Urban governance of employment activation: the case of Barcelona Activa (Spain)

Alessandro Gentile


Within the framework of rescaling nation-State and improving new modes of governance, activation policieshave to be interpreted as qualified initiatives for economic growth and social integration at a subnationallevel and, specifically, in regional and urban contexts. Barcelona Activa is the local agency of theBarcelona City Council (Spain) designed for business improvement and employment quality through horizontalsubsidiary and public-private partnerships. This agency acts as a pivotal body of the municipaladministration in order to implement a variety of programs aimed at labour and professional empowerment,small and medium-sized companies creation and urban marketing. The paper focuses on BarcelonaActiva’s strategies, outcomes and criticisms in the current financial crisis, approaching its institutional rolefor the development of Barcelona as one of the main southern gateways to Europe.


Activation policy; Economic development; Subsidiarity; Social integration; Territorial marketing

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