The Ciutat Vella district contains many businesses, and attracts people from the rest of the city and from all over the world, leading to a growing demand for tourism accommodation. This affects local residents and has a negative impact on their health and the local economy.

We currently have a special zoning plan, known as the Land Use Plan, which governs businesses open to the public, food and catering establishments, tourist services and other activities in order to regulate activities in the city’s establishments which are open to the public and offer services or products.

The Land Use Plan is intended to balance urban uses with the regulation of activities open to the public and others, taking into account their impact on residents and the local community. This document seeks to keep the Ciutat Vella district habitable and maintain the quality of life of its residents.

Ciutat Vella was the first district in the city to draft a land use plan, in 1992, and it has been revised constantly since then as the situation changes, always with the goal of achieving a sustainable balance between economic activity and the fundamental rights of citizens.

The 2018 Land Use Plan prioritises the well-being and peaceful co-existence of residents, rather than only regulating commercial activity. Its main goals are:

1. Improving the balance between the needs of residents and maintaining commercial activity.
2. Regulating and limiting activities with negative effects.
3. Enhancing economic activities which help to make the district more prosperous.
4. Encouraging economic and commercial diversity in all the neighbourhoods.
5. Achieving greater precision in its regulation of establishments, by individual blocks and buildings.
6. Allowing or restricting activities depending on whether the urban fabric can absorb them, in order to ensure a mix of activities and services.
7. Ensuring all agents understand the regulations and their instruments.
8. Creating a tool to monitor changes in commerce and the environment in the city.

The 2018 Land Use Plan treats the district as a single unit (except for the Rambla and the Port). Now it no longer counts the numbers of establishments, but marks a series of areas in square metres allocated to activities and the conditions that new activities must meet. New activities are also divided into two large groups according to their nocturnal impact.

Cultural establishments, shows with a low acoustic impact, and establishments serving the local community have more flexible conditions and their introduction is encouraged. On the other hand, permission will not be granted to new establishments involved in nightlife (discotheques, nightclubs, bingo halls, casinos, amusement arcades, public payphone centres, karaoke, etc.) or tourist services.

New establishments will be conditional on the following criteria:

> Density: The application of two new density radia, according to the type of activity and its nocturnal impact, allows for a more precise monitoring of the saturation and size of activities, and prevents certain activities being concentrated in a few streets.

> Maximum area: To adapt the surface requirements of some activities to the urban structure, maintain the mix of uses and control the impact on the public space of certain large-scale establishments, a maximum area criterion has been established.

> Vulnerable building: In extremely vulnerable residential areas, where new activities can have a greater impact, the vulnerable building condition has been introduced, and new activities will be conditional on the building being certified as technically appropriate.

> Street width: Certain activities are regulated according to the width of the street and its level of tolerance.

Get more information at the Business Support Office (OAE):
Address: Carrer de Roc Boronat, 117
Tel: 93 320 96 00

Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday, from 8.30 am to 6 pm
Friday, from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm


The Land Use Plan for the Rambla is a modification of the standard plan, specifically governing area 5B, which corresponds to the Rambla (including Plaça Reial, Plaça Sant Josep and La Boqueria), and was finally approved in December 2014.

This specific regulation is intended to encourage the opening of cultural industry shops, and to restrict and limit hotels, restaurants and nightlife activities, which are already highly concentrated on this street.

This plan is also intended to encourage higher quality in restaurants and cafés, while restricting the introduction of new catering establishments and tourist accommodation.