Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of Catalonia, and the second largest city in Spain, with a population of 1,621,537, climbing to 4,200,000 for the metropolitan area.
The main transport challenges facing Barcelona include protection of the historical city centre which does not lend well to motorised transport; a high proportion of powered two wheelers (motorcycles & mopeds) which may reduce demand for road space but cause pollution (especially noise); and high levels of commuter traffic between the city centre and suburban towns.
However, the city has embarked on a comprehensive sustainable urban mobility agenda, redesigning the city around more sustainable modes of travel, and its citizens! Indeed, the city's superblock concept has pioneered the way for others. The superblock is a model of mobility that restructures the typical urban road network. Superblocks have the potential to provide solutions to the main problems of urban mobility and to improve both the availability and quality of the public space for pedestrians and people sojourning in a space.
The Spanish POLIS member also faces a significant commuter traffic challenge. With 1.6million residents within the city and Greater Barcelona home to 3.2million, managing traffic slows and shifting travellers to more sustainable modes is critical. Each day, 660.000 journeys via private vehicle are made within the city. However, while the city itself boasts a relatively high public transit and active travel modal split, the wider region is far more car dependent, with 52% of journeys into the city completed by car.
To tackle this, Barcelona, famed for its pioneering superblock concept, has embarked on a comprehensive package of measures to slash traffic. The city’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been key. An LEZ is a specific area with restricted access to the most polluting vehicles
Barcelona follows an "area verda” approach for integrated parking management, watch the video below: