BARCELONA City Council has begun work to repair the pavement of the city’s famous ‘Rambla’, the poor condition of which has sparked complaints from local residents about dangerous cracks that have appeared in recent months.
The maintenance operation on the famous promenade will cost city authorities 150,000 euros. It is hoped that the investment will provide people with more space than currently exists.
A total of 11 old style kiosks will be eliminated and converted into ice cream parlors and souvenir stalls.
Furthermore, The Urban Planning Commission of Barcelona City Council has approved a budget of 44.5 million euros in a wider effort to improve conditions across the city in general.
The renovation plan was first announced in 2016, and promised to transform the city’s promenades with expanded sidewalks, which would feel more cultural and “open to the sea”.
City authorities hope that the repairs to Las Ramblas will help people “reconnect” with the space. In March, Ràdio Rambles opened in a disused flower kiosk, it hopes to provide a meeting space to socialize and to promote the famous promenade.
Authorities hope to diversify the area, which is currently dominated by tourism. They also hope to provide affordable housing near Las Ramblas. The plan also intends to attract more local customers to the famous Boqueria market, many locals are currently put off due to its over touristication.
However the speed in which the renovations are taking place has left many Barcelona residents frustrated. Fermín Villar, spokesman for Amics de La Rambla, told Spanish Newspaper 20Minutos that “we have been hearing announcements and headlines for too many years, and now we are sceptical”.
It is unclear when further works will commence.