Barcelona is one of the most famous tourist spots in the world with million of people going there to experience the Catalan Sun and beautiful seaside. But, there is a downside of the tourism boom as the city has become crowded more than ever with the air quality getting worse and worse in recent years. The polluted air is now the leading cause of death in the metropolitan area with more than 3,500 premature ones being caused by it every year in a population of 3.5 million or one in every thousand people. To address the serious concern, Barcelona city administration has decided to increase the number of vehicle-free areas by making superblocks in various parts of the city. As a result of this new strategy, traffic will be reduced by 21% and more than 60% of the streets will be freed from automobiles except the occasional bus that will only travel at 10 Km/h and not more.
This concept is used worldwide in many congested areas to regulate the ugly side of traffic and make it a more people-friendly experience. Trees will also be added in the pedestrian walkways and more than 200 km cycling paths are also being reserved for bikers since long distance traveling on foot is quite difficult. To make it easier, every person in the metropolis will be no more than 300 meters away from a bus stop and average waiting period of new bus will be reduced to just five minutes instead of the current average of fourteen. Just like in many other parts of the world like Amsterdam, the city would appear mostly like a car-free zone with full of bikers and pedestrians.
Many cities in the world have been forced to make this happen in their areas as green areas are reduced to just 6.6 sq meters of green space per person in Barcelona which is much less than the UN recommended nine sq meters.