This fifth edition of CCP, connects Barcelona with the French-speaking Community of Belgium, Wallonie-Bruxelles and is dedicated to the theme: “Re-activate the City”. This edition is centered on the re-use of existing spaces, the mixed use and the reconstruction of the city, while taking into account the idiosyncrasies and the cultural and architectural background of both Barcelona and Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Each year, the Cities Connection Project (CCP) chooses two European cities to be connected by landmark architecture projects in a dual encounter. The selection of 20+20 works from each city are exhibited at both venues, enriched with debates, lectures and other activities open to the general public.

Many of the projects concern themselves with public facilities such as schools, train stations, public squares, civic centres but also social housing and inner city residencies – spaces that are crucial for a comfortable and satisfactory quality of life.

The architectural exchange combines process and procedure for activating urban renovation. The procedure – based on dialogue – depends on an architectural approach, that also meets current challenges aiming to re-use what is already available (structures, materials) in order to lend vitality and new purpose to pre-existing structural formations and to ultimately meet the needs of communities, who will benefit from these facilities.

The utilisation of existing building stock is one of the elementary demonstrations of sustainability applied to architecture. Not only does this approach respect architectural legacy but given the fact that the quality of cities depends on the life of its buildings, their abandonment and recontextualisation have far-reaching effect on the functioning of the city at a greater scale and not to forget the conviviality of its inhabitants. For this reason, Import Wallonie Bruxelles – Export Barcelona highlights the different practices of the two different European regions, in which both the user is at the core focus and architecture takes on a social role in constructing a city.

Photos by Jérôme Van Belle – Wallonie-Bruxelles International

Photos by Jérôme Van Belle – Wallonie-Bruxelles International