Despite of historical economic changes, cities have always been the efficient
pinpoint of production systems. In this article I postulate that at the first
decade of the twenty-first century, the symbolic economy seems the equivalent
to what in previous periods were the Fordism or the Flexible Production System.
The objective is to analyze how the symbolic economy is formed, how
the cultural good is commodified and who demands it. In Barcelona, buildings
as the MACBA, designed by Richard Meier, or the AGBAR tower, by Jean
Nouvel, are public and private investments, respectively, which constitute two
of the global city symbols. The MACBA was specifically designed to be a
cultural institution. Otherwise, the AGBAR tower is an office premise. In this
article I argue that many of the symbolic elements were not built as such, but
they are part of the symbolic economy of a city.
Key words: Commodification, symbolic economy, economic geography.