Encourage local and complementary currencies

Employing complementary currencies as a local development tool.

Technical specifications

Local emerging economies
Project date:
In progress
Financing, Projects
City Councils, Entrepreneurs, Businesses
Social and solidarity-based economy, Entrepreneurship and business, Employment and training
Bring public attention to the potential of complementary currencies as a useful local development tool in the hands of local governments and civil society. 


The aim of the project is to gather information on complementary currencies and make it available to public authorities and other socioeconomic stakeholders in the area. The intention is to plan conferences and activities to share information on local experiences with complementary currencies and to lend support to those municipalities that choose to use them. The broader goals of the project are to boost and stimulate local exchange and to transform the nature of exchanges by highlighting the value of productive capacities beyond what can be monetised.

Complementary currencies are a valuable local development tool both in fragile economies and in regions with good income and employment levels, wherever there are significant amounts of underutilised resources and inefficient management tools. They can be effective development tools for local governments wishing to stimulate local business, to serve groups at risk of exclusion, to boost citizens' employability, to improve relations between neighbours, to support local associations and to manage waste, including with regard to waste sorting and the prevention of dumping, among other goals.

Currently, there are three local complementary currency programmes in the Barcelona metropolitan area: the grama, a digital currency designed to circulate among the retail, social and economic fabric of Santa Coloma de Gramenet; the rec, which serves to channel some of the public expenditure of the Eix Besòs in Barcelona, and the vilawatt, which is a programme featuring the creation of a local energy utility that is relying on a local currency to lead the energy transition process in Viladecans. Other Catalan and European cities are also using local currencies such as minuts, which are in fact present in the metropolitan area, as they have been adopted in the Barcelona district of Nou Barris.

This action is subsidised by the Public Employment Service of Catalonia and the European Social Fund within the local development support programmes. 




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