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The alterations which have occurred in Barcelona over the past 20 old ages have been influenced significantly by the metropolis ‘s historical, economic, political and cultural background. Its location on the seashore has given Barcelona certain advantages which contributed to its place as a major industrial Centre in Spain.

First, its coastal place enabled easy entree for goods and trade and secondly, the rivers Llobregat to the South and Besos to the north served as both trade paths and waste mopess. This allowed Barcelona to roll up capital in front of much of the remainder of Spain which was a comparatively backward state in footings of economic development ( Gibbs, 1998, p.2 ) .

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Pre-Civil War

Subjugation of the metropolis in 1714 meant over a century of being controlled by two overlooking fortresses and a prohibition on edifice outside the old metropolis walls ( Marshall, 2004, p.6 ) . This resulted in the metropolis being unable to spread out beyond its boundary lines despite continued force per unit area to widen the urban country due to the go oning comparative prosperity of the metropolis.

In the late nineteenth century, following the release on the prohibition of Barcelona to construct outside the metropolis walls, the metropolis was able to successfully annex environing municipalities so that it had infinite to command its ain growing up to the most recent decennaries ( Marshall, 2004, p.6 ) . This spread of development can be seen in Figure 1.

Post-Civil War

Following the Civil War and Barcelona ‘s subsequent licking, Spain was mostly isolated from the remainder of the universe economic system. In 1950 merely about 18 per cent of the economically active population worked in industry, while 50 per cent were employed in agribusiness ( Gibbs, 1998, p.2 ) . The licking in the Civil War besides impacted upon the civilization of Barcelona with usage of the Catalan linguistic communication suppressed in public.

However from the late 1950s there was a move to develop the state as a effect of a alteration in political mentality, the terminal of autarky and a more general desire for modernization ( Gibbs, 1998, p.2 ) . In the sixtiess and early 1970s the economic system experienced significant growing ensuing in the proportion of the labour force employed in agribusiness worsening aggressively while that in services grew ( Gibbs, 1998, p.2 ) .

In the mid 1970s an economic crisis linked to a more general recession in the international economic system hit the growing industries of the 1960s peculiarly difficult – steel, ship building, fabrics and heavy chemicals ( Gibbs, 1998, p.3 ) . This was accompanied by rising prices – making an one-year rate of 37 per cent in 1977 ( Gibbs, 1998, p.3 ) . However the success of industrial development in the part allowed Barcelona to get by with the challenges of this period. Car ownership, expresswaies, 2nd place ownership, higher life quality outlooks, high rates of in-migration, great enlargement of higher instruction: all these laid foundations for the response made after 1980 ( Marshall, 2004, p.

5 ) .


Following the decease of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, authorities policy sought to develop an unfastened and broad market economic system oriented particularly to rank of the European Community ( Gibbs, 1998, p.3 ) . In 1979 this democratization led to the creative activity of 17 independent regional authoritiess given major powers under the Spanish fundamental law of 1978 ( Marshall, 2004, p.6 ) .

The regional authorities for Catalonia, the Generalitat, sought to exert strong influence over planning throughout Catalonia ( Marshall, 2004, p.6 ) . Though it has been argued that its influence in Barcelona has been instead one of hindering major attempts to be after long term and co-ordinate, than giving positive leading ( Marshall, 2004, p.6 ) .

The Socialist Party ( PSOE ) elected in 1982 aimed policies to both prepare for entry into the European Community and extenuate against the impact of a more unfastened and competitory economic system upon the uncompetitive parts of the economic system ( Gibbs, 1998, p.3 ) . Strong economic growing driven by an enlargement of domestic demand within the context of a turning universe economic system and farther gap of the Spanish economic system to merchandise and foreign investing began to decelerate from 1989 and turned to recession from 1992 ( Gibbs, 1998, p.3 ) .

The Olympic Games


The aims of Barcelona ‘s Olympic Games were influenced to a great extent by the political political orientations of the socialist Barcelona City Council. The Olympics programme was a public-sector led endeavor funded, in the chief, by authoritiess ( Marshall, 1992, p.

79 ) . While much of the support for public substructure development was undertaken with public finance, the money for residential development ( peculiarly in the Olympic Village ) came from private beginnings ( Marshall, 1992, p.79 ) . The major programmes which were argued to be necessary to present the Olympics were seen as holding societal intents within the metropolis ‘s planning scheme – to upgrade inner and outer deprived territories and to massively widen and better public infinites and installations ( Marshall, 1996, p.149 ) .

The ring roads, the new drainage systems, the new telecommunications substructure, the new residential districted, the transformed old port – all were seen as holding both societal additions and lending to economic regeneration ( Marshall, 1996, p.149 ) . In add-on to the public investing in substructure, the City Council promised that a big proportion of the privately-funded Olympic Village development would be used for societal lodging after the Games nevertheless due to clangs with private development of the lodging countries this program was abandoned ( Marshall, 1996, p.151 ) .

Costss and benefits

As seen with other major metropoliss which have antecedently held the Olympic Games, the balance of costs and benefits which result are frequently assorted.

While some Games have been seen as mostly successful such as Los Angeles in 1984 others have proved to be dearly-won both in footings of fiscal investing and hapless infrastructural planning such as the Montreal Games in 1976 ( Lawson, 1996, p.20 ) . One factor which determines how successful an event-led regeneration strategy is seen to be is the extent to which installations and substructure built for the event are used after the event has finished.

An illustration of this is the Olympic bowl built for the Atlanta Games in 1996 which, at the terminal of the Games, was used to supply new installations for both the metropolis ‘s American football squad and the metropolis ‘s shot nine ( Lawson, 1996, p.22 ) . This after-use of installations ensures that the Games leaves a ‘legacy ‘ which will both countervail the initial fiscal investing in the installations built and profit the metropolis in the long term. The purpose therefore should be to maximize this type of investing and to understate the organisational costs which would non go on to function the metropolis after the initial event is over ( Brunet, 2005, p.6 ) . This focal point on the after-use of installations and substructure is shown in comparing with anterior Olympic games in Table 1 which shows that, of the five Games, Barcelona had the 2nd biggest proportion of indirect investing.

Many of the substructure developments and betterments which took topographic point for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 were undertaken with their after-use in head. For illustration, a sum of 61.5 per cent of Olympic support was allocated for edifice work on undertakings such as the new ring-roads, the re-opening of the seafront and the ascent of the airdrome ( Brunet, 2005, p.7 ) . However there are besides illustrations of developments which show small consideration for their after-use and which after the Games are underutilised.

An illustration of this is the Montjuic development which now has no important long term usage ( Lawson, 1996, p.22 ) . “ It hosts the occasional dad concert and athletic event, and the Barcelona Dragons, the metropolis ‘s American football squad, plays at that place. But its usage is merely partial ” ( Lawson, 1996, p.22 ) . Despite this Professor Terry Stevens, a leisure adviser from Swansea argues that “ Barcelona intentionally used the Games to set about a batch of substructure development for the metropolis as a whole.

While a batch of the capital was ascribed to the Games, I think truly the Games were merely an alibi to acquire these things done ” ( Lawson, 1996, p.22 ) .Much of the Olympic development programme was focused on the renovation of the seafront with the transmutation of the Barceloneta, Port Vell and Villa Olimpica as shown in Figure 2.

The purpose of this was to associate the metropolis to the sea and besides included large-scale conveyance strategies such as the remotion of the railroad line which severed Barcelona from its coastline. However, these developments have non been without unfavorable judgment. This unfavorable judgment has sometimes been unrealistic ( “ the edifices do non allow us see the sea ” ) , but in other instances it as been more conceptual and serious – “ a port is by its kernel an empty infinite ; full infinites are the metropolis and this should be surrounded by emptinessaˆ¦the edifices of the port affect the image of Barcelona ‘s sea forepart ” ( Marshall, 2004, p.127 ) .

Despite this unfavorable judgment the Olympics has been seen as mostly successful in helping the transmutation of Barcelona.The economic benefits of keeping the Games has been clear with unemployment falling dramatically, the lodging market coming back to life and the building industry undergoing a roar period ( Brunet, 1995b in Brunet, 2005, p.8 ) . The period of 1993 to 2004 proverb twelvemonth on twelvemonth new growing records on all indexs: employment, investing, income, attractiveness etc. Not merely did Barcelona respond good to the Games, it succeeded in keeping the growing generated, on a graduated table ne’er seen before ( Brunet, 2005, p.

8 ) . Tourism has played a cardinal function in this kept up growing with high degrees of investing in the edifice of new hotels during the Olympic building programme. Between 1986 and 2000, Barcelona ‘s hotel capacity increased threefold. Parallel to this, the figure of visitants from abroad sing the metropolis doubled, making a sum of 3.5 million visitants per twelvemonth ( Brunet, 2005, p.

9 ) .

Olympic Village and Waterfront Redevelopment

As Rogers and Fisher ( 1992 ) argue, one of the chief elements to the Olympic development programme has been the re-opening up of the seashore with the creative activity of Parc de Mar, the Olympic Village and the renovation of Barceloneta and Port Vell to associate the metropolis to the sea:“ They have extended the cardinal, historic axis of the cityaˆ¦so that it now leads triumphantly from Gaudi ‘s Sagrada Familia down to the H2O ‘s border, where it is flanked by two 44 floor towers. Beside them the old territory of creaky industrial buildingsaˆ¦has been demolished and the railroad re-routed. In its topographic point a new linear park, the Parc de Mar, widening along the seafront, sited in forepart of a new residential country with stores, Bankss, offices and 2,012 flats ” ( Rogers and Fisher, 1992, p.41 ) .A common factor of these countries was that they all enjoyed spacial conditions that allowed them to take in new types of edifices for the service sector and public installations, either because sufficient empty infinite was available or because the usage of the infinite had become disused leting urban reclamation ( Marshall, 2004, p.

126 ) .The Olympic Village built to suit jocks during the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 was ab initio promised by Barcelona City Council to be used mostly for societal lodging after the Games had finished ( Marshall, 1996, p.151 ) . This promise nevertheless was abandoned due to clangs with private development of the lodging countries. Of the 2,048 flats built, about 60 per cent had been sold by 1992 with the concluding flat being sold in 1996 ( Carbonell, 2005, p.

3 ) . Surveies of the dwellers of the Olympic Village reveal that the bulk are immature, knowing and flush with the per centum of those with university or third-level instruction being much higher than the metropolis norm ( Carbonell, 2005, p.4 ) . This shows that the current demographics of the country is really different non merely to the societal lodging strategy which was ab initio proposed but besides to the norm of Barcelona as shown in Table 2.Beginning: Carbonell, 2005, p.

4These demographics for the country are partially explained by the fact that the flats were sold at somewhat higher than the metropolis norm, clearly higher than the mean monetary values in the instantly environing country of Sant Marti and in certain locations ( the seafront ) at a monetary value which was comparable with Barcelona ‘s most expensive territories ( Carbonell, 2005, p.4 ) . This meant that the flats in the Olympic Village were priced out of scope for societal lodging renters and is reflected in the alteration in flat monetary values since the Olympic Games as shown in Table 3.

This shows that the monetary value of Apartments in the Olympic Village has far surpassed the mean apartment monetary value for both the environing country of Sant Marti and besides the Barcelona norm. As a consequence there is the possibility that continued lifting monetary values could make farther societal homogeneousness within the vicinity. There is no uncertainty that the high monetary values are straight related to the architectural quality of the edifices, the urban layout and scene, and propinquity to the sea ( Carbonell, 2005, p.

5 ) .Beginning: Carbonell, 2005, p.5However, the development of Parc de Mar and the Olympic Village has involved the destruction of a big country of progressively disused and largely creaky land, including the remotion of a important figure of traditional concerns and working category places. While some new public sector lodging was built, this was off from the seafront and redevelopment country.

This means that the monetary value additions seen in flats in the Olympic Village and on the seafront will most likely non be experienced in these new populace sector lodging countries. This reduces the chance for lower income families to roll up wealth in comparing to the wealthier countries nearer the seafront and Olympic Village.While the purpose of opening up the waterfront to supply residential, leisure and recreational infinites has clearly been met, the usage of some of these installations such as the marina the 5 star Hotel Arts appears to hold been mostly aimed away from lower income families in malice of the original promise to utilize the Olympic Village mostly for societal lodging. However the high quality unfastened infinites, promenades and reclaimed beaches created along the seafront provide equal chances for Barcelona ‘s occupants for diversion and leisure.

Open infinites and metropolis life style

Culture, metropolis life style and the usage of unfastened infinites in Barcelona is really different to that of much of Britain. For illustration, a significant portion of the population of the metropolitan part of Barcelona considers that it has a batch of free clip ( 29.1 per cent ) or quite a big sum of it ( 34.

5 per cent ) . Amongst the grownup population, leisure clip activities that are “ often ” practiced are: traveling to the beach ( 42.2 per cent ) , to the films ( 19.9 per cent ) , to eating houses ( 16 per cent ) and to museums and exhibitions ( 8.6 per cent ) ( Marshall, 2004, p.40 ) . In add-on to the investings made in the waterfront development, there has besides been important investing in cultural installations in other parts of the metropolis.

Ciutat Vella, located in the center of a historic portion of the metropolis, has become an country of civilization with the placing of some of the chief cultural installations of the metropolis and Catalonia in the country such as the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona ( Marshall, 2004, p.41 ) .The gap up of the seafront has non merely resulted in greater Numberss of tourers sing the metropolis, it has besides affected the leisure wonts of the metropolis ‘s dwellers with 27.2 per cent of people who go to the beach saying this as their chief finish ( Marshall, 2004, p.41 ) . The Port Vell has besides been recovered for usage by the populace with the remotion of barriers which had prevented entree to the sea and the building of paseos that allow the old quays to be reached ( Marshall, 2004, p.41 ) .

In add-on to this, the Maremagnum Centre dedicated to leisure activities has been established complete with a shopping Centre, Aquarium and a film.Unlike the out-of-town shopping Centres developed in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, Barcelona has aimed to forestall commercial activities from traveling out to the environing parts of the metropolitan country. Thus, traditional commercial infinites have been re-equipped and incorporate, giving them a new image and homogenous publicity ( Marshall, 2004, p.41 ) . The purpose of this is to forestall the urban conurbation which has been witnessed significantly in Britain and to cut down the demand for private conveyance by turn uping shopping country within the metropolis Centre.

This is partially because of the natural geographical restraints such as the Llobregat and Besos rivers to the South and north severally and the mountains in the West which prevent the metropolitan country from distributing out. As such greater focal point is placed upon the cultural heritage of the metropolis which could be transferred to British metropoliss.


It is clear that instead than short-sighted planning for the operation of the Olympic Games, Barcelona took the chance of utilizing its support to ease the regeneration of the metropolis in the long term with substructure betterments such as the route web, communications, airdrome ascent and leisure and diversion installations. This has allowed the metropolis to see continued growing since the retention of the Olympic Games with ever-increasing Numberss of tourers sing the metropolis for both its civilization and recreational installations. Overall the installations developed for the Olympic Games were planned with their after-use in head, though there are illustrations such as the Montjuic development which are now underutilised due to short-run planning. Barcelona ‘s focal point on its cultural heritage and recreational installations could be transferred to a UK context to reinvigorate neglecting metropolis Centres which have been threatened by nearby out-of-town shopping Centres nevertheless with suburbanisation already prevailing in Britain it would be really hard to animate the compact metropolis theoretical account of Barcelona.


British metropoliss can do better usage of their cultural heritage to supply chances for touristry.While event-led regeneration can be successful it is of import for metropoliss to concentrate on the after-event use of the installations in order to forestall state of affairss where installations are underutilised. For illustration, the Sheffield World Student Games in 1991 which proved to be a dearly-won error due to short-sighted planning for the installations.Greater free clip and chances should be made available for diversion and leisure in Britain to both do better usage of bing installations and to advance the creative activity of new installations and unfastened infinites within metropolis Centres.