Massimo D’Alessio, 30 years old, Italian. He lived in Naples until he was 18 years old. Later, he moved to Milan, where he studied Architecture. He has also lived in Tokyo, Rotterdam, and London, before moving to Barcelona 4 years ago. He is responsible for investments in Retail (Shopping Center, High Street Stores, Retail Parks) at CBRE in Catalonia, the leading international real estate consultancy, and services.
Why did you choose Barcelona?
Barcelona was an unexpected love. I visited the city about 5 years ago when we celebrated my best friend’s bachelor party. I realized that I wanted to live in this magnificent city during the first walk through the city center streets. At that time, my previous company was in the process of expanding in Spain and I took the opportunity to manage the office in Barcelona by moving here.
What aspects of the city would you highlight as being positive?
In addition to the weather, the beach, the mountains, and the palm trees (I’m passionate about them, it gives me the feeling of being in summer 24/7) for me, the most attractive thing about Barcelona is its contrasts, a cosmopolitan, touristic city that at the same time has a strong identity and is culturally restless.
What aspects of the city must be improved? How?
One of Barcelona’s most relevant challenges is the excessive tourist concentration in certain areas of the city, the need to improve the image of tourist activity and establish measures for the citizen’s security. Only in that way will be possible to truly integrate the tourist with the citizens of Barcelona.
Which are the city’s strenghts that will allow to overcome the Covid-19 crisis?
The Covid-19 has raised awareness that Barcelona is not just tourism, it is a living city in continuous development. It is a logistics capital of the southern Europe, a technological city capable of attracting companies and talent from all over the world. These are some of the strengths to overcome this crisis.
What other challenges do you think the city faces now the health emergency is almost over?
If we talk about a Barcelona capable of attracting talent, the challenge will be to retain them. The city must be ambitious financially, in terms of sustainable mobility, at the level of public safety and encourage the supply of newly built housing and, above all, rental housing. All these are the ingredients to continue attracting investors.
What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?
I expect a pioneering Barcelona, as it has been since the mid-1800s with Idelfonso Cerdà’s plan, until the exemplary urban development of the 1992 Olympics. A benchmark Barcelona in economic activity, technology, logistics and, above all, in quality of life.
Where do you feel most at home? What do you miss most?
I had the chance to live in different cultures and cities, they always ask me where it is better to live. There is no doubt, Barcelona! This city has the power to make you feel at home and for me it is priceless to be able to choose between the beach or the mountains in just 20 minutes. What do I miss? Being from Naples, I might say the pizza! But my fellow Neapolitans who live in Barcelona are already solving it!
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