Since it was set up the IMMB has been involved in a process of modernising the municipal markets. A process also envisaged by the Municipal Action Plan (PAM) for 2008-11, which includes a number of projects that will allow improvements to be made at 22 markets.
Barcelona wants tp develop its potential as a city with a Mediterranean character by putting services closer to people in an urban fabric that favours human relationships. And in this context the markets have a special role to play.
There are few cities in the world with a municipal market network like Barcelona's: 39 food markets and 4 non-food markets, spread out in a strategic fashion. There is not one neighbourhood in the city without a market, a market which, moreover, is a faithful reflection of the area surrounding it.
It should not be forgotten, though, that shopping has evolved and the markets need to adapt as a result of that: consumer habits have changed, as have the amount of time people devote leisure and the ways they relate socially, and new technologies have enterred the world of commerce with a bang.
The IMMB is aware of this situation and pushing for a series of changes that will create municipal markets that are competitive, with modern facilities, leisure activities and services demanded by the public, and which combine fresh food with other products and personal treatment.
This determination to modernise has already been translated into improvements at 25 of the 39 municipal food markets and the Encants non-food market.