Geography of Barcelona

Articles in ‘Geography of Barcelona’

Barcelona storm

October 4th, 2013

I love the Barceloneta just before a storm breaks. This one late August 2013.

Foto: I love the Barceloneta just before a storm breaks.

Collserola protected

October 20th, 2010

Lucy has written this excellent summary of the news of Collserola’s protection.

Most migrants in Barcelona are Spanish

October 19th, 2010

I thought this was interesting. Only 27 percent of people who applied for residence in Barcelona in 2009 are from outside Spain. From Barcelona Metropilitan here

According to the Statistic department of the Ayuntamiento, 40,000 people, newly recorded in the 2009 municipal census, came from other municipalities in Catalunya, whilst only 17,000 came from other regions in Spain. The department have released a study that shows the city demographic during the last twenty years, which reveals that during 2009, 89,594 people arrived in Barcelona whilst only 59,570 people left. Over 40 percent of immigrants who arrived in Barcelona in 2009, came from the rest of Catalunya, more than 12,000 joined the municipal census of Barcelona after leaving other cities in the Barcelona region – ie. l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Badalona, Santa Coloma and Sant Adrià. The flow of residents is particularly strong between l’Hospitalet settled in Barcelona and vice versa. The second largest exchange is between Barcelona and Badalona. The report also reveals moreover that the greatest migratory movements from or to the municipality of Barcelona are with young people. More than half of the 90,000 people who came to the city were between 20 and 35 years old.

Rundown farmhouse in the Delta de Llobregat

March 17th, 2010

Masia Parc Agrari

Rundown farmhouse in El Parc Agrari del Baix Llobregat, near Barcelona. Many, however, have been restored.

Spring returns to Barcelona

March 16th, 2010

After a long, grey and grueling, tiresome and draining, never-ending cold, wet and miserable winter, spring appears to have finally arrived in Barcelona. Read the rest of this entry

Changes in the coastline of Barcelona

March 12th, 2010


Map showing changes in the coastline of Barcelona since prehistoric times. fueled by sedimentation and urbanisation. Note the presence of the island, l’illa de Mains.

Barcelona’s urban heat island

March 11th, 2010

Barcelona’s urban heat island effect causes markedly higher temperatures in the city than the surrounding rural areas. The difference is most pronounced at night during anticyclonic conditions in the winter with temperatures as much as 6.9ºC lower. There heat is channeled along corridors of flats, and there a mere 200 hectares of green areas in the city, though the city’s 100,000 street trees have a mitigating effect. The heat island is most noted in the Eixample. The Besós River functions as a corridor bringing in cold air to the coast. More details in Catalan

The snow in Barcelona

March 9th, 2010

Yesterday saw the heaviest snowfall in Barcelona since 1983. Schools were closed, the buses stopped working and roads were blocked. Thousands of people were stranded in the city unable to commute home.

Not quite as heavy as the historic fall of Christmas Day 1963.

More great photos here from El Pais

The population density of Barcelona

February 10th, 2010

The metropolitan area of Barcelona has one of the highest population densities in the world, particularly if one takes out Collserola park on its northern fringe. The city of Barcelona itself has a density of 5,764/km², while the Eixample District has a remarkable density of 35.138/km². L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, part of Barcelona metropolitan area, but a town (ciudad) in its own right, has a density of 20,230 /km2. Source

Within Barcelona particularly neighbourhoods are:

1 Sagrada Familia
area 1.04km²
Population 53.000

2 Gracia
area 2.05 km²
population 84.000

3 Raval
area 1.08km²
population 47.000

Within L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, the highest density in Europe is the la Florida district with a density of 77,000/km², which has fallen from a frightening 150,000/km² 30 years ago. Source: Statistical yearbook of the city, Click on Anuario 2007

The skyscraper forum has some fascinating discussion on what constitutes an urban area or a city. Above pic taken from there by Gabi.

The whole municipality of L’Hospitalet is conurbated with the city, served by tube lines, insanely dense, etc. It’s just another district of Barcelona, really. Of course, this might mean it’d be a better idea to consider L’H as a single neighbourhood, but first of all it isn’t: the different neighbourhoods were built at different times, with different planning criteria (or in most cases absence thereof, but that’s another story), and they have different sociological traits, different areas of influence, etc. You also have to keep in mind that there are TWO railway tracks cutting through the city and pretty much acting as a barrier you can’t get through. So at least you’d have to separate Samontà (Northern Hospitalet) from Marina (Southern Hospitalet). Actually, it’d be more like Old Hospitalet (Centre and Sta. Eulàlia), Northern Hospitalet (La Florida, Can Serra, Pubilla Cases, Collblanc, Torrassa, etc.) and Marina (Bellvitge and Gornal, basically. The area around Plaça Europa has become quite distinct, although future operations on Gran Via Ave. will prolly integrate Gornal into Districte Econòmic somewhat.) And it’d be a wise idea to separate Collblanc and Torrassa as well, as they have a special relationship with Les Corts and Sants in Barcelona. They also have some old town parts, which is kind of weird in L’Hospitalet (most of L’Hospitalet was built after 1960 and populated with inmigrants, so the presence of “old town” parts is sociologically and urbanistically relevant: the fact that in Collblanc and Torrassa they are way smaller than in Centre or Sta. Eulàlia, and the fact that their original population is fleeing to Martorell or Barcelona is also relevant of course.)

Rivers of Barcelona

April 12th, 2009

Barcelona is flanked by two rivers, the River Llobregat ten kilometres to the south-west, and the River Besòs to the north-east.

The Llobregat is the second longest river in Catalonia, and ends in the Mediterranean Sea, in the municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona. It is heavily managed in its lower course greatly reducing the flood risk in the city. Water that previously emptied into the sea is now pumped upstream to increase the natural flow, recharge the delta wetlands and control seawater incursion. On the very negative side the old riverine habitat along the river has been ruined, with serious impacts on birdlife.

The River Besòs (wikipeidia)

The much smaller River Besòs forms the north-eastern border of Barcelona. It passes through the highly industrialized ring around Barcelona, and had the dubious honor of being the most polluted river in Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. Since the mid-1990s, however, the river has been cleaned up significantly. The river has extreme variations  in flow depending on rainfall.

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