Barcelona's Marina neighborhood

Barcelona’s Marina neighborhood is beginning to take shape: there are 3,222 apartments in the works and a promenade has been drawn up that will link it to the center

The transformation of La Marina del Prat Vermell, an area of ​​Barcelona with an industrial fabric and warehouses, into a new neighborhood that will have some 28,000 inhabitants and 12,000 homes is beginning to be visible. More than 400 flats divided into six buildings have already been built and 2,322 are under construction or planned, of which more than half, 1,297, will be protected. In addition, some urbanizations and facilities are ready and work has begun so that a walk can link the neighborhood to the city center by bus in 10 minutes.

The deputy mayor for Urban Planning, Janet Sanz, explained this Tuesday, who took stock of the completed and planned actions in the area, located at the end of the Paseo de la Zona Franca, between Montjuïc, the Ronda Litoral, and the Fira de la Great Way.  It is an area of ​​75 hectares, which is equivalent to 40 blocks from the Eixample, where it is also expected to create between 8,000 and 11,000 jobs in 320,000 square meters of roof reserved for commercial and tertiary uses, and where green will play a leading role. 

The transformation, which will last about 16 years, has mobilized public and private investment of about 119 million euros since 2015, and in the coming years, the figure will rise to about 419. “Barcelona has few opportunities to grow and the Marina is one of them”, said Sanz, who highlighted the “unequivocal commitment” of the municipal government to the area.

Regarding the promenade that will connect the neighborhood with the city center in 10 minutes through a new bus line, the deputy mayor explained that it will run along the port road, will have three kilometers, and will go from the promenade of the Free Zone to Drassanes.  It will have a bike lane. 

Now, the municipal government begins drafting the executive project, with the aim of starting the works in Drassanes at the end of 2024 and finishing them between the end of 2025 and the beginning of 2026. The works will involve an investment of 8.8 million euros by the City Council and the rest of the cost will be assumed by the Port of Barcelona.

The council considers this promenade as a provisional solution until the transformation of Ronda del Litoral arrives to gain space for pedestrians. It is a project that was agreed upon with the Government, but “State things are going slowly”, Sanz pointed out.

Also to improve the connectivity of the neighborhood with the center, the deputy mayor has demanded that the Generalitat “prioritize” the opening of the Motors station of the L9 metro line, since the tunnels have been made and the convoys can circulate.

He has also said that the City Council wants to remodel the Zona Franca promenade so that it is no longer a barrier in the form of an urban highway and sews the neighborhoods of Marina del Prat Vermell, Marina de Port and Font de la Guatlla with Montjuïc and the Hospitalet.

This month the participatory diagnosis process has finished and proposals such as widening the sidewalks or increasing pedestrian crossings and vegetation have been collected explained the councilor for Sants-Montjuïc, Marc Serra. Now begins the phase of preliminary studies to define the project.

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The transformation of La Marina del Prat Vermell also provides for a fifth of its 75 hectares to be green. In this sense, the Parque de les Tretze Roses stand out, between Pontils, Ulldecona, Cal Cisó, Ferro, and Arnès streets. The work began last summer and will finish in autumn. It will have two lawns and two gardens, up to 220 trees will be planted and game elements and lounge areas with benches and chairs will be installed. The budget is around 5.35 million euros and it will mean a green area of ​​21,000 m².

Given the forecast that in a period of 10 to 15 years between 25,000 and 35,000 residents will arrive at the 12,000 homes that the neighborhood will have, Serra has specified that the City Council has also projected equipment such as a nursery, a school institute, and a health center.

The area is also planning to house the new headquarters of the Fundació Pere Tarrés, which will include a university faculty and a library, a center for revitalizing children and adolescents, and an economic promotion office, among others.

With the aim of guaranteeing sustainability, the Marina del Prat Vermell will save 20% of energy compared to traditional consumption thanks to a centralized air conditioning network and the generation of renewable energy in buildings and public spaces. The neighborhood will also have a groundwater network and urban drainage systems that will reduce drinking water consumption by more than 25%.

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