Urban transformation reaches the Besòs industrial estates to help reactivate manufacturing and the economyThe government measure ‘Barcelona Superblock to regenerate Barcelona and its neighbourhoods’ plans a series of actions to rebuild the city and make it more resilient in the face of the current social, economic and climate crises. The initiative seeks to transform different aspects of the city and includes measures to protect and improve the industrial manufacturing network along the side of the Besòs river.
Specifically, the measure plans improvements to the industrial estates of Bon Pastor, Torrent de l’Estadella, Montsolís and Verneda Industrial, a manufacturing area of 143 hectares with a huge potential for growth. Action will centre on integrating the estates into the urban layout and converting the area into a strategic manufacturing base for the city; protecting the current industrial fabric to avoid speculation; backing activities with added value and which move well away from the classic industrial model, the so-called green and circular economy, and promoting companies devoted to innovation and cultural, science and industrial products.
Action will be taken in three areas to achieve these goals:
- Improvement of public space and infrastructures by boosting active mobility, the use of public transport and connections by bike and on foot between neighbourhoods, industrial estates, facilities, parks and services. Work is currently in progress on the project to improve the streets of Fra Juníper Serra and Santander, and in May 2022 work will start on the bridge in C/ Santander.
- Update to urban planning, through an amendment to the General Metropolitan Plan (MPGM) to improve conditions and the quality of buildings in the industrial estates and guarantee accessibility to the area.
- The transformation will be developed in a participatory way with local people, companies and the community linked to the estates and with Sant Adrià del Besòs.
This transformation could bring some very substantial benefits: an economy of 551 million euros in direct added value and the creation of 9,000 direct jobs.
A first step in regenerating the Besòs industrial estates is the transformation of the old Mercedes-Benz factory, a project applying the Barcelona Superblock model in the Bon Pastor neighbourhood with design university centres and tech companies. At the same time, the reactivation of economic fabrics is also under way in other points around the city, with the Sant Antoni superblock to protect local commerce and everyday life and the new model for the Olympic Port as a sustainable space for local people and the blue economy.
The government measure ‘Barcelona Superblock to regenerate Barcelona and its neighbourhoods’ also entails other action to make for a more liveable city, where people are at the centre:
- Transformation of public space (for instance, with the Barcelona Superblock, more greenery, the new coastline, the plan for a play-friendly city, the project to protect areas outside schools and the creation of new infrastructures).
- Improvement of neighbourhoods and complexes.
- Boost for sustainable mobility.