Passeig De Gracia

Barcelona, Spain

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

One of the grandest boulevards of the world.

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Why It Works

This is easily a worthy contender with the Champs Elysee as one of the grandest boulevards of the world. In fact, we prefer the Passeig as it is more restrained commercially, creating a nice balance among sidewalk, architecture and commercial activity. When originally built, it had narrow sidewalks with a side access road and a wide walkway for strolling (a primary activity at the time). With little access to the stores in buildings lining it, the boulevard struggled. Eventually the sidewalks were widened and the street took its current shape. At 180 feet, it is one of the widest of any city. But it is still comfortable, with an appropriate scale in relation to the size of the buildings flanking it. The extraordinary architecture along this street is one of its great attractions.

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