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Case Studies 

Las Ramblas



Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
April 15, 2015
January 3, 2018

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Las Ramblas is the most scenic route running from the waterfront to the center of Barcelona. With a 60 feet-wide pedestrian promenade, Las Ramblas bustles with the activity of pushcart vendors, street performance, political demonstrations, and festival processions. This mix of commercial and entertainment activities gives the street a dynamic character that changes with the seasons and attracts daily visitors. Some of the most loved destinations along the street include La Boqueria, the city's largest market, and Plaça Reial, the main square of the Gothic Quarter. During the day, visitors can buy their lunch from La Boqueria before heading to the promenade, where they can enjoy their meal on one of the street’s many shaded benches. With only a single lane of traffic on either side, and very limited parking spaces in the area, the street is most easily accessible by Metro, rail or bus. Las Ramblas continues to be Barcelona’s convivial cultural corridor with its eclectic mix of uses and users.


Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities


How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Spanning 1.5 kilometers, Las Ramblas is a beautiful, tree-lined pedestrian mall formed by five different streets: Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla dels Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla dels Caputxins, and Rambla de Santa Mònica. Located in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas was a riverbed on the outer limits of medieval Barcelona until the late-18th century, when the city expanded across the river, its walls torn down to make way for the central pedestrian promenade. Today, Barcelona’s main thoroughfare begins at Plaza Catalunya, the city’s main square, and it extends to the Christopher Columbus monument near Port Vell. Lined with a variety of restaurants, tapas bars, stores, and cultural institutions, the boulevard attracts millions of local and tourist “ramblistas” each year.

Related Links & Sources

Image credits: Paulo Miranda via Flickr, jacdupree via Flickr, Antonio Gil via Flickr, Allan Rostron via Flickr, Narisa Spaulding via Flickr, SpirosK photography via Flickr

Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


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