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An agreement has been reached with the city to go ahead with the urban restructuring plan around the FC Barcelona premises. The Barcelona City Council Governing Board has issued the green light to provisionally accept a Modification to the General Metropolitan Plan (MPGM), thereby making the future Espai Barça possible, and generating a more public space that’s more open to the neighbourhood.

The Mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, the president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the representatives of the municipal groups supporting the proposal, the president of the Grup Municipal Demòcrata, Xavier Trias; of Ciutadans, Carina Mejías; of ERC, Alfred Bosch; of PSC, Jaume Collboni; of PP, Alberto Fernández, and the independent governor Gerard Ardanuy, have presented this agreement at an event held in the Saló de Cròniques at Barcelona City Hall, which was also attended by the assistant to the mayor for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility, Janet Sanz, and the club’s commissioner for the Espai Barça, Jordi Moix.

With such broad consensus, the proposed MPGM will now go to the Plenary Session of the Municipal Council in April to receive its final go-ahead, before definitive approval by the Barcelona Subcommission for Urban Planning, a body associated to the Catalan Government, or Generalitat.

FCB

The document has come about as the result of work by the municipal government in liaison both with the club and the organisations and residents of Les Corts and various municipal groups to agree on the replanning in a way that will be positive for the city as a whole. Work began on the project in 2016 with the first meetings of the monitoring committee that was specifically created for purposes of debating the matter, and in February 2017 the club presented the preliminary document to the Council. It was evaluated positively but there were key matters that needed clearing up.

Since then, the work in conjunction with FC Barcelona and the public enquiry procedure, in which the people and organisations based in the environs of the stadium played a key role, led to a proposed MPGM that the Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility Commission initially approved last July. This document made substantial improvements to the quality of the public space, was aimed at generating benefits for the city and was an excellent starting point to continue defining the future Espai Barça.

However, since the plans were presented in public, work has been done on improving the plan and responding to allegations from municipal groups and local residents, whereupon a number of changes were introduced in liaison with the club. The final result is a better approach for the city, with broader and more plural consensus, and which has raised public interest in the operation. It is, in short, a more beneficial plan for the people of Barcelona, the neighbourhood and the club.

Official procedures with regard to the MPGM shall now continue ahead of the provisional approval by the Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility Commission on Wednesday, and the Plenary Session of the Municipal Council will be casting its vote on April 27 before definitive approval by the Barcelona Subcommission for Urban Planning.

FCB

More permeable space and facilities and more green spaces

One of the most important improvements to the transformation is that the Camp Nou and the other FC Barcelona facilities will be opened up rather than forming an urban barrier. The premises will blend into the districts of La Maternitat and Sant Ramon and will be permeable, with new private spaces made available for public use without enclosures, thus adjoining them to other public, road and green spaces in the environs of the Camp Nou and the current Miniestadi.

With this in mind, all of the privately owned unconstructed area facing Carrer d’Arístides Maillol, between Travessera de les Corts and Carrer de Cardenal Roig, will be public, and will be built upon adequately to create a new space open to the public and to be used for urban activities other than those associated to sports events.

The opening up of the premises will free up a whole set of new spaces for public use making the journey between Travessera de les Corts and Diagonal more amenable, with easy access to green spaces around Diagonal and for the different public transport routes using the avenue.

With respect to the initial approval, the new green zones will be grouped to make them bigger and better quality. The total area of public green spaces will increase to more than 23,000 square metres (m2) –there were 20,000 before–, and there will be 32,000 m2 public areas in total –before there were 27,500–.

Although the whole space will be open to the public and no areas will be closed off when there is no game at the Camp Nou, it will be closed on match days to control entrance and exits and guarantee security for spectators. The final document plans to reduce this closing off as much as possible around the whole perimeter in order to reduce the visibility of the same.

Better roads and walkways and new route for Carrer d’Arístides Maillol

The MPGM also includes improvements to the road network. The club shall be responsible for these, which include adjustments to the route of Carrer d’Arístides Maillol and wider public spaces to improve the connections between the club facilities and their surroundings. There shall also be improvements to the section of Carrer de la Maternitat, while maintaining the current trees, thereby improving public connections with Avinguda Joan XXIII and Diagonal.

The section of Carrer de Joan XXIII has changed after analysing the allegations, and by request of the local residents shall now include another lane to improve traffic flow. There will be one lane in each direction, an exchangeable third lane and a bicycle lane. The stadium will also no longer intrude on the public area of this street.

The whole area will be restructured with better access for vehicles and pedestrians and the perimeter walkways around the sports facilities will be widened. The road improvements will also include bike lanes in Arístides Maillol, Maternitat, Gregorio Marañón and the aforesaid Joan XXIII.

FCB

Changes to mobility to mitigate impact on match days

One of the most debated issues during the public enquiry was the management of mobility in the surrounding area, especially on days when sports events are held. Therefore, the document has set up measures to improve the impact on mobility in the district when crowds gather for games at the Camp Nou.

First, all of the surface parking areas will be moved underground to gain more public spaces and reduce the presence of motorbikes on the pavements. The number of parking spaces will be the same as it is at present. There will be 3,200 places for cars and 1,000 for motorbikes, plus 700 safe places for bicycles on the club grounds. Another change to the initial plans is that a special parking area for local residents is to be studied.

Also there will be an underground car park below the FCBEscola pitches for coaches for the supporters’ clubs with an initial 50 spaces becoming up to 70 in the future. This will be integrated into the FC Barcelona facilities with access from Avinguda de Xile. Furthermore, the street Menéndez Pelayo will be redesigned to allow parking for up to 60 coaches on match day. This will allow the plaça Bederrida to return to being a city park.

With regards to transport, FC Barcelona is committed to making an annual economic contribution of 173,491 euros to help finance public transport in the area. Also agreed is the introduction of three new shuttle bus services that will link to the Sants-Estació, plaça d’Espaya and Sarrià train stations and will complement the existing services to Verdaguer and Plaça de Catalunya.

Sporting facilities and other uses

The future Espai Barça includes the redesign of Camp Nou, which will give rise to a modern, flexible, energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable structure. Also, on the side that is now occupied by the Miniestadi, there will be a new Palau Blaugrana and adjoining sports hall for sporting activities for the other sections of the Club – basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal – and other facilities relating to sport such as the ice rink and the FCB Escola, who will remain active on the new site.

FCB

At the same time, area will be reserved for public sporting needs with an extension of up to 1.450m2 to the municipal Camp de Futbol Sala Arístides Maillol, on the corner of Josep Samitier street, Avinguda Joan XXIII and Martí Franques street. Its size and integration into the urban environment will be defined in a later special urban plan.

With regards to other activities not related to the practice of sport, a new zone of three buildings at the area where Arístides Maillol and Joan XXIII converge will be created as well as a fourth building at the corner of Travessera de les Corts and Joan XXIII which will host the club’s financial area, administration service, the Members’ Office (OAB) and the Barça Campus. Also, there will areas for offices, restaurants and businesses on the ground and hotel related business.

During the period of public exposition, the final order and some of the conditions of use of their private facilities have been modified. The Members’ Office (OAB) will be situated in a building that looks out on to Travessera de les Corts and will have a maximum height of four stories with another setback story - one more than was originally agreed – and the offices will be concentrated in the third building of those at Joan XXIII and Arístides Maillol, which will comprise of eleven stories – smaller than was initially planned as they will include the covered facilities.

FCB

With regards to the FC Barcelona Club Shop, access and use will be dependent on the Stadium and it will only sell Club products. The building will be for administrative and management use by the Club. The space used for the columbarium will be limited and the bowling facilities will remain in this area. A part of the ceiling of the Club building will be reduced.

On Travessera de les Corts, furthermore, a residential building within the zone will be demolished given that the building’s use is incompatible with the current plans. The Club will assume the necessary costs of rehousing residents from this building.

As for La Masia, a new special plan will need to be made that will have to respect its original size, architecture and effect on the environment. It will be used as a social centre for the Club but without restaurant facilities.

Land predicted and financial cost

With regards to the final figures on land destined for various use in the space, the proposal adds public land with almost 14,681m2 more than now. The land reserved for public sporting facilities will be around 1,500m2, the public green zone rises some 23,150m2 to 32,050m2.

With regards to buildings, 243,400 squad metres will be reserved for the private facilities of the zone. This space will be filled by the future Camp Nou and the new Palau Blaugrana and will be complemented by areas destined for other uses, such as La Masia or the FC Barcelona Museum.

The corner of Arístades Maillol and Joan XIII is where new buildings will be constructed, occupying some 28,00m2 – in the initial plan it totalled 30,000m2 – which will be used as offices, restaurants, business and hotel related business, the latter, a maximum of 9,500m2, some 500m2 less than the initial plan. In this area a building occupying 15,585m2 will house the management and administrative areas of the Club. 3,000m2 will also be reserved for sporting use.

Financially, the plan will not involve any cost to the city of Barcelona given that FC Barcelona will assume all financial responsibility for the urban renewal of streets, new public spaces and new spaces open to the public on the site which will have a cost upwards of 125 million euros. The Club will also take charge of the compensation and parking facilities for the resident of the building on Travessera de les Corts. Furthermore, the City Council could also receive up to 5.95 million euros derived from the urban exploitation of the new use of offices and hotels related business catered for in the project which would be used for urban planning in the neighbourhood. This figure has risen with regards to the initial plan which situated it are 5.4 million euros. This is due to adjustments in the profit projections.

The final document will also include the creation of a board to follow the development of the MPGM and improvements that will be carried out in the area. It will be formed by the City Council and the residents and will be continuation of the workspace that has been in action up to now.

Furthermore, there will also be the study of other measures linked to the commercial fabric of the space, the development of sporting municipal facilities planned, debate and participation in urban planning projects and related special plans and the definition of district projects in which investment will come from the urban profits of the operation.

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