First meeting of the Olympic Port Monitoring Committee with full municipal management

The municipal government brings together the organisations and stakeholders linked to the area to discuss the next actions to be carried out now that the Generalitat's delegation of responsibility for the Olympic Port to the City Council has come into effect

In July, 18 months of work will begin on the protective sea wall to solve the problem of the waves breaking over it and to improve safety, with an investment of €10.66 million

During the second half of 2021, work will begin to reinforce the Municipal Sailing Centre's sea wall and to build the new entrance to the Olympic Port, which will connect Av. Litoral with the lower part of the Moll de Mestral coast

Municipal management of the Olympic Port has begun and is now fully operational. This Wednesday saw the first meeting of the Monitoring Committee since the Government of Catalonia's delegation of the area's direct management to the City Council came into force. A new era led by the City Council thus begins, with the implementation of a new management model and the complete transformation of the area, established in the Strategic Master Plan which was unanimously approved by the Full Council Meeting in October 2018.

This roadmap aims to completely renovate the port to integrate it into the city, improving its infrastructure and establishing a new model for uses and activities which moves away from night-time leisure activities, prioritising instead the blue economy, sport and local restaurants.

Today, the Monitoring Committee was led by the Deputy Mayors Jaume Collboni and Janet Sanz, with the participation of representatives from various municipal government areas, including Urban Ecology, the Barcelona Sports Institute, the Department of Tourism and the Districts of Sant Martí and Ciutat Vella, along with the municipal political groups, Port Olímpic de Barcelona, SA (Pobasa), the Barcelona Federation of Local Residents Associations, the Olympic Village and Barceloneta Local Resident Associations, the Association of Olympic Port Bars, Restaurants and Leisure Establishments (Abroport), the Barcelona Restaurateurs' Guild, the Club de Mar Port Olímpic and the port's mooring-service providers.

The schedule for the most pressing and top-priority actions established in the plan was discussed. The first is the protective sea wall, where improvements will be made to ensure safety and the proper functioning of the port, and to solve the problems of waves breaking over it during the easterly storms that have occurred in recent years. The project will soon be put out to tender, so that work can begin this summer and be completed within 18 months, with an investment of €10.66 million.

Action will be taken to reinforce the protective sea wall, which is 520 metres long, and the four underwater dykes that protect it on the seaward side, given that inherent instability in these dykes has been detected. The intervention will have minor visual and aesthetic impact, and the solution to be adopted will mean improvements in terms of maintenance and any possible future repairs.

The Sailing School sea wall will also be improved with potential storms in mind, given that some instability on the outward-facing side of the breakwater has been detected. It will be extended and strengthened with a layer of reinforced concrete blocks. This involves an investment of €520,000. The work will begin in the second quarter of 2021 and should be completed within two months.

Work on the new Olympic Port entrance, which is included in the master plan, has also been scheduled. It involves a new connection between Av. Litoral and the lower level of the port’s Moll de Mestral. It will replace the existing vehicle ramp on Moll de Marina. The new entrance will also serve the car park on Av. Litoral, run by Barcelona de Serveis Municipals (BSM). This involves an investment of €3.34 million. Work will begin during the fourth quarter of 2021 and will be completed in around 10 months.

Areas of action

Integrating the Olympic port into the city is one of the main objectives of the municipal government's new model for the Barcelona coastline, which aims to improve city-port connectivity and accessibility and resolve the problems detected.

In recent years, the Olympic Port has been gradually moving away from the uses traditionally associated with a port, which have kept city residents from frequenting the area. To this effect, the new model for uses and activities is clearly committed to:

  • The diversity of sports activities linked to the sea
  • A place where boats are part of the city's portfolio of leisure and sports activities
  • A gastronomic area with a local, Mediterranean character.
  • A space for disseminating information, training and experimentation.
  • An area that is open and accessible to city residents.

In short, the idea is to turn the port into a place that is inviting for city residents, with nautical, sport and informative activities as cornerstones, and new venues linked to economic promotion and the fostering of the blue economy. To implement this new model, existing spaces and buildings must be adapted, including the expansion of the Municipal Sailing Centre, located at Moll de Gregal, and the construction of a new Municipal Nautical Sports Centre at Moll de la Marina. This new facility will have an entrance from the new pedestrian area on the Marina hub and from the beach level.

A new Sea Knowledge Information Centre is also planned to be built in response to requests from environmental organisations, which will be used to foster knowledge about the coastline among city residents.

On Moll de Mestral, the current night-time leisure area will be reprogrammed, opting instead for nautical uses that foster the blue economy for the future Olympic port. Consequently, in the near future, the licenses in force for the night-time leisure establishments will soon be discontinued -they expire at the end of April - and new authorisations connected to nautical uses will be prepared and processed.

At Moll de Gregal, there will be a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant area that has a local character linked to the sea.

This project also involves the complete renovation of the public areas, almost doubling the public space available to city residents. This transformation will greatly improve the quality of the port, making it more open and permeable, and with greater connectivity between its levels. These lines of action aim to recover public space for pedestrians while minimising the presence of vehicles, and with bar terraces enclosed under awnings.

Therefore, the current space for pedestrian use of 23,838 square metres (6,045 m2 on the upper level and 17,793 m2 at sea level) will increase to a total of 48,616 square metres (20,790 m2 on the upper level and 27,826 m2 at sea level).

Some of the projects included in the transformation, but which still have to be defined and scheduled, are:

  • A large pedestrian area on the Marina breakwater.
  • Connectivity with the Olympic Port park will be improved along the Olympic Village -Moll de Gregal hub to create greater permeability between the neighbourhood and the port.
  • Improvements to the Municipal Sailing Centre’s entrance, with a new promenade in the form of a ‘rambla’ [promenade] leading to the sea wall.
  • Eliminating the bar terraces on Moll de Mestral, facilitating the change of use, and reorganising the bar terraces on Moll de Gregal, moving them adjacent to the building façades.
  • A new connection between Av. Litoral and the lower level of the Olympic Port, replacing the Marina vehicle ramp, and a new connection with Moll de Marina between the beach level promenade and the northern end of the port (already scheduled).
  • The parking places will be reorganised at the port level. Surface parking places will be limited, with parking moved to underground car parks.

The Olympic Port transformation project involves an investment of €39 million, which will be used to finance the planned improvement work on infrastructure and the adaptation of public areas. The budget does not involve any extraordinary expenditure for the City Council, given that it will be financed with the income generated from commercialising the premises and port moorings.

A new model of governance for the Olympic Port

The delegation of responsibility for the Olympic Port to the City Council will be for a period of 30 years. During this time, it will be recovered as a space for city residents, heightening its value and singular nature and increasing its social return.

Given the complexity and the high number of operators involved in the port, the new model will be coordinated by a Governing Board as the highest organ of government, with a clear vocation for political leadership. This Governing Board will be chaired by the Second Deputy Mayor's Office and will consist of the First Deputy Mayor's Office and its economic, commercial and catering areas; the Councillor's Office for Sport, given the predominance of sporting activities planned for the Port; and the District of Sant Martí, given its territorial connection. The municipal services needed to ensure the smooth running of the Olympic Port will also be taking part.

The Monitoring Committee created during the previous participation process will be maintained to help the municipal groups, local residents and other stakeholders involved to collaborate on the model and evaluate the monitoring and management of the process. Work areas will also be created relating to the areas that must be tackled as the plan is being implemented.

In accordance with the Full Council Meeting agreement of March 2019, the municipal company Barcelona de Serveis Municipals (BSM) will carry out the management, exploitation, overall maintenance, adaptation, and administration of Barcelona's Olympic Port, implementing the activities and functions that correspond to Barcelona City Council and are not of an authoritative nature, in order to foster operational decentralisation.

Regarding employment, Barcelona Activa will also be activating a specific support plan for job seeking and professional improvement for Olympic Port and Moll de Mestral workers, given the permanent closure of night-time leisure establishments and/or the temporary closure of catering activities during the period of construction work, which will put their activities on hold, until the workers are replaced by start-ups. This “new placement” plan will be coordinated by Barcelona City Council, with the aim of mitigating the personal and social impact that this type of situation involves, supporting the people seeking jobs or trying to improve their professional skills, using municipal resources and, where necessary, providing them with job reorientation and improving their networking skills.


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