Following an ambitious urban renewal program that began in the late 1980s, Barcelona has become a major tourism destination in the Mediterranean. As an emerging global city, planners in Barcelona today are greening the city through park improvements, street re-designs and street traffic-calming initiatives. While striving to provide locals with green amenities, these beautification projects have also produced unexpected consequences, as they bring in more visitors and accelerate gentrification. Currently, few city greening projects can avoid discussions of gentrification, and neighborhood groups have begun to organize in opposition to the touristification that has made their neighborhoods unaffordable and/or exclusive. While the current COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced the number of visitors to Barcelona—producing a new experience for local residents—the impacts on local street life, public space, housing and gentrification trends remain uncertain.
the urban development pattern of the city and neighborhood: long-term growth, post-crisis fast recovery; urban renewal; tourism-driven development; tech and design economy
the urban greening of the city and/or neighborhood: green resilient infrastructure; green corridors; grassroots green spaces; new parks and park improvements; green beautification
the inequalities at stake: green appropriation; green gentrification and displacement