Urban renewal in Barcelona

February 13th 2023
Carla Bonifaz
Urban renewal in Barcelona

Large cities around the world are seeking to evolve and grow towards sustainable development where inhabitants and city coexist in an environment that is friendly to both. Barcelona is no stranger to this movement and has undertaken an urban transformation plan in several strategic points of the city.

Under the slogan "The future is already present" the Barcelona City Council plans to intervene the urban fabric and revolutionize the city.


From Atemporal we tell you about some of the main projects:


1. Via Laietana:

This important road that connects "Port Vell" with the city center, will have changes that will favor citizens on foot, bicycles, public transport and local commerce.

The idea is to widen the sidewalks and invite pedestrians to stroll along the streets, in addition to improving the connection between the surrounding neighborhoods.

Four large spaces located at strategic points along the entire length of the road aim to break up urban density by creating friendly, safe and green public spaces:

- Via Laietana and Jonqueres Street
- Via Laietana and Antoni Maura
- Angel Square
- Idrissa Diallo Square


2. Glories:

This is one of the great promises of urban regeneration on which the Condal city is betting.

Under the name "Canopia urbana" [1] the team of architects, landscape architects and urban planners, winners of the competition for the new design of the Plaza de las Glories, seek to revolutionize Barcelona in an ambitious plan that will cover approximately 13 hectares.

Three of the most important axes of the city: Gran Via, Meridiana Avenue and Diagonal Avenue will intersect in a large park-plaza that seeks to be an iconic public space for enjoyment, walking, meeting and also serve as a large green cushion that is sustainable, friendly to the city, people and the environment.


3. Olympic Port:

Barcelona and the sea have always had a close bond. The city's port is one of the most important in Spain and is among the 30 best connected in the world.

This tremendous responsibility means that it is not only one of the most visited and creates a lot of movement around it, but also that plans for growth and improvement are proposed.

The main objective of the proposal for the port is to involve it in the city by creating a space of enjoyment for the citizens and a great welcome as a façade towards the Mediterranean.

The proposal revolves around four strategic pillars:

- Urban space: for the daily use of the city.
- Blue economy: point of innovation and economic activity.
- Dissemination of nautical sports and services.
- Gastronomic promotion


4. Green axes, squares and superblocks:

Superilla Barcelona aims to return the streets to the people, creating a network of green axes and public spaces where the most important is the pedestrian.

The ideal street is one that is accessible to all, full of green spaces and with urban furniture that encourages social enjoyment, this is the model that will be applied and will be extended a few at a time throughout the city.

These are some of the superblocks that are being considered in Barcelona:

- Eixample superblock, is underway and is comprised of La supermanzana de Sant Antoni, Germanetes, Girona, Sagrada Familia and Fort Pienc.
- Poblenou superblock
- Superblock Hostafrancs
- La Maternitat and San Ramon superblock
- Superblock Horta
- Sant Gervasi - La Bonanova Superblock
- Superblock Camp d'en Grassot and Gracia Nova
- Sagrera Sur - Navas Sur Superblock
- Green axes in San Marti


5. La Rambla:

La Rambla is one of Barcelona's urban landmarks par excellence. The city's busiest and most popular thoroughfare could not be left out of the improvements and future plans.

The project seeks to generate an attractive walking space for visitors, where they can enjoy green spaces, cultural activities, and also create a better connection between the famous downtown neighborhoods: Raval and Gothic, to reactivate neighborhood life and economic activity generated in the surrounding area.

This project will join Via Laietana as important axes of the Ciutat Vella, thus creating a revitalized urban center. It is divided into the following phases:


- Colom / Santa Madrona (start of redevelopment).
- Santa Madrona / Arc del Teatre
- Arc del Teatre / Liceu 
- Liceu / Portaferrisa
- Portaferrisa / Canaletes



If you want more information, on the website of the City Council you will find information about all the projects that will take place in the Catalan capital.

[1] "The canopy is what the vintners know as the green set of plants, forming in this way, wooded areas and columns". (Source: https://xn--vinoextremeo-khb.es/que-es-la-canopia-y-como-debe-ser-su-manejo/)


Data source: barcelona.cat






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