The president of RETE (Association for Collaboration between Ports and Cities), Teófila Martínez, today highlighted that the America’s Cup, which will be held in Barcelona next August to October, “offers a perfect platform to examine how a sporting event of such magnitude can serve as a driver of urban change and development.”

The World Trade Center in Port Vell (Barcelona Port) is today hosting the 38th edition of the RETE Meeting, with the collaboration of Port Vell, in which a hundred experts in port management, urban planning and representatives of port authorities and cities are participating. The opening of the program was carried out by the president of the Port of Barcelona, Lluís Salvadó, the president of Puertos del Estado, Álvaro Rodríguez Dapena; the president of RETE, Teófila Martínez; and the first deputy mayor of Barcelona City Council, Laia Bonet.

The America’s Cup will take place in the waters of Barcelona around Port Vell and along the beach to the Olympic Port. With 174 years of history, it is considered the third sporting event with the greatest economic impact for the host country, after the Olympic Games and the World Cup.

The 38th RETE Meeting has featured outstanding presentations and discussion panels that have addressed everything from the governance of international events to the transformative impact of the America’s Cup on Port Vell, underlining the importance of greater integration and a more citizen-friendly port.

Leading experts have shared their perspectives and strategies to maximize the benefits of a large-scale event in the urban context of a large city like Barcelona. The audience was made up of RETE partners and representatives of cities and ports of Barcelona, Tarragona, Cádiz, Valencia, Las Palmas, Seville, Vigo, Almería, Santander, La Coruña and Huelva, and universities.

The general manager of the Barcelona Port Authority, José Alberto Carbonell, has pointed out that the proposal made to the America’s Cup organization was aligned with the principles of integrating citizens into port spaces, as well as promoting public-private collaboration, which will contribute to leaving an important legacy in the entire city.

The colloquium on “Challenges of the Governance of an International Event” was led by Albert Dalmau, municipal manager of Barcelona City Council; Leslie Ryan, event director of America’s Cup Event; Sergi Romera, project manager of the America’s Cup-Port de Barcelona Coordination Office; moderated by Manuel Arana, director of Planning and Development of Puertos del Estado.

David Pino, director of the Port Vell Urban Management of the Barcelona Port Authority, has addressed the topic “The Transformative Impact of the America’s Cup on Port Vell: More Integration, More Citizen-Friendly Port”.

A final colloquium on “The Involvement of the Environment in the Context of the Regatta” has featured the participation of Ignasi Armengol, general director of the Barcelona Capital Náutica Foundation; Laia Claverol, manager of the Area of Economy and Economic Promotion of Barcelona City Council; Daniel Puig, vice president of Barcelona Global; moderated by José Luís Estrada, director of PORTUS magazine of RETE, and partner-director of Estrada Port Consulting.

The event includes a tour of Port Vell this afternoon, with maritime visits to the bases of the participating teams and the America’s Cup Experience.

Teófila Martínez, president of RETE, has thanked Port Vell and Port de Barcelona for their collaboration in the “excellent organization of our meeting. In addition to the America’s Cup, there are many other nautical events that enrich the relationship between cities and their ports. But without a doubt this is the best example of how nautical sport can generate positive dynamics in the urban and port environment. These events not only promote tourism and the economy, but also foster maritime culture and civic pride, while also promoting sustainability and environmental awareness.”