Cities are among the finest achievements of humankind. They are highly evolved and complex spaces in which people live, work and enjoy. At the heart of every great city there is a great nightlife, which is like a garden that needs to be watered and tended.
Nightlife is a good reason why people move to cities. It is fundamental for the city’s cultural and economic development. It is also the inspiration and foundation for the creative industries – music, art, fashion, media. Nightlife is a magnet for creative people and investors that must be sensitive towards culture, the audiences and the places where culture nestles.
In an era in which almost everything is virtual, night-time culture is essential to keep the vitality of our city’s urban fabric and local economy. We must not forget that it is at night when, after the stresses of ever longer working days, we meet to socialise and enjoy our free time.
We want Barcelona to have a vibrant, safe and inclusive nightlife and, therefore, we want to establish Comissió Nocturna de Barcelona, as an non-profit independent entity to ensure that Barcelona nights meet certain standards in quality, sustainability, safety and inclusion.
Comissió Nocturna de Barcelona is a link between the public institutions and all the stakeholders involved in Barcelona night-time culture and economy. This must be a reality as in many other cities around the world. Berlin and Amsterdam were the pioneers and there are more than 50 cities so far.
With this manifesto we want to restate the cultural value of nightlife and establish the main principles to foster its vibrancy and development:
It must be safe and amenable throughout the day and night;
It must attract everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality or physical/ mental ability;
It must be affordable to all income groups;
It must be accessible by public transport 24/7.
These principles are easy to state but to achieve any goals, we must work in partnership. Furthermore, we must be aware of which factors threaten our night-time culture / economy: low-quality tourism and leisure, gentrification, insecurity or punitive and non-proactive regulatory tools.
Comissió Nocturna de Barcelona must have a VISION that translates into ACTION. We must work alongside the authorities, plan carefully, gather the power and talent of all stakeholders to represent all population sectors and interests. CONO must have certain voice in the decisions made at least at a local level, regarding urban planning, licensing or policing.
Comissió Nocturna: Barcelona must have a well defined commission, at the level of other cities worldwide. We must share a vision about night-time culture and economy and work towards success. Comissió Nocturna de Barcelona must have the leadership and charisma to foster collaboration between the local government and all the stakeholders.
Nocturnal Planning: Local and state urban planners must recognise the value of night-time culture and plan accordingly. They must protect and promote it, generating a welcoming and safe environment. Urban planning policies must be balanced, sustainable and attend to the “agent of change” principle. That is, the last to settle must adapt to the characteristics of the area making the necessary investment to minimise any nuisance.
Mobility and Sustainability: We want to ensure that authorities, stakeholders and users compromise to respect the environment and promote sustainable practices such as use of public transport or zero-waste and smoke-free spaces.
Quality and safety: We must promote and protect all these initiatives that mean an improvement of our night-time culture and economy and create safe and kind spaces for everyone but especially GTBLQ and women. No expression of hatred will be tolerated.
Protocols: Any regulation and security policies enforced must recognise the value of night-time culture/economy and be balanced and transparent. Local authorities must regulate in the least intrusive manner, except when urgent action is needed.
Damage prevention: We are in favour of a plan based on education and not on prohibition as far as drug use is concerned. We must make people aware and provide all the clear information required (including drug testing) to reduce any risks.
Professional: We must ensure a dignified career path for hospitality workers, promoters, artists and all stakeholders of night-time industries and services. All workers must be trained, respected and paid according to standards. Moreover, those involved in regulating, managing, performing or simply enjoying must be aware and be prepared to act in front of any undesired situation, such as abuse, harassment, intoxication etc.
Paradigm shift: Comissió Nocturna de Barcelona ( CONO ) wants EVERYONE to get involved in our project and commit to a common values charter and work together towards a change of paradigm: We want to foster a positive view of the night.