every year and 2.3 million jobs by 2025.

Celebrating the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

In 2018, the European Commission will choose three or four projects to test this new technology. One of these initiatives is 5GBarcelona, set up by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the City Council, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the i2CAT Foundation, the Catalan Telecommunications and Technology Centre (CTTC), Atos and the UPC. It enjoys the support of operators such as Vodafone, Telefónica, Orange and leading companies in other sectors like Seat, FC Barcelona, Cellnex and Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic.

The metropolitan area of Barcelona will become an urban laboratory for testing 5G technologies and services, with its status as Mobile World Capital and the presence of the Mobile World Congress in its favour, to host a number of scientific projects and with the quality and numbers of the technology entrepreneurs in the city. Catalonia can attract between 10% and 15% of the business volume and jobs forecast for the coming years.

There is a widespread consensus that the digital revolution must not leave anyone behind. Barcelona City Council is opening the technology and research facilities to all citizens in the days leading up to the Mobile World Congress. Mobile Week Barcelona, from 15 to 24 February is a mix of art, science and technology, with 120 activities in 90 spaces in the districts of the city, Hospitalet and Sant Adrià de Besòs.

Future Avenue

The Avinguda Futur platform, proposed by the presidents of Seat and Barcelona Global, made up of around fifty companies and institutions, including Fira de Barcelona, aims to support the role and profile of Barcelona in an increasingly competitive global environment, with special consideration given to public initiatives.

The ideas with the most support are 4BCN, meeting places for persons from different sectors and areas (education, health, mobility, technology, culture…) to express ideas that offer solutions to the city’s problems; BCN Pulse, a forum that brings retired experts together with young entrepreneurs; BCN Mobility Social Network, which seeks to benefit from the mobility experiences accumulated by groups and individuals, and Barcelona The Place to Create, think-tanks that have been set up in different districts of the city so that residents can offer their views on urban and social issues.


The Airport of Barcelona-el Prat, is the seventh busiest in Europe and ended 2017 with 47,284,500 passengers, which is 7.1% more than 2016, which was a record year in itself with 44,154,722 passengers. The months of December saw 3,193,645 people come through, which is an increase of 6.4% on the last month of 2016. 70% of the passengers who used Barcelona-el Prat airport in December 2017 were on international flights.

The 5th most innovative city

The report of the Observatorio Barcelona 2017 (even through the cutoff point for most of the data was 2016) by the Chamber of Commerce and the Council, which studies the positioning of Barcelona in the context of international business, reveals that it has featured among the 10 most innovative cities of Europe for the first time, in 5th place, and 13th place in the global rankings. The report also highlights its improved reputation, which rose from 14th to 8th place. It also occupies 8th place among the urban areas attracting foreign investment projects. In contrast, it dropped four places in global competitiveness (from 20th to 24th), which is probably due to the use of data from different sources.

As regards the hosting of congresses, Barcelona held third place in 2016 behind Berlin and Paris. In the ranking of business schools, the Catalan capital is the only city with two centres in the top 10: IESE in fifth place, followed by Esade.

When it comes to cities associated with sport, Barcelona fell by one place to Rio de Janeiro, ending in fourth place with a financial impact estimated at 2,100 million euros.

Fotografia principal: Antonio Lajusticia ©Turisme de Barcelona