Current affairs

EAE students discover El Clot and Barcelona’s new financial district

Barcelona is a city of contrasts. Its most working-class and commercial neighbourhoods merge into its new financial and technological hubs. To give its students the opportunity to discover the different sides of the city, EAE organized a cultural visit in which they took a tour of the new 22@ district and the El Clot neighbourhood.

Thursday, 5 de April, 2018

The cultural visit began in the La Farinera Cultural Centre in El Clot, a civic building that used to house the district’s old flour factory. The students took a look around the building, which still has some of the old features of the factory. Nowadays, it is an art centre and a venue for cultural events.

The tour then continued around the El Clot district, passing through the neighbourhood of Sant Martí, which is still a popular and thriving district with traditional stores and businesses. In the 19th Century, the first flour factories were established here, followed by textile plants, tanneries and tileworks, etc. At the end of the 19th Century, the district became a working-class industrial settlement. The students then went on to walk around the El Clot Park. Its key features include the aqueduct and the fact that it is located in the former RENFE train workshop, some of the walls of which have been used as ornamental features. The park project was carried out in 1986 by Daniel Freixes i Melero and Vicente Miranda.

Most of the students felt that it was a really different type of visit and they were keen to sign up. It gave them the chance to see places that are not often visited. This was the case of Maite Mejía, a student on the MBA. “I had been to the Picasso Museum and this visit sounded interesting because it is a new part of the city that I have never been to”, she explained. She is doing really well on the MBA and she highlights the great lecturers and “the practical methodology on the program, which makes you think and deal with current issues”. Maite would like to stay here and find a good job.

Meanwhile, Eva Almonte decided to come on this visit “because it is different from the standard things on offer. It gives you the chance to see something different. The fact that it is a guided tour makes it ideal. Eva is taking the MBA. “It gives me a more global perspective because I come from a technical background and the Master makes me focus on aspects that I was unaware of before”.

​The visit also stopped off at the municipal market, a symbol of the thriving relationship between the neighbourhood’s businesses and residents. The students then crossed Avinguda Diagonal to admire the other face of Sant Martí and Poble Nou, the 22@ district. To the right, the Les Glòries shopping centre is a temple of modernity, bustling with stores and restaurants. In front, buildings sketch out the city’s new skyline, crowned by the popular Agbar Tower.

Many of the former factories have been reinvented and are now home to education centres. One such case is the Can Jaumandreu factory, which is now the site of the Humanities and Social Science Campus and Park of the UB (Universidad de Barcelona). Meanwhile, the other part of the old factory is now home to the facilities of the UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya).

The students strolled down the Rambla del Poble Nou and saw the new buildings of the 22@ district, where many technology companies and startups have their headquarters. The students really enjoyed this unique visit, which highlighted the contrasts of a city with a great wealth or architectural heritage.

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