Barcelona to create more ‘superblocks’ with EU financing

The European Investment Bank is providing €95 million to Barcelona to promote urban regeneration through investments in urban design, social infrastructure and energy efficiency.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it will provide €95 million to promote urban regeneration in Barcelona with a focus on the environment as well as on social inclusion and job creation. In total, the EU bank will finance 40 different climate action projects in the city.

According to an EIB press release, up to 25% perfect of the funding will go towards regenerating an area covering some 200,000 square meters across the city by reshaping urban design around the concept of “superblocks” to give residents better access to facilities in their neighbourhoods. This involves grouping buildings into blocks where traffic is only permitted around the perimeter and priority is given to pedestrian areas, low-speed zones and recreational green spaces.

The projects financed by the EIB will also promote social inclusion through the construction and renovation of education institutions such as nurseries and schools, sports facilities, a new library and care homes, all of which will be nearly zero-energy buildings.

In addition, the EU bank will support initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of public lighting and municipal buildings and facilities. Improvements will also be made to urban bus lines and bicycle lanes across the city.

“Adapting our cities to a more sustainable model is key to achieving the EU objective of climate neutrality by 2050,” said EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro, who is responsible for the bank’s operations in Spain.

“As such, one of the EIB’s main priorities is to support urban regeneration to promote clean and inclusive growth that benefits the public while also helping to combat climate change.”

Barcelona declared a climate emergency in January 2020. The investments now being promoted are in line with the declaration’s objectives.

Image credit: Kaspars Upmanis via Unsplash

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