Barcelona to convert a third of central streets into car-free green spaces - architecture and design

Barcelona to convert a third of central streets into car-free green spaces



Barcelona's city council has announced its plans to transform one in three streets in its Eixample district into green, car-free public spaces to tackle air pollution.
Under the scheme, 21 streets and 21 road junctions will be converted into small parks and public squares ? creating 33.4 hectares of land "where the pedestrian and the clean air are protagonists" according to Barcelona City Council.
The transformation, which is expected to take 10 years, is an attempt to curb excessive pollution in the Catalan capital and make it a healthier, safer and more sustainable place to live.
Plans focus on central Eixample district
Barcelona City Council's masterplan focuses on the streets of Eixample, the grid of streets that surrounds the medieval heart of Barcelona that were laid out when the city needed to extend beyond its walled centre. Eixample, with its characteristic octagonal blocks separated by wide boulevards, was developed by urban planner Ildefons Cerdà in the 19th century, but has since become choked with cars.
Top image: aerial view of the Eixample distict. Above: a street in Poblenou superilla. Photo is by Paola de Grenet, courtesy of Barcelona City Council
According to the council, this area is being prioritised for the transformation as it "has a very high potential impact on the rest of the city due to population density and high levels of traffic and pollution".
"The Cerdà plan ? was designed to modernise Barcelona at the end of the 19th ...
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