Chief Strategy Officer at La Marina de València
Board Member of the Worldwide Network of Port Cities (AIVP)
Ramon Marrades is an urban economist and activist turned a creative bureaucrat and placemaker. He is currently the chief strategy officer at La Marina de València, Valencia’s waterfront redevelopment agency and a board member of the Worldwide Network of Port Cities (AIVP). Ramon is co-editor of the first Placemaking Europe book “Our City? Countering Exclusion in Public Space” (2019). His work focuses on the interface between public space and economic development.
He has been a researcher at the University of Valencia (Spain), Western Sydney University (Australia) and FLACSO (Ecuador). He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Valencia and an MSc in Economics and Geography from Utrecht University. He received the Spanish Social Entrepreneur Award in 2012 and co-authored four books and published more than a hundred columns on urban issues in some of the main Spanish newspapers. His work has been covered in international publications as Wired.uk or Monocle.
Ramon initiated the citizens lobby València Vibrant —a platform for artists, journalists, researchers, entrepreneurs and many others to discuss the future of the city— and published an unorthodox guide, The New Guide to València, that showed the city to locals and visitors through the eyes of the people that were improving it tirelessly day by day with passion. He also co-founded Urbego, an international network of urban professionals dedicated to improving cities through active participation, co-creation and knowledge sharing; personally leading projects in Australia, Ecuador, Brasil, and Colombia.
In 2016 Ramon was appointed the chief strategy officer of La Marina de València, València’s waterfront redevelopment agency. Marked by the controversial legacy of a few white elephant projects like the America’s Cup and the F1 GPrix, it was considered to be distant, unattractive, and segregated. In 2016 they launched a new strategy, which steered away from the business-as-usual model. Instead of seeking grand-scheme investments, it engages the power of smaller-scale interventions —focusing on uses and programming—to revive the area. So far it has lead to an 80% increase in visitors and a 62% increase in revenue in just two years.
Ramon also plays the bass guitar for the alternative rock bands Geografies and 121dB.