3.5.c Barcelona

  • Created by: lee8444
  • Created on: 14-02-20 14:08

Historical context of Barcelona's rebranding

  • Was originally a Roman settlement 2000 years ago
  • 15th Century - major importer and exporter for the world
  • 19th Century - industrialisation of cotton, cork, iron, steel, shipbuilding and wine
  • Poor health due to pollution, cramped conditions with densely populated housing
  • 19th Century - population grew from 115,000 to 500,000 and reached 1 million in 1930
  • Centre for culture with the Art Nouveau linking Barcelona to Paris
  • Late 19th Century - the surge in Catalan culture such as the language
  • 1936 - Civil war and General Franco caused the Catalan culture to be suppressed
  • City's architecture wasn't well maintained and became run-down
  • Started to revitalise in 1975 when Franco died
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Barcelona rebranding - sport

  • 1992 Olympics
  • Athletes village was on the waterfront with the main stadium a little inland
  • They used the Olympics to renovate run-down areas such as the harbour
  • Media parks and the international conference centre were created
  • Acted as a catalyst for creating a 'one city' environment
  • Key in restoring the Catalan identity and pride
  • Nou camp was constructed which holds 98,000 spectators which acted as a flagship development and strengthened self-belief and confidence
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Barcelona rebranding - culture & business


  • Gaudi created world heritage sites
    • Cathedral of Sagrada Familia
    • Casa Batlló
  • Public spaces and galleries were refurbished
  • Tried to create a bright and vibrant culture with creativity such as La Rambla


  • Rebuilt Barcelona's reputation for services, innovation, the knowledge economy and entrepreneurship
  • Wanted to be an 'attractive and influential European region for global talent with a great setting for economic and business growth'
  • Looked to develop in sustainability and adapting to climate change facing problems such as managing water supply
  • Wanted to attract FDI and TNCs to stimulate economic growth
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El Raval - Why rebranding was needed

  • Used to be one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world
  • Popular industries were textiles, brick making, abattoirs and tanning
  • Poorly built tenement blocks to house the factory workers
  • Barrio Chino was where immigrants would enter Barcelona and look for cheap housing with easy access to informal employment such as prostitution, petty crime and drug dealing
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El Raval - Rebranding projects

  • Rebranding hasn't been equal between the north and south of the Raval
  • The north has had multiple flagship developments such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Contemporary Cultural Centre which both have international reputations
  • Private university for history
  • Restaurants and wine bars have been created north of Carrer de l'Hospital
  • Most rebranding has been around gentrification as higher status people have moved into the area
  • In the south, overcrowded conditions remain with dirty, low-paying factories
  • 1995 - 1700 properties were demolished in the Rambla Raval with the space being used for markets and small festivals
  • This Rambla Raval cost 5 million euros, 80% of which was paid for by the EU
  • Two flagship hotels have been developed in the south with the Barceló Raval Hotel built in 2008 and the Casa Camper Hotel which is in keeping with the Raval culture and style on the outside but modern on the inside
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El Raval - Contested rebranding

  • Gentrification has led to social tensions and conflicting ideas on where money should be invested within the Raval
  • Wealthy tourists can make the poorer residents feel excluded from their own city as many businesses turn to cater to these tourists instead of businesses that benefit the locals
  • Property prices have risen exponentially so many tenants cannot continue to pay the higher prices to stay in the accommodation that they are already in and consequently they have to leave the places in which they have lived for decades
  • This rebranding may not be sustainable for the future
  • There is however improvements in
    • employment
    • education
    • health
    • crime
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