Badalona, with 215,000 inhabitants is today the third city of Catalonia, and at the same time it is one of the most ancient, historic towns, located at just 10 kilometres from Barcelona. The municipality of Badalona covers an area of 21 Km2 which is varied in its relief, running from sea level to an altitude of 465 metres. It is bounded to the northeast by the steep Marina hills, the town’s green lung, where a wide variety of flora can be found, as well as a rich historic heritage in the form of country houses and farms. Badalona has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and dry summers.Just 28 km from Barcelona airport, Badalona is well-connected to neighbouring municipalities and with the capital, Barcelona, by the C-31 motorway, the B-20 and the N-II main road, as well as having a station on the Barcelona - Mataró railway line and being part of the Barcelona Metro network.
Badalona is a town with plenty of history and a significant Roman archaeological legacy, being in that time one of the main export wine villages of the Roman Empire. With the coming of the industrial revolution in the XIX century, Badalona became one of the most industrial cities. During that period, middle class built their factories and homes. Art Nouveau buildings are now part of the town’s heritage. The industrial revolution caused migration from the south and centre of Spain which foster a big and uncontrolled urban growth and an important labour movement.
Badalona with nearly five kilometres of coastline has eight beaches which represent one of its top tourist attractions and resources. Badalona is also especially renowned for its basketball team, Club Joventud Badalona, winners of the European Cup in 1994. The city's most important sport complex is the Municipal Sports Palace, which won the Mies Van der Rohe award in 1992.
Badalona is still an industrial city in two of its five industrial estates, but since the 80s the third sector is increasing with the development of the coastline, the construction of a new Harbour and the important cluster of Hospitals and Health Research institutions.
Today Badalona is facing new challenges concerning the digital revolution. One of the main challenges focuses on our traditional industrial activities, which are mainly metallurgic and chemistry-pharmaceutical industries, and other ones like fast clothing fashion or building companies. These traditional industries have to adopt new technologies, energy-efficiency measures and good environmental practices. Badalona’s major second challenge is to reduce the unemployment rate which is now on 18 %.
For the above reasons, Badalona is developing a whole strategy to transform two of their five industrial estates into new areas that concentrate not only industrial companies but also new activities. No less important than this is to develop plans in order to employ people living in the adjacent areas of these industrial estates.