In a rapidly interconnected Europe, cities are compelled not merely to observe global challenges but to actively respond, acknowledging the imperative of leveraging the interdependence between local and global dynamics. Within this paradigm, Sant Boi de Llobregat, an 84,000-inhabitant city nestled in the Barcelona metropolitan area, recognized the need to embrace interdependence between the local and global realms to project itself outward to secure allies, resources, and opportunities. The objective was clear: translate these challenges into impactful public policies that enhance the well-being of citizens.
In 2019, Sant Boi took a transformative step, enlisting Anteverti’s support to craft its inaugural Internationalization Plan. Despite a strong international history, featuring twinning agreements and active participation in European projects, the municipality aimed to ascend to new heights. The goal was to enhance proactive planning to elevate its global projection.
We assisted this 84,000-inhabitant city in crafting its inaugural cross-cutting strategy to attract international opportunities and investment, leveraging its main comparative assets — proximity to Barcelona and major transport hubs, a distinguished agricultural heritage, a world-class prestigious ecosystem of mental health institutions, and a rich tradition of citizen participation.
Our strategic approach commenced with a comprehensive diagnosis, encompassing a historical review of Sant Boi’s international endeavors, an in-depth analysis of existing sectoral city strategies, and an exploration of the city’s socio-productive fabric. This groundwork aimed to pinpoint priority action lines for internationalization and evaluate key assets for global positioning. Augmenting our analysis were seven group interviews involving 30 representatives from municipal government areas and diverse stakeholders, ensuring inclusive insights.
This phase unveiled Sant Boi’s strategic advantages, including its prime geographic location, proximity to Barcelona and major transport hubs, a distinguished agricultural and natural heritage, a world-class prestigious ecosystem of mental health institutions, and a rich tradition of public policies emphasizing citizen participation, and globally renowned ambassadors born in Sant Boi, such as the Gasol brothers.
We engaged over 30 stakeholders from the city's government and socio-economic fabric in the development of Sant Boi's Internationalization Plan, which delineates four thematic axes, 13 specific objectives, and 46 actions.
Building on the identified strengths, we formulated the Sant Boi de Llobregat International Projection Plan 2021–2027. This comprehensive plan outlines four thematic axes, 13 specific objectives, and 46 actions geared toward tangible outcomes:
- Green and Sustainable City: Positioning Sant Boi as a global leader in innovative sustainability policies, showcasing its agriculture and natural heritage as a tourist magnet.
- Healthy City: Establishing the municipality as an international reference for mental health initiatives and promoting sports activities for a healthy lifestyle.
- Socially Innovative City: Positioning Sant Boi as a hub for urban and social innovation, emphasizing citizen participation.
- Governance of International Action: Strengthening foundational aspects to optimize the city’s international initiatives.
This strategic endeavor has propelled Sant Boi towards proactive international engagement, attracting projects and investments. The initiative, grounded in the active participation of local stakeholders and the City Council’s political and technical team, aligns seamlessly with the Agenda 2030 and the European Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–2027.