Urban rehabilitation of Ciutat Vella (Barcelona)

Urban rehabilitation of Ciutat Vella (Barcelona)

The now regenerated district of Ciutat Vella is the result of a transformation and revival process to which this district was first subjected during the beginning of the 1980s.

Starting situation

The loss of centrality suffered by Ciutat Vella since the demolition of the walls of the city of Barcelona and its expansion towards the Eixample district in the middle of the 19th century led the historic centre to a situation of physical and social decline. Following the restoring of democratic local government in 1979 after the Franco dictatorship, Barcelona City Council decided to take action in the historic centre in order to revive it with a twofold purpose: to regain it as a vital centre of the city and also to maintain the residential character of its districts.


To do this, the Council invited other governments to take part in the project, including the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and the Spanish Government, and all decisions were agreed with resident associations from all four districts —Raval, Gòtic, Casc Antic and Barceloneta— and economic players such as the Chamber of Commerce. From 1980 to 1985, Special Interior Rehabilitation Plans were drafted for Raval, the Eastern Sector of Casc Antic and Barceloneta, and in 1986 the district was declared an Integrated Rehabilitation Area (IRA). That same year, Barcelona was chosen to host the 1992 Olympic Games, an event which made a large-scale intervention in the city even more necessary.


  • Direct or indirect intervention as a promoter of activities for the urban regeneration of Ciutat Vella.
  • Development of urban planning and land management for creating new public space, services and housing.
  • Adaptation of the characteristics of homes to modern needs.
  • Promotion of integrated or partial rehabilitation of buildings and/or homes and retail premises as an essential part of an integrated revitalisation and regeneration policy.
  • Promotion of Ciutat Vella as an area for shopping of special leisure, cultural and tourist area interest.
  • Encouraging of economic activity in the district and reactivation of commercial zones.


Ajuntament de Barcelona
Empresa Municipal Foment de Ciutat Vella S.A.

Date: 2013-06-13


Country: Spain

Category: Employment and Economic Development, Tourism and culture