Strategic planning

Evaluation of public policies, studies and metropolitan governance

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The creation of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) has led to the design of a new strategic horizon for the metropolitan area.

According to the new competencies of the metropolitan Administration, a Department of Strategic Planning has been created with the following objectives:
  • Developing a diagnosis and a strategic reflection to face future challenges.
  • Coordinating the monitoring model and accountability of the work carried out by the AMB, by means of the Metropolitan action plan.
  • Systematising metropolitan indicators in an open platform.
  • Offering support and analysis to other areas of the AMB and coordinating related entities regarding the planning and metropolitan strategy.
The main projects developed during the 2011-2015 period have been:
  • Promotion of the REM (Strategic Metropolitan Reflection).
  • Coordination and monitoring of the Metropolitan action plan.
  • Promotion of tools for acknowledging the metropolitan reality and developing metropolitan studies and researches.
  • Creation of a System of metropolitan indicators.
  • Promotion of the coproduction of the book/collection Barcelona metropolis, portrait of the current reality and the future prospects of the metropolitan area of Barcelona.
  • Advising on works and plans of the different areas of the AMB.
  • Coordination and supervision of works done by collaborator entities of the AMB, the PEMB (Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Barcelona) and the IERMB (Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies of Barcelona).
  • Collaboration and coordination with metropolitan municipalities and other public agencies, entities, bodies of the second metropolitan ring and social agents, in order to explore understanding and collaboration, and to analyse the metropolitan area.

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Strategic Planning Area
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Monitoring and evaluation of AMB policies and projects


The 2011-2015 PAM (Metropolitan Action Plan), a tool driven for accountability and evaluation of the mandate, was approved by the AMB Metropolitan Council in May 2012, and defined a total of 204 measures composing the objective of the mandate (among them, the PAM itself). From the initial set, finally 174 operational measures were given shape in the PAM, from its adaptation according to various circumstances, such as the need to merge some of them, or the appearance of specific plans to support town councils and plans designed to address the crisis with an extraordinary budget.

The AMB, through the PAM, has promoted a model of systematic evaluation concerned with the objectives achievement in the context of quality standards. The results of these evaluations are included in the monitoring dossiers of the PAM.

The need for systematisation and rigour has driven the creation of a computer application as a basic monitoring tool, which will streamline the process and control of data collection and the reporting. The various reports carried out manifest a percentage of objectives achievement of 98% as an overall result.

Throughout this mandate, two readings of the PAM implementation degree were made, and they showed an increasing trend in the achievement level, with a satisfactory overall development of the established goals; and a final reading that indicates the achievement degree of the PAM objectives.
  • July 2013 reading, with 90% of measures initiated, 26% of fully achieved ones and 70.5% of overall achievement.
  • July 2014 reading, with 96% of measures initiated, 25% of fully achieved ones and 75.5% of overall achievement.
  • Final reading (March 2015), with 100% of measures initiated, 75% fully achieved ones and 98% of overall achievement.
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Metropolitan Action Plan 2011-2015
Gran Via


Metropolitan recognition and governance are part of a dynamic reality under construction and this is why the REM (Strategic Metropolitan Reflection) project was driven as an analysis of the territory, concerning to social, mobility, urban, environmental, economic and governance issues. This reflection has been built under the general objective of constituting an analysis tool of situations, problems and future possibilities, as well as proposals which, based on the current metropolitan Barcelona, offer tools to facilitate the construction of the metropolis of the future.

The REM is structured in transverse axes, central pillars in building the metropolitan area of the future:
  • Sustainable and inclusive economic development
  • Territorial approach
  • Fight against climate change
  • New model of metropolitan governance
  • REM, building the metropolitan Barcelona, strengthening the local environment
    Detall de la publicació Reflexió Estratègica Metropolitana



    This document includes the diagnosis, analysis and proposals made during an intense work and interaction process with almost a hundred participants from the AMB itself, participating organisations and entities, town councils and other administrations, as well as civil society and economic sectors.

    As a result of this metropolitan reflection, six major challenges have been identified and six strategic areas have been proposed to develop:
    • Social inclusion: combating poverty and environment proximity.
    • Sustainable economic development: productivity, employment, reindustrialisation, investment attraction, economic revitalisation of the area.
    • Environmental sustainability: climate change and efficient use of resources.
    • Efficient mobility: financing, transport management and networks.
    • Cohesive territory: territorial intervention, land use and challenges of normative adaptation.
    • Governance and capital status: leadership and innovation.
    From these six strategic and transverse axes, 15 priorities have been agreed to deal with future challenges, which is divides into different objectives and initiatives, such as the following ones:
    • Struggle against inequalities. Social cohesion and coexistence.
    • Neighbourhoods, public space, housing and proximity facilities.
    • Productivity, reindustrialisation and knowledge economy.
    • Human capital and employment.
    • Barcelona, economic capital and international projection.
    • Territory and economic governance.
    • Fight against climate change.
    • Efficiency in the use of resources and promotion of a green and low-carbon economy.
    • Change in the mobility model: governance and improvement of funding.
    • Management of transport, networks and infrastructures.
    • Mobility and new social and economic dynamics.
    • Renovation and adaptation of the legal territorial structure.
    • Land use and changes in action models.
    • Innovation in territorial intervention strategies.
    • Barcelona, global capital with innovative governance.
Metropolitan area


The Department of Strategic Planning has the priority of understanding and analysing social, economic, territorial and environmental realities, developing tools and mechanisms to provide information about the metropolitan area, and providing analysis of each of the areas and services to society, Administration and metropolitan municipalities. These objectives involve studies that enable exploration and future projection of a set of indicators that will allow understanding and anticipating new situations and scenarios. Some studies have been conducted with resources of the AMB itself and others have been driven with the collaboration of partly-owned agencies.

Studies have been carried out on, among others, economic trends, significant features of the perception of security and coexistence in the territory, knowledge of the social reality through perception of how family units live and how they are, or a more specific idea of the coexistence situation and state of a territory. These projects (driven by the IERMB) are examples of how to work correctly to analyse more carefully the environment and to consequently support and improve the processes that makes possible the improvement of services provision, as well as AMB projects and actions.

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Metropolitan studies
  • Annual Report
    Getting to know the metropolitan socio-economic reality to make progress towards a new growth model.

    One of the institutional objectives of the AMB is the development of basic information and statistical studies related to the socio-economic and territorial situation, as well as to living conditions and habits of the population within its territory. The Department of Strategic Planning of the AMB coordinates the planning of the Annual report contents stemming from the IERMB initial proposal, and seeks the partnerships and the financial resources needed for the research and editing work.


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    Barcelona Metropolitan Annual Report
  • Victimisation Survey
    Prevention and proposals for common policies of intervention are necessary in an ever changing metropolitan reality. Every year there are new risk situations and new problems related to safety. Perception parameters change and increasingly differ from realities experienced up to now. The victimisation survey, as well as the consultation of other indicators related to public safety, shows a global picture of the state of society and the various metropolitan municipalities. These indicators not only provide insight into the mood and the perceptions of citizenship, but also help to anticipate and implement strategies to ease their effects.

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    Report EVAM 2013
  • Survey on living conditions and habits of the population
    This work is included since 2005 in the Statistical plan of Catalonia, and since 2011 it is adapted to the statistics on income and living conditions published by the European Union (Eurostat). Knowledge and analysis of social reality should allow improving our society.

    The three main objectives of this work are:
    • Having a tool that generates data on income, level and composition of poverty and social exclusion, in order to compare them to other Spanish and European social realities.
    • Observing the evolutionary trends in lifestyles, social structure and phenomena in the environment, and identifying intermunicipal distinctive features.
    • Understanding and analysing social groups and their characteristics, identifying the factors that influence their formation, analysing the existing inequalities, and identifying trends in their lifestyles.
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    Survey on living conditions and habits of the population 2011
  • Study of Coexistence Besòs
    The aim of this study is to analyse social coexistence in the area of Besòs River, in order to facilitate the understanding of the difficulties in this area and to identify measures that can be a starting point to create common or collaborative policies among surrounding municipalities.

    This area concentrates some urban, social and cultural characteristics expressed in living spaces, as it is in the public areas and facilities where contradictions derived from the social and economic inequality and the planning activity itself are visible. Consequently, this area constitutes a significant territorial environment regarding coexistence.

    It is in this context that the Department of Strategic Planning of the AMB and the Department of Prevention and Safety of the Barcelona Town Council have begun a working process with the town councils that belong to the Besòs area, so as to develop an action framework to help improving the management of these conflicts.
  • Other studies and metropolitan projects
    Analysis and diagnosis must be used in reflective discussion. The increase in effectiveness, efficiency and quality of management means having information to precisely acknowledge the socio-economic reality, so as to create a reference action framework to help improving its management.

    The studies are the result of specific demands related to specific problems; during this mandate, the following monographs, among others, have been carried out:
    • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which analyses the defining features of new entrepreneurs and new businesses, comparing them with other regions.
    • Papers journal, which promotes the dissemination of studies and works carried out by experts on territorial issues.
    • Reports of the Housing Metropolitan Observatory, as a continuous information system of the main housing dynamics.
    • Economic analysis of the municipalities in the area of B-30 road.
    • Regional approaches to specific issues such as the study of La Sagrera station and its impact on economy, mobility, the urban grid and the environmental situation.
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     Metropolitan Studies
Stop bus
Organisation of data and statistic resources on metropolitan territory, society and economy


One of the main goals of the Department of Strategic Planning has been the organisation of the different data and statistics prepared by either the AMB itself or collaborating institutions of the various projects. Metropolitan data must be available and transparent to everybody.

The display of statistical data must allow cross- and by topics readings, as well. The systematisation, concentration and convergence of these data require a flexible platform that provides all possible indicators in a "cold" way for their treatment or individualised analysis while maintaining a different scale of demand. These data, in turn, can be used by different areas of the AMB and by external users of the municipal, academic or scientific area.

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Statistical data
  • SIMBA (System of Metropolitan Indicators of Barcelona)
    The indicators system is a collection of statistical data from various sources, some generated by the AMB itself, or by their collaborating entities (such as IERMB) or official bodies and organisations (Idescat, INE, Social Security, etc.), and other entities, private but with proven reliability (La Caixa, FECYT, Doing Business, among others). The organisation, systematisation and consistency must be relevant in a database, so as to be able to know and compare realities.

    The system is divided into major sections (Economy, Society, Sustainability and Key Sectors) with hundreds of indicators presented as sequential tables or collection groups.

    The system is called SIMBA is it is updated and managed through the IERMB (Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies of Barcelona) platform, under the criteria and supervision of the Department of Strategic Planning. Logically, its growth should be gradual and should progressively incorporate almost all statistical data on which the AMB must count.

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    System of Metropolitan Indicators of Barcelona
  • "AMB data"
    It is a publication of joint and extended representation of the SIMBA, oriented to non-specialist public. It contains charts, maps and graphs to disseminate the presented data in the most educational way. The "AMB data" is intended to facilitate the quick search of an indicator and in many cases to provide a comparison between different geographical areas. Within the project itself, and to simplify the reading, there is a product called "The AMB in 2 minutes" which, based on a map representation, expresses the most relevant generic and by sector data of the current moment.

    The "AMB data" has been evolving and incorporating new indicators every year with the aim of becoming a key tool for understanding reality, for managing public policies and their decisions.

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    AMB data
Support and collaborative work add value; a strategic vision connected to civil society contributes to enrich the strategic reflection. In this period, the Department of Strategic Planning has had important institutional collaborators to address issues related to planning, such as the PEMB (Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Barcelona) association and the IERMB (Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies of Barcelona). From their perspective and professionalism, these institutions have contributed with research, initiatives, proposals and reflection to AMB products.
  • IERMB (Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies of Barcelona)
    As a scientific, academic and statistical institute, the IERMB has collaborated in the diagnosis, provision of data and research, and reflection on projects and plans that are being applied in the metropolitan area. As a founding member of IERMB consortium, the AMB has promoted the development of the activities plan and the annual work programmes and, by means of its statutory condition, it chairs the governing bodies.

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    IERMB
  • PEMB (Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Barcelona) Association
    As a consultative, advisory and reflexive association, the PEMB has helped consolidate the metropolitan area as a reference and as one of the most attractive and influential European regions for global innovative talent. In recent years, it has acted as a bridge between civil society and the metropolitan institution, by helping to the integral reflection on the territory.

    The AMB, through the Department of Strategic Planning, is part of the General Council and the Executive Commission of the PEMB, besides chairing the association and participating in the promotion of its activities and work plan.

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    PEMB