The city's transformation

The Barcelona '92 Summer Olympic Games involved one of the city's biggest-ever urban planning transformations. 

 

Montjuïc Mountain

The event involved the redevelopment of part of Montjuïc mountain, with the creation of the Olympic Ring, designed by Carles Buxadé, Joan Margarit, Federico Correa and Alfons MIlà. Existing sports facilities, such as the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium and the Piscines Picornell swimming pools were renovated, while new facilities were also built, including the Palau Sant Jordi and the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC).

New construction: Palau Sant Jordi, INEFC, the Espanya Industrial Pavilion.

Renovations: The Olympic Stadium, the Piscines Bernat Picornell swimming pools, Piscina de Montjuïc swimming pool, Palau d’Esports de Barcelona

 

Olympic Village in Poblenou and the Sea Front

One of the biggest changes to the city, which altered its day-to-day life from then on, was the redevelopment of the whole sea front in Barceloneta and Poblenou, the area allocated to house the Olympic Village, where the athletes stayed during the Games.

The project designed by Martorell-Bohigas-Mackey-Puigdomènech involved moving the coastal railway line underground, constructing a new marina (Port Olímpic), building a new neighbourhood and designing new thoroughfares.

The change to this area of the city was also linked to the regeneration of the city's beaches, which brought about one of the milestones of Barcelona's transformation: opening the city up to the sea, for the city's residents to enjoy. The change was so great that it altered the way local residents related to their seashore.

Another major change was the construction of the new Port Vell, with a project designed by Jordi Henrich and Olga Tarrasó, which included the present Maremagnum and the wooden swivelling bridge.

New construction: Port Olímpic, The Mar Bella Pavilion

Renovations: The Estació del Nord Sports Centre and the Frontó Colom fronton-tennis centre

 

Vall d’Hebron

The Vall d'Hebron neighbourhood was the third large city area designated for sports events that underwent complete redevelopment. Under the project designed by Eduard Bru, the reorganisation of the neighbourhood involved combining green areas, major thoroughfares and Olympic sports facilities.

New construction: The Archery Range, the Vall d'Hebron Pavilion, the Vall d'Hebron Tennis Courts.

 

New highways

The Barcelona Olympic Games also involved the construction of the Ronda Litoral and Ronda de Dalt bypasses, around the outskirts of the city, along with the Trinitat and Llobregat junctions, which had a major positive effect on the city's traffic. Planned by Josep Acebillo and Alfred Morales, the two new bypasses were added to the existing Ronda del Mig highway that crossed the city.

 

Other projects

These large projects were accompanied by other complementary urban-planning initiatives, such as the creation of new parks and gardens, including the Parc del Mirador del Migdia, the Parc del Poblenou, the Parc de Carles I, the Parc de les Cascades, the Parc del Port Olímpic and the Parc de Nova Icària.

The city still remembers the “Barcelona, Posa’t Guapa” campaign [Barcelona, make yourself pretty] which fostered the restoration of city façades from 1986 to 1992.

The city also experienced a revolution in terms of large telecommunication infrastructures. In addition to installing 150 km of underground fibre optic cable, the city built two communication towers: one in Collserola, designed by Norman Foster, and the other in Montjuïc, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

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