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) stands. The Emirates Team New Zealand base is 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 with a piece that promises to be iconic: a platform for pedestrians over the sea similar to the one leading to the Pier of Spain, known as the Rambla de Mar.

“We want to take new steps in the process of opening the Old Port to the public – 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 pier and the World Trade Center, by means of a piloted walkway for pedestrians that goes diagonally. Currently, the perimeter of the dock is not accessible, but the forecast is that after the America’s Cup it will open. “We have closed the Baleària terminal and the North (for cruise ships) and the South will be closed in 2026 – he continues -. The WTC must face outwards. It is now a 140,000 m2 building that faces inwards. We can open a promenade that surrounds it”.

The Fishermen’s wharf follows the same logic. The new box will be presented next week. The site resulting from the demolition of the old one will be developed provisionally until the Clock tower. “The next phase – explains Salvadó – after the America’s Cup, will be a performance that connects with the footbridge we have already built over the market and that will lead to the restaurant that is planned to be built”.

In full execution of these works, which are progressing at full speed, the port is holding open days from today until Sunday. It is the first time that the public will be taught restricted access spaces. The initiative, for which 16,000 tickets have been put into circulation, has generated great anticipation. The most spectacular tours, the maritime ones, sold out quickly.

Beyond the Old Port, the commercial port has some fences and cannot be accessed for security reasons. “The public does not know the bulk, container, vehicle terminals, the logistics areas… -explains the president-. From the World Trade Center to the Llobregat there are ten kilometers inaccessible for 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 such as Christmas at the Port, which the people of Barcelona have made their own and which has an exceptional turnout”.

“The port continues to be a great unknown, many people associate it with discomfort, with smoke – acknowledges Salvadó-. When 9,000 stairs are concentrated in one space, there are obviously emissions. They are about 7% of those that reach Barcelona residents. It’s a reality we don’t 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 will be put into operation at the BEST terminal. “Between 2028 and 2029 most of the port’s mooring points will be ready and year after year the emissions will be reduced”.

The power of the port is also explained by the people who work there. “There are nearly 40,000 – the president points out -; many have been doing it for years and have never been able to show their jobs to their families. The open days are also for them”.