Carme Trilla: “The big challenge is to balance house prices and incomes”

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The economist Carme Trilla i Bellart during her lecture

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The speaker discussed housing in Catalonia

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Speech by the minister of Research and Universities of the Government of Catalonia, Gemma Geis

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The chair of the UPC’s Board of Trustees, Ramon Carbonell, during his speech

The UPC’s 50th anniversary celebrations continue
During the new academic year, the UPC’s 50th anniversary celebrations will continue. The year-long programme started with the opening ceremony of the previous academic year at Catalan universities under the slogan ‘50 years with no limits’. The slogan was added to the UPC’s 50th anniversary logo by the Catalan artist Perico Pastor, who also created the anniversary commemorative drawing and has illustrated several institutional materials.

The ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary has included institutional, academic and recreational events for the entire university community that aim to raise awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to demonstrate the University’s commitment to society.

See the programme of the 50th anniversary and other related contents on the 50.upc.edu website and on social media with the tag #50anysUPC.

On 4 October, Carme Trilla i Bellart, an economist and president of the Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory, delivered the inaugural lecture of the 2021-2022 academic year at the UPC, which was entitled L’habitatge, una responsabilitat professional i les seves derivades socials (Housing, a professional responsibility and its social derivatives).

Oct 08, 2021

The opening ceremony of the 2021-2022 academic year of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) took place in the Auditorium of the Vèrtex building on the North Diagonal Campus in Barcelona on 4 October. The inaugural lecture, entitled L’habitatge, una responsabilitat professional i les seves derivades socials (Housing, a professional responsibility and its social derivatives), was delivered by Carme Trilla i Bellart, president of the Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory. An expert in the social, economic and public policy aspects of the housing sector, she promoted the Catalan Law 18/2007 on the Right to Housing and the 2007-2016 National Agreement on Housing.

The event was attended by the rector of the UPC, Daniel Crespo; the minister of Research and Universities of the Government of Catalonia, Gemma Geis; the chair of the Board of Trustees of the University, Ramon Carbonell; and the general secretary, Ana Belén Cortinas, who presented the University report for the 2020-2021 academic year (in Catalan).

Video of the full ceremony (in Catalan)

Housing, a key pillar of the welfare state
In the inaugural lecture, Carme Trilla defined housing as a key pillar of the welfare state and discussed the lack of awareness in Catalonia.

Trilla insisted that housing problems are endemic and discussed the evolution of housing construction in Spain from 1952 to the present. “We have a very small social housing stock, it is among the lowest in the European Union”, she said. She also highlighted the low direct spending on housing policies in Spain.

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Carme Trilla i Bellart


“In Catalonia, more than 100,000 households have been evicted, 140,000 families are waiting for social housing and the youth emancipation rate is among the lowest in Europe, hitting a record of 13.6% between the ages of 16 and 29, the lowest since 2000”, she explained. To that, we have to add the increase in poorly housed people, the rise in requests to local social services, gentrification and others, according to Trilla. “Balancing house prices and household incomes is the big challenge of the 21st century housing policy”, she added.

The University as a change driver
Daniel Crespo stated that “we will choose the UPC talent for 2050 in order to define the University’s identity for the future.” He said that “we aim to reach a higher level of self-demand.” The rector also wanted to ask society “to reflect on the role of universities in the well-being of society. Universities are a tool for change and they need to be self-demanding to improve.”

Award ceremony
During the ceremony, which was conducted by the actress Judit Salvadó and broadcast live on YouTube and Zonavídeo UPC, the following 2021 awards by the University’s Board of Trustees were presented: the University Teaching Quality Award, the University Management Quality Award, the Research Valorisation Award and the Social Commitment Award.

The UPC Folder Competition award was presented too. The ceremony included the recognition, by the Board of Trustees, of the people from the UPC community, the UPC Group and affiliated organisations who have been awarded a prize or distinction in 2020 in recognition of their teaching, research or sporting achievements.


The event featured several performances by the Architecture Choir and the UPC Orchestra.