Spurred by pandemic, Barcelona backs greener, car-free future | Reuters
Joan FausAugust 4, 2021 BARCELONA, Aug 4 (Reuters)
Originally described as provisional by city authorities, the changes are still in place a year later despite opposition from some business groups.
More is to come under a plan to convert 21 streets, totalling 33 km (20 miles), into pedestrian green spaces.
The project illustrates how the pandemic has influenced urban planning across the world, accelerating changes such as more bike lanes and fewer cars amid growing concern about climate change.
Since March 2020, Barcelona has reclaimed around eight hectares of the cityscape from motor vehicles, transforming it into sidewalks, playgrounds, bike lanes or restaurant terraces, with authorities arguing that people need more space to avoid COVID-19.
Along with Paris, which has also been creating more bike lanes, Barcelona has aggressively exploited the pandemic to embrace an urban overhaul.