The AMB was established on 21st July 2011. This new body was created under the umbrella of law 31/2010 of the Catalan Parliament, which was adopted unanimously, with the will to establish an administration that is able to effectively coordinate the metropolitan services and to promote the main assets of the metropolitan territory. The AMB replaced the three metropolitan bodies that, until then, had exercised competencies: the Union of Municipalities of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Metropolitan Transport Board.
The new administration has taken over the previous services, mainly regarding town planning and the planning of the territorial spaces, public transport and waste management, and the whole water cycle, and it has also taken on new competencies, including new functions in the field of town planning, such as drafting the metropolitan Urban master plan –which is at the preliminary stage–, and in the fields of economic promotion, transport, mobility, the water cycle, the environment, metropolitan infrastructures, and social and territorial cohesion.
With the creation of the AMB, the metropolitan territory takes the lead in an international dynamic that is still incipient that identifies the institutionalization of large metropolises as a key factor to ensure the social welfare and economic development of populations in a context that is marked by economic globalization, demographic growth and environmental challenges. In our closest surroundings, for instance, France and Italy have started to implement legal reforms to provide metropolitan territories with new administrations that are more flexible and integrated, to provide services in the territory of the real city and to promote their role as generators of wealth and wellbeing.