Discover Terrassa: Catalonia’s Vibrant Cultural Hub and Industrial Innovation Center


Robert Eduard Antal » Urban Innovation » Terrassa Pioneers Sustainable Urban Planning in Spain

Contributions and Roles of Terrassa, Spain in the Eurocities Network

Innovation and Sustainability

Terrassa is deeply committed to sustainability and innovation, aligning with the broader objectives of the Eurocities network to create greener and more efficient urban environments. The city has established ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions and promote the adoption of green technology.

Goals and Commitments:

Terrassa has implemented a comprehensive sustainability plan that includes:

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030
  • Promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency upgrades
  • Development of green public spaces and urban forests

Smart City Initiatives

Terrassa leverages cutting-edge technology to improve urban life, optimizing various aspects of the city’s infrastructure and public services.

Official City Website:

Technology-Driven Enhancements:

  • Smart water management systems to clean and maintain waterways
  • IoT-based waste management for efficient garbage collection and recycling
  • Enhanced healthcare systems through telemedicine and health monitoring apps

Examples of Smart City Projects:

  • Integration of smart traffic lights to reduce congestion and emissions
  • Implementation of smart grids for better energy distribution and usage monitoring
  • Development of a city-wide sensor network for real-time data analytics

Cultural and Social Projects

Terrassa actively engages in cultural and social projects aimed at supporting vulnerable groups and enriching the community’s cultural life.

Community Engagement:

The city sponsors numerous programs that foster social inclusion and cultural expression, such as:

  • Support centers for the homeless and low-income families
  • Collaborative art projects and public cultural events
  • Initiatives to integrate immigrants and refugees into the community

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives:

  • Festival of Immigrant Cultures, celebrating diversity through music, food, and art
  • Volunteer programs for senior citizens to engage in community activities
  • Public libraries offering free educational and cultural workshops

Urban Planning and Development

Terrassa is undergoing significant urban development projects designed to enhance livability and address climate change challenges. These projects aim to create a more resilient and pleasant urban environment for all residents.

Significant Developments:

Ongoing and planned projects in Terrassa include:

  • Renewal of historic districts to preserve cultural heritage while improving infrastructure
  • Expansion of public transportation systems to reduce reliance on private vehicles
  • Development of pedestrian zones and bike lanes to promote sustainable mobility

Examples of Urban Development Projects:

  • Conversion of old industrial areas into green parks and community hubs
  • Construction of energy-efficient public housing units
  • Revitalization of the city center with mixed-use developments

Youth and Education

Terrassa places a strong emphasis on creating vibrant environments for students and young professionals, recognizing the importance of education and youth engagement for the city’s future growth.

Empowering the Youth:

To foster a dynamic educational ecosystem, Terrassa offers:

  • Scholarship programs for higher education and vocational training
  • Entrepreneurship incubators and startup support for young innovators
  • Community centers offering after-school programs and extracurricular activities

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives:

  • Annual Student Technology Fair showcasing innovations by local students
  • Partnerships with universities for research and development projects
  • Mentorship programs connecting young professionals with industry leaders

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

By participating in the Eurocities network, Terrassa gains numerous benefits including:

  • Access to a wide pool of best practices and innovative solutions from other member cities
  • Opportunities for collaboration on joint projects and initiatives with cities across Europe
  • Enhanced visibility on the European stage, attracting investment and tourism
  • Increased leverage in advocating for urban policies at the European level

City Description: Terrassa, Spain


Terrassa is situated in the northeastern part of Spain, specifically in the Catalonia region. It is located approximately 28 kilometers northwest of Barcelona. The city is nestled in the Vallès Occidental comarca and is surrounded by hills and valleys, contributing to its picturesque landscape.


Terrassa has a population of around 223,000 residents. The city is characterized by a diverse demographic with a mix of different cultures and backgrounds, reflective of its historical openness and modern appeal.

Economic Overview

The city’s economy is primarily driven by the textile industry, which has a long-standing history in Terrassa. Other key industries include information technology, automotive, agric-food industries, and services. The city also houses a number of industrial parks which contribute to its economic landscape. The GDP of the city reflects its robust industrial base and growing tech sector.

Historical Significance

Terrassa boasts a rich history that dates back to Roman times when it was known as Egara. The city witnessed significant growth during the Middle Ages and played a pivotal role during the industrial revolution, especially in the textile sector. Key historical events include the development of the Romanesque churches of Sant Pere, which stand as a testament to the city’s medieval past.

Cultural Attractions

  • Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya (mNACTEC): A major museum showcasing the industrial and scientific advancements of Catalonia.
  • Castell-Cartoixa de Vallparadís: A historic castle and park offering insights into the city’s medieval architecture and history.
  • Jazz Terrassa Festival: An annual event that draws jazz enthusiasts from all over the world.
  • Parc de Vallparadís: One of the largest urban parks in Catalonia, perfect for leisure and recreational activities.

Education System

Terrassa has a comprehensive education system that includes numerous primary and secondary schools. The city is home to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), which specializes in engineering, technology, and architecture. Several vocational training centers and international schools also serve the educational needs of the community.

Transportation Infrastructure

Terrassa boasts a well-developed transportation network. The city is serviced by Rodalies de Catalunya commuter rail lines, connecting it to Barcelona and surrounding areas. Public buses provide extensive coverage within the city. Terrassa also benefits from the proximity of Barcelona-El Prat Airport, located about 40 kilometers away, and is well-connected by highways and roads, making it easily accessible.

Urban Development Projects

Terrassa is undergoing several significant urban development projects aimed at improving sustainability and quality of life. Key initiatives include the recovery of the Parc de Vallparadís and expansions of green spaces, development of pedestrian-friendly zones, and modernization of public infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions.

Environmental Initiatives

The city has implemented various environmental initiatives, such as the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan to encourage the use of public transportation and bicycles. Energy efficiency programs and waste management improvements are also a part of Terrassa’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Quality of Living

Terrassa offers a high quality of living with robust healthcare services, including several hospitals and specialized medical centers. The city is considered safe, with a low crime rate and numerous amenities that enhance the standard of living, such as parks, cultural centers, shops, and eateries.

Quality of Life Indexes

  • Livability Ranking: Terrassa often ranks highly in livability indexes due to its quality of services, safety, and leisure options.
  • Health Index: The city benefits from a well-established healthcare network, contributing to a high health index score.
  • Environmental Quality Score: Efforts in sustainability and green initiatives have led to positive scores in environmental quality indexes.

Profile of Mayor Jordi Ballart

Current Position

Mayor of Terrassa, Spain

Political Affiliation

Tot per Terrassa (Locally-focused political group)


  • Degree in Political Science and Administration – Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
  • Master’s in Public Administration – University of Barcelona (UB)

Professional Background

Jordi Ballart started his career in local government, demonstrating a strong commitment to public service. He has held several positions, including:

  • Councilor for Youth – City Council of Terrassa
  • Councilor for Territory and Sustainability – City Council of Terrassa
  • Deputy Mayor – City Council of Terrassa

Before becoming mayor, Ballart also gained experience in the private sector, working in urban planning consulting and project management, where he honed his expertise in urban development and sustainability initiatives.

Achievements as Mayor

During his tenure as Mayor of Terrassa, Ballart has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at fostering a sustainable and technologically advanced city:

  • Green Terrassa Initiative: Launched a comprehensive plan for expanding green spaces, enhancing urban biodiversity, and promoting green infrastructure across the city.
  • Terrassa Smart City Project: Implemented smart traffic management systems and public Wi-Fi networks, making Terrassa a model for smart city innovation.
  • Sustainable Mobility: Introduced an extensive network of cycling lanes and expanded the city’s electric vehicle charging stations to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Cultural Revitalization: Supported local arts and culture through funding initiatives and the renovation of historic sites.

Vision for the Future

Mayor Ballart’s vision for Terrassa is focused on creating a balanced, inclusive, and progressive urban environment:

  • Advancing smart city technologies to improve public services and infrastructure efficiency.
  • Promoting environmental sustainability through extensive green projects and renewable energy initiatives.
  • Fostering community engagement by enhancing public participation in local governance and decision-making.
  • Supporting economic growth through innovative business development programs and education initiatives for the workforce.

Personal Life

In his personal life, Mayor Ballart is known for his dedication to community and environmental activities:

  • Active supporter of local sports, particularly football and cycling.
  • Enthusiastic about urban gardening and has initiated several community gardens across Terrassa.
  • Keen interest in history and culture, often participating in local heritage preservation efforts.
  • Committed to family life, spending quality time with his spouse and children, and engaging in various community events together.

Awards and Honors

  • Award for Urban Innovation – Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP)
  • Recognition for Sustainable Development Leadership – European Sustainable Cities Network
  • Certificate of Excellence for Public Administration – University of Barcelona

Discovering Terrassa: Quality of Life and Cost of Living

Quality of Life


Terrassa is a vibrant city known for its safety, which is reflected in its safety index of 70.65. A relatively low crime rate makes it a reassuring place for residents and visitors alike, contributing significantly to the overall quality of life.


Healthcare services in Terrassa are robust and well-regarded, bolstered by a healthcare quality index of 89.41. The city offers access to excellent medical facilities and professionals, ensuring that residents receive top-notch medical care when needed.


Terrassa enjoys a clean and healthy environment, evidenced by its low pollution index of 27. The city’s commitment to maintaining low levels of pollution helps promote a healthy lifestyle and enhances its appeal to both residents and tourists.


The transportation system in Terrassa is both efficient and accessible, boasting a transportation index of 37.56. The city provides comprehensive public transport options, including reliable bus and railway networks, ensuring easy connectivity across various sections of the city.


Terrassa is renowned for its educational institutions, with notable examples such as the Technical College building of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. This institution, among others, highlights the city’s dedication to providing high-quality education, further enhancing its attractiveness to families and young professionals.

Cost of Living


The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Terrassa’s city center is approximately $680 per month. This makes housing relatively affordable compared to larger metropolitan areas, allowing for a good balance of cost and convenience.

Groceries and Dining

A single person can expect to spend about $210 per month on groceries, ensuring that essential food items are reasonably priced. Dining out is also reasonably affordable, with a meal at a standard restaurant costing around $15.


Monthly utility costs for an 85m2 apartment average about $130. This includes essential services such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage disposal, making it manageable for most households.


Public transportation in Terrassa is both effective and cost-efficient, with a monthly public transport pass priced at around $50. This allows residents to conveniently navigate the city without bearing a significant financial burden.


Leisure activities in Terrassa are moderately priced, making it easy for residents to enjoy an active social life. For example:

  • Fitness club memberships cost approximately $36 per month.
  • Cinema tickets are priced at around $9 each.

Role within the Eurocities Network

As a member of the Eurocities network, Terrassa cooperates with numerous other European cities to uphold and enhance living standards. This collaboration facilitates the exchange of best practices in urban governance, sustainability, and cultural events, ensuring continuous improvement in various facets of city life.

Overall, Terrassa offers a high quality of life with a combination of affordable living costs, excellent public services, and a clean, safe environment. These factors make it an appealing choice for both residents and visitors.

Source: Numbeo

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