Team Leader, Networking & Partnerships, Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production of UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan
4 years in Barcelona

Burcu Tunçer came to Barcelona 4 years ago to work at the Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production. She has been a lucky fellow to find a career path in the field of environmental management being able to combine her two fields of study, engineering and management. She works with the hope of playing her part in spreading and implementing solutions to ever increasing environmental challenges, recently in the Mediterranean.

On a day-off, she likes to have her morning coffee in Gràcia with a newspaper, stroll along Rambla Catalunya, visit some shops, eat a nice lunch in l’Eixample, Raval or Born, visit an exhibition at the CCCB and have a cocktail at sun set at Barceloneta.

What do you like most about living in Barcelona?
Barcelona is a very welcoming city, with its nice weather, beautiful architecture, diverse locations, wide range of events and that soft warm light. It has also great surroundings, the mountains on one side and the beach on the other. Currently, what I like most in Barcelona is that it has become a really biker friendly city. In the mornings I love to arrive work refreshed after a nice ride through the streets of Barcelona.

What surprises you most about Barcelona?
The hunger and openness for innovation in all fronts strikes me here. Given the brain gain, also internationally, I think, the social capital is impressive. For me personally, safety on the streets is also positively surprising.

What advice will you give someone who has just arrived to facilitate their landing?
It depends on the age and personal situation of the person. Though, first thing to do is course to learn the language. Learning some Catalan would be useful. Secondly, they can join the social networks of their personal and professional interest and show up at their events to meet other newcomers or locals. There are many MeetUp groups.

What did Barcelona bring you in your life?
Barcelona lightens up my life. Most of all, it has brought great food and Vitamin D to my life!

What can Barcelona improve?
The locals should know better but from my humble perspective, Barcelona should improve on these fronts for the benefit of Barcelonians: Cap tourist numbers, encourage a shift from motos to less noisy and nature friendly modes of transport and restrict the possibility of non-residents to buy property.

Why did you choose Sant Pau Recinte Modernista as your favorite place in Barcelona?
Sant Pau is a unique location with many faces. It was designed by famous architect Montaner. After being used as a public hospital for a century, its newly refurbished pavilions is now home to international organizations. It has a beautiful garden with Mediterranean plants. It is open for touristic visits. One can also visit interesting exhibitions and listen to concerts there. I am one lucky one to work there.