Ada Colau Ballano is the first woman mayor in Barcelona’s history. She has dedicated a large part of her life to social and human-rights activism. She helped to launch the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) in 2009. She founded Guanyem Barcelona (subsequently Barcelona en Comú) in 2014, a political citizen platform that won the municipal elections in 2015. In 2019 she was re-elected Mayor of Barcelona.
She has given priority at the City Council to public policies focusing on the fight against inequalities, the right to decent housing, the launch of a more sustainable city model and the strengthening of citizen participation. She has also opted for regulating the impact of tourism, for a diversified, inclusive and green economy and for boosting public services. Feminism, the promotion of diversity and solidarity also occupy a central place in municipal policies.
Her government’s policies have received several awards and distinctions, notably the Overall Tourism prize for best sustainable management of this global phenomenon (2018), the award from the European association Housing Europe and the International Tenants’ Federation award for the City Council’s housing policy (2019), recognition from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the B-MINCOME programme to reduce inequalities and improve well-being in society (2019) and the EIC Prize on Blockchains for Social Good for the REC citizen currency (2020).
Besides being the Mayor and the President of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), she is also the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) special envoy for relations between cities and the United Nations.