How are the names of streets and squares decided?

The Street Naming Commission is the body that decides which names will be given to public streets and squares in Barcelona. This is the process that ends up with the characteristic white name plaque being installed.

26/03/2024 15:40 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

New public spaces appear in the city every year, resulting from changes in urban planning and usage. Places classed as public spaces (streets, squares, avenues, gardens, parks etc.) must be identified with a name, which is chosen after a process involving the City Council, associations, experts and members of the public.

The proposal

Who can propose a name for a new public street?

  • Political groups
  • City associations and organisations
  • Citizens

Names can be proposed through a general request or via the suggestion mailbox, and will reach the Councillor’s Office for Democratic Memory. All proposals go before the Street Naming Commission, a body made up of elected officials, representatives from the social and academic spheres, and specialist staff from the City Council.


To name a street after a person, at least five years must have passed since their death. The only exception to this rule is where the person has been awarded the Gold Medal of the City while alive. Also worth noting is that the Naming Commission cannot give names to libraries, health centres, community centres and so on.

The decision

The Street Naming Commission has no established calendar, but usually meets three or four times a year. The body works jointly with the district offices, which can give favourable or unfavourable reports relating to proposals, but the final decision is for the Naming Commission.

Once the name is approved, it is the district office which chooses the date to apply the name and inaugurate the new public space. The same procedure is followed for historical memory plaques and information panels.

Steps have been taken in recent years to redress the imbalance and the scant presence of women’s and popular names among the city’s street names.

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