It is for me a great satisfaction, as Mayor of Barcelona and President of the International Association of Educating Cities, to host the 13th International Congress of the IAEC in 2014. A year in which we have the pleasure of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the association, promoted by the City Council of Barcelona.
In 1990 Barcelona presented the idea of an educating city to the world, a proposal that is shared today by 454 cities in 36 countries, almost 25 years later. Currently, this concept of educating city is more necessary than ever. The difficult moments that we are living due to the economic and social crisis that affects us, demands that each city, as a setting for co-existence and exchange, arouses internal and external potentialities so that we can continue to advance towards the future.
More than ever, knowledge and education become basic axes for development and social inclusion. For this reason the local administration contemplates education with a broad vision, a vision sustained within the idea of the educating city, in which education becomes an essential instrument for personal and collective development, and the improvement of co-existence and solidarity. It is for this reason that the theme for the 2014 Congress is “The Educating City is an Inclusive City”.
I am convinced that this Congress will be very important for all the cities of the IAEC, given the fact that it will allow us to share knowledge and experiences in this field, and advance together in the construction of cities which are fairer, made for the people and by the people. Cities that don’t leave anyone behind.
I very much hope that your stay among us in 2014 will also help you to get to know better our attractions, that as capital of Catalonia, have turned us into one of the most visited cities of the world: the Gothic Quarter and its beautiful Modernist buildings, the museums and festivals, our Mediterranean culture that lets us enjoy life on the streets, a popular, creative and quality gastronomy, and a diversified commerce and one of proximity.
It will be a pleasure for Barcelona and for the Organising Committee to host this international event, the success of which, without doubt, depends on the active participation of everybody.
I am most sincerely grateful for your trust in us.
Barcelona awaits you with open arms!
Mayor of Barcelona and President of the International Association of Educating Cities (IAEC)