Becca Latter, 29 years old. Born in a small town in the South West of England, Becca studied in Newcastle upon Tyne and lived in Bordeaux and other locations before moving to Barcelona 7 years ago. She coordinates research calls and social science outreach initiatives for an NGO, as well as being involved in projects related to emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Why did you choose Barcelona?
I came on the Erasmus program and I have never wanted to leave! I fell in love with the city, the lifestyle, and the people who made me feel at home from the first moment.
What do you think are Barcelona’s strengths?
Barcelona has an enviable geographical location and climate, which enables the city to attract talented professionals in many fields. This makes the city a melting pot of people from people of different cultures who all have different experiences.
What aspects of the city could be improved?
I think tourism has both advantages and disadvantages, since visitors and residents often have conflicting interests. In the Barcelona 2042 program, we worked on a proposal to promote cultural tourism, which would help spread the flow of tourists throughout the year, providing a boost for a sector that suffered considerably during the pandemic.
What do you think will help the city to overcome the Covid pandemic?
Barcelona has a very powerful research ecosystem and a strong creative sector. I believe that collaboration amongst many different fields is essential for generating truly innovative solutions.
What challenges do you think the city is now facing now the health emergency is subsiding?
The pandemic made an impact on people’s mental health. In addition to the loss of life, we were deprived of human contact and daily routines over a lengthy period, while the perception of a safe world that we may have had until then was damaged. It will be a slow recovery, but there is also a positive side to this situation: we are now more aware of the importance of taking care of our mental health, and of how much friendships, culture and sports (among other things) contribute to our well-being. Mental health and emotional well-being is not as taboo as previously but there is still a lot of work to be done.
What do you expect of Barcelona in the coming years?
If the last few years have taught us anything, it is not to have too many expectations! What is clear is that Barcelona has the people with the creative and innovative talent to convert the challenges of the post-pandemic society into opportunities for transformation and growth.
Where do you feel most at home? What do you miss the most?
Barcelona is my home now; it is the place where I star and it has given me countless opportunities, both profesional and personal. What I miss most about England is definitely my family, but luckily Barcelona is a great place for visitors!
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