More greenery, public housing and space for residents with the transformation of the Mercedes-Benz factory

The Full Council has approved the new planning proposal to transform the unused Mercedes-Benz factory in the Sant Andreu district into a new space to foster local life and sustainable mobility. The project will create new squares and green spaces, with public facilities to add vitality to the Bon Pastor neighbourhood and the industrial estates in the vicinity, connecting them better with the rest of the city.

31/03/2023 14:24 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Over half the factory will be turned into public space, more precisely, an area of over 49,000 square metres. This will include the new Plaça de la Mercedes, a large city park made up of a square, two gardens, inner quadrangles and green streets:

  • Plaça de la Mercedes. A square with garden features located in the old production hall of the factory. A large central agora for social and cultural activity, also providing a backbone for economic activity. The metal structure of the building will be renovated, the roof removed and solar panelling installed to provide service for the various facilities. The site will provide for commercial premises, temporary activity spaces and a large stand for public events.
  • Large urban park. This will include the Jardí del Llac, the Jardí de la Indústria, the Plaça Central and two public quadrangles. In all, this space will account for 31,000 square metres, meaning over a third of the new Mercedes-Benz site will be green.
  • Green streets. These will connect the squares and gardens and establish green corridors linking the site with the centre of the Bon Pastor neighbourhood, the Parc del Rec Comtal, La Maquinista and the Torrent de l’Estadella industrial estate. These routes will be for pedestrians and bikes, but will also feature meeting places and children’s play areas. They will also collect rainwater and add permeability to this space.

All these spaces will be reserved for walking, public use and sustainable mobility, free of motor vehicles and thus replicating the Barcelona Superblock model. In addition, the area will have new bike lanes and bike parking, with bus traffic better located and with improved circulation.

The transformation of the factory comes in addition to the changes at La Sagrera in the next few years, with new mobility generated by the new rail station and helping to free up the whole area of industrial use and integrate it with the city’s urban layout.

Another change is the reorganisation of Passeig de l’Havana. The street will be widened and all existing trees kept. New buildings constructed on the side of the street will ensure that existing housing in the street gets direct sunlight.

Public facilities and affordable housing

The new planning proposal includes a new nursery school, a vocational training school, a socio-cultural space and a memory space located in the old main building (formerly the head offices of the factory) and another two buildings in the western section of the cite. The old football field in C/ Santander will also be regained for sports use.

The project also entails the enlargement of the Bon Pastor primary healthcare centre in C/ Mollerussa, the enlargement of the community centre with multi-purpose halls in the Enric Sanchis building and the extension and improvement of the facilities at the Bon Pastor municipal sports centre.

The new Mercedes-Benz site will have up to 1,300 new homes, 40% of them for affordable housing and the rest on the free market, with at least half of the affordable housing to be rental properties. The housing blocks will make the most of the inner quadrangles of the block, as well as rooftops and intermediate terraces to create a community atmosphere.

In terms of economic activity and teaching, up to 84,000 square metres of space will be used for this. The expectation is to create as many as 5,000 quality new jobs in the mid to long term, linked to the circular economy, innovation, small industry and local commerce.

One of the existing buildings at the old factory will house the new headquarters of the Faculty of Design and Engineering for ELISAVA and the UVic-UCC. The Fundació Letita is also expected to install its own centre and head the management and implementation of tech companies linked to 4.0 creative industries.


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