The urban integration of the port with the city continues. The celebration of the America’s Cup has accelerated some pre-existing projects to make Port Vell even more urban than it is. One of the areas that will change the most is the Barcelona pier, where the World Trade Center (WTC) is located. The Emirates Team New Zealand base is already there, next to the old Baleària terminal, and the area next to Customs is being developed. But there will be more. After the sailing competition, it is planned to improve this link to the Rambla through a piece that promises to be iconic: a pedestrian platform over the sea similar to the one that leads to the Spanish dock, known as the Rambla de Mar.

“We want to take new steps in the process of opening Port Vell to citizens – explains the president of the port, Lluís Salvadó, in conversation with La Vanguardia – and connect the Rambla and the Portal de la Pau with the Barcelona dock and the World Trade Center, through a diagonal piloted pedestrian walkway.” Today the perimeter of the dock is not accessible but the forecast is that it will open after the America’s Cup. “We have closed the Balearia and Nord (cruise ship) terminals and the Sud will close in 2026,” he continues. The WTC must look outward. Now it is a 140,000 square meter building that looks inward. We will be able to open a walk that surrounds it.”

The Pescadores pier follows the same logic. Next week the new market will be presented. The site resulting from the demolition of the old one will be provisionally developed up to the Rellotge tower. “The next phase – Salvadó details –, after the America’s Cup, will be a performance that connects with the walkway that we have already built over the fish market and that will lead to the restaurant planned there.”

In full execution of these works, which are advancing at full speed, the port is celebrating its first open days from today until Sunday. It will show citizens restricted spaces. The initiative, for which 16,000 tickets have been put into circulation, has generated great expectations. The most attractive visits, the maritime ones, sold out quickly.

Beyond Port Vell, in the commercial port there are fences and access is not possible for security reasons. “Citizens do not know the bulk terminals, container terminals, vehicle terminals, logistics areas… –explains the president–. From the World Trade Center to Llobregat there are ten kilometers inaccessible to the majority of the population.” Opening these spaces – he continues – is part of a vocation to overcome barriers that have historically separated the city’s facilities. In recent years we have gained proximity by opening physical spaces. And also with events like the Nadal al Port, which the people of Barcelona have made their own and has an exceptional attendance.”

“The port is still a great unknown, many people associate it with nuisances, with smoke,” Salvadó acknowledges. When 9,000 scales are concentrated in a space, there are obviously emissions. They are around 7% of those that reach Barcelona residents. It is a reality that we do not want to hide. But we want to explain that this has a deadline because we are electrifying the docks.” On July 12, the first plug at the BEST terminal will be put into operation. “Between 2028 and 2029, most of the port’s mooring points will be prepared and emissions will be reduced year after year.”

The power of the port is also explained by the people who work there. “There are close to 40,000 – highlights the president –; Many have been doing it for years and have never been able to show their workplaces to their families. Open days are also for them.”