Barcelona took centre stage in 1992 for the summer Olympic games but now is setting an example by reinventing parts of its city through its “superblock” system that prioritises people over cars. A clear example of tactical urbanism.
- In 2016, Barcelona City Council Urban Mobility Plan set out to provide 308 km of cycle lanes by 2018, which would mean an increase of 165% on the network of 116 kilometres. This means that by 2018, 95% of the city’s population would have a cycle lane within 300 metres of their home.
- “It is essential that we move on from the idea of creating bike lanes along certain main routes and think about the network as a whole with everyone having a path near their house and their destination,” explains the Barcelona’s transport chief
- In 2017, the city’s bike-path network has grown 20% in a year-and-a-half, and there are now 25,000 parking spots for bicycles. At the same time, the number of trips taken on bikes grew 14% in 2016 – triple the growth seen in previous years.
- Barcelona’s Mayor, Ada Colau is a large part of Barcelona’s cycling revolution who was elected in 2015, pledged €32million up until 2018 to increase the number of cycle lanes as well as adding bike parking, traffic calming and 30km/h zones.
Key Project: Superblocks
- “Superblocks” give the streets back to the people by prioritising pedestrian and cycling movements and activity whilst restricting car, scooter, lorry and bus traffic to the roads in the superblock perimeters. Through traffic is still permitted, however it is at a greatly reduced speed of 10km/h
- By limiting cars and buses to main thoroughfares in the city, urban planners are hoping to encourage people to walk and bicycle more than they do now, significantly impacting congestion, air and noise pollution and road safety.
- One study of an older superblock area found walking increased by 10 percent and cycling by 30 percent, while driving fell by 26 percent.