On 25 April the award ceremony for the European Prize for Urban Public Space took place at the CCCB.
The ceremony, at which the winners of the eighth award of the European Prize for Urban Public Space were announced, began shortly after seven o’clock in the evening at the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB). Some 200 people including several representatives of public institutions attended the event, which was also live-streamed.
The journalist and Televisió de Catalunya culture editor, Gemma Ruiz, was the presenter of the ceremony. In her opening speech she described her own experiences with public space and thoughts on its importance. “Today’s awards could constitute a very useful catalogue of humanist urban planning solutions, since they represent interventions that will always be needed as long as the values expressed by this prize continue to be excluded as the priority in any public work. Until the powers-that-be, or public authorities, opt for projects that are one hundred per cent planned for the people, until this happens, we are going to need such valuable urban surgeons as yourselves”, she said, addressing her words to the authors of the prize-winning works. She was followed by Joan Puigdollers who spoke in his capacity as representative of the Barcelona City Council.
The 25 finalists from among 274 entries were presented by means of film clips. The high point of the evening came immediately afterwards when the four Special Mentions and two joint prize winners were publically announced for the first time. After each announcement, the authors (or a representative) came on to the stage to receive the award, in their own name and that of the promoters of each project as well.
The President of the Jury, Carme Ribas, then concluded the ceremony by offering a summary of this year’s award. She emphasised the fact that the prize is “very transversal” and that it “calls attention to widespread recognition of the importance of public space as a key element in the life of contemporary cities”, adding that “the range of projects presented for the prize gives credence to this general view”.
Her speech was immediately followed by the opening of the “Shared Cities” exhibition with live music from the Obdara Trio.
Among those present at the prize-giving ceremony were:
- Ferran Civil, first vice-president and deputy chairman of the Departmentof Local Economic Development of the Diputació (County Council) of Barcelona
- Joan Puigdollers, councillor for the Environment and Urban Services of the Barcelona City Council
- Albert Ginjaume, Honorary Consul General for Finland
- Carme Ribas, president of the international jury for the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2014
- Marçal Sintes, director of the CCCB
- Eloi Carbonell, vice-president of the company COPCISA, one of the sponsors of the Prize
- Marcos López, director of the company Escofet, one of the sponsors of the Prize; and Ricard Fornesa, head of Projects at the Fundació Abertis, one of the sponsors of the Prize.