Before the Olympic Games in 1992, it could be said that Barcelona “had its back turned to the sea”. The area of Poblenou, where the Olympic Village was built, consisted of a rundown neighbourhood with abandoned industries. Access was difficult, and the beach was rarely used by the local population.
The Olympic Games accelerated urban projects to regenerate the seafront and surrounding areas, including 40km of coastline, creating new beaches and making them accessible to the local population and tourists.
For this purpose, the railway tracks that had been a physical barrier between the city and the beach were moved underground, the Olympic Village was strategically built to start the revitalisation process, 6km of beachfront were regenerated and large boulevards and green areas were created in the vicinity.
Today, the Barcelona seafront is a symbol of the urban transformations which benefited from the momentum created by the Olympic Games. Without the Games, such projects would have taken much longer to be implemented. Similar developments, on a smaller scale, were executed in other parts of the city.