The Mayor of Medellín, Alonso Salazar Jaramillo, visited Santa Caterina Market on Friday 2 October 2009, as part of an official visit to Barcelona. Both cities are collaborating with an international project to exchange experiences of running municipal markets.
Alonso Salazar Jaramillo, the Mayor of Medellín, accompanied by Barcelona Municipal Market Institute (IMMB) Manager Jordi Torrades, visited the facilities of the central Santa Caterina Market, listening carefully to explanations regarding the services a municipal market can offer people, as well as the installations at what has become one of the city's most iconic buildings since it was remodelled in 2005.
Very interested in the Archeological Interpretation Centre
One of the feature's which most interested Medellín's mayor was the Archeological Interpretation Centre, which includes turning the archeological remains discovered below ground during the renovation into a museum centre.
Santa Caterina is notable, among other things, for the transformation it has undergone and the improvement that has implied for the neighbourhood in terms of its fabric and social cohesion, central features of the Barcelona municipal market model.
Also taking part in the visit were the IMMB's Director of Market Services, Genís Arnàs, Santa Caterina Market Manager Marta Mitjanes, the Chairman of the Fruit and Vegetable Guild, Àngel Juny, and the Head of Projects at the Barcelona City Council Department of International Cooperation, Solidarity and Peace, Jordi Cortés.
Exchange of experiences
The exchange of good practice between the municipal markets of the two cities began in July last year, when a delegation formed by Genís Arnàs and the Llibertat Market Manager, Xavier Trull, took part in a working visit to Medellín at the Colombian city's request. They wanted advice on improving the way their markets are run.
Barcelona City Council has been working closely with Medellín for some time and has already advised the Mayor's Office on several issues, such as urban redevelopment in the Moravia area, creating urban parks and the local development agency, Barcelona Activa's model for accompanying companies, now reflected there, among other things, in the Cedezos, business development area centres.
During his two-day official visit Alonso Salazar met with the Mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, and was also able to visit Casa Amèrica, the 22@ district and Barcelona Activa.