Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Facebook Page - A Better Barcelona?

Social media is becoming more and more a platform for people to vent their anger and protest for some very good causes. Like the story in La Vanguardia last week which highlighted the Facebook group "I was robbed in Barcelona", it appears that there might be more than just one group of annoyed locals using the site to gain momentum.

Facebook BetterBarcelona - Barcelona Sights Blog

A better Barcelona is possible is another Facebook page with over 500 fans which aspires for...well, a better Barcelona! The site touches some wide topics regaring the city, from the shambles that was the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures to the new traffic lights and shiny bins that the city has installed throughout the city - pointing out that the citizens of Barcelona will be paying a cool 285 million Euros each year until 2017.

It asserts to be a platform or forum of discussion and debate about how to find a better Barcelona. Some of the messages left of the wall are great, and others seem rants, but I think it's great for people to embrace this kind of momentum and see what can be done.

So is it any good, making these platforms and groups? Well, it appears it is. Last Friday, the local council reluctantly accepted the resignation of the councillor in charge of the whole of Cuitat Vella, Itziar González. And this week there was a change in the penal law code regarding persistant pickpockets and the silly rule that less than 400 Euros is not considered a crime. Now, persistant offenders can and will be brought to trial and can be forced to go to jail (but only on weekends or public holidays, and at the centre closest to where they live - no really!). Why not send them a taxi while you're at it? They have all week to pickpocket (surely tourists are out and about mid-week, right?!). Good intentions, I suppose, but there's a long way to go if Barcelona wants to shake off that image of being the worst place for pickpocketers.


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