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Turning Barcelona into a big superblock

Urban planning. The transformation begins in L’Eixample, where one in three streets will be greened up and local people will all have a square within 200 metres of their homes.

The successful superblocks model is to be rolled out around Cerdà’s Eixample street grid, offering residents a local space which is healthier, safer, more human and more sustainable. The area will get 21 green streets and 21 neighbourhood squares, with an additional 33.4 hectares of space for people and 6.6 hectares of urban greenery.

Barcelona’s superblock model updates Cerdà’s 19th century street plan and moves it into the future.

The success of the superblock model, with Poblenou and Sant Antoni as examples, will now be extended to cover a much wider and much more densely populated area, and the higher levels of traffic and pollution found in L’Eixample. The area will be transformed so that one in three streets gets greened up and every resident has a square and a green street within 200 metres of their homes. The plan is for:

  • 21 new green streets, a total of 6.6 hectares of added greenery and biodiversity.
  • 21 new squares at junctions between streets, with a surface area of 2,000 m2, some 3.9 hectares for people to walk, play and spend time in.
  • 33.4 hectares of extra space for pedestrians, an overall surface area similar to the area of the Parc de la Ciutadella.

Access to public transport will be guaranteed in the entire area to be transformed.

The first four streets to get greened up with be Consell de Cent, Girona, Rocafort and Comte Borrell. The first four squares will be created at the junctions between Consell de Cent – Rocafort, Consell de Cent – Comte Borrell, Consell de Cent – Enric Granados and Consell de Cent – Girona. These initial changes will affect 4.65 km and 10.35 hectares of streets, where greenery and pedestrians become the protagonists, and 0.8 hectares for new squares.

Two public ideas competitions

Two public ideas competitions have been announced to make this possible, one for the streets and the other for the squares, in a process which will lay the foundations for the rest of the streets and junctions to be transformed. Proposals must comply with criteria on sustainability, accessibility, energy efficiency, inclusive urban furniture and materials with a low environmental impact. Work will get under way in 2022 and cost 36 million euros.