Sant Coloma de Gramenet

Santa Coloma de Gramenet is part of the metropolitan area of Barcelona. With an area of 7 km2, its population amounts to 120.029 inhabitants, of which 26.278 were born outside of Spain (21.89%).

The city is divided into 6 administrative districts, but most of the population is concentrated in the districts V and VI, which at the same time have the largest ethno-cultural diversity, as 55.5% of these districts’ population is of foreign origin. Diversity is also present among the Spanish nationals, while most are born in Catalonia (61.8%), many come from Andalusia (20.6%), Extremadura (5%), Castilla-La Mancha (3.5%), Castilla-León (2.7%) and Galicia (1.7%).

The population of foreign origin is comprised of more than 100 different nationalities. By geographical area, Latin-American nationals are amount to more than 30% of foreign population followed by Chinese (20%), North African (16%) and South Asian (13%) nationals. From Europe, 7% are nationals of other EU countries, while 4% are from third countries.

Santa Coloma de Gramenet is a workers’ city; with a workforce mainly commuting to Barcelona and its metropolitan area. Besides some small business, the local industry is not strong enough to provide commensurate workplaces.

The city is a very well connected, both with public and private transport. Among the most significant milestones in recent years, was the composition of a university campus, initiatives to transform the Besos river zone into a public space and a project to improve local mobility and accessibility. Due to its complex orography, elevators have become a useful tool to increase local intercommunication.

The overall picture of the city is defined by:

  • An intense increase in the number of immigrants within a short period of time, i.e. since the first decade of the century (2000), resulting in a substitution of the population that has led to a rapid and drastic change in the internal social landscape.
  • A disorderly and hostile urban image (legacy of the Franco era, counting 143.232 inhabitants in 1977), with buildings and houses of very poor quality and expensive and complex urban regeneration. The topographic circumstances mark the city with steep slopes throughout.
  • A limited public space for interaction and leisure which was “robbed” from low quality urban fabric, even though progress has been made in the last three decades.
  • High rates of unemployment (24% today, while only 7.9% in 2006) and a GDP per capita that is less than half of the Barcelona metropolitan area- and almost half of the Catalan figure.

Since 1998, a permanent vocation led by the local government in order to carry out policies of social cohesion and coexistence using instruments such the ten-years old initiative “Red de Valores y Mensajes Positivos para la Convivencia” (Network of Positive Values and Messages for Coexistence” and the “Equipo de Mediación y Apoyo a las Comunidades de Propietarios/as” (Mediation and Support Team for Owner Communities).

Santa Coloma de Gramenet: Results of the Intercultural Cities Index

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