This is what the new Mar Bella promenade will look like

More greenery and steps and ramps to access the beaches
The Barcelona City Council approves the project to transform the last stretch of the coastal facade pending urbanisation, with the forecast to start work in 2024

Barcelona City Council has initially approved the project to transform Paseo de la Mar Bella, between the sports center and Carrer de Josep Pla. This is the last stretch of Barcelona’s seafront to be developed and which is now a large esplanade (since parking was banned there). The project envisages a green promenade with a thousand trees, leisure and sports spaces and also bleachers and ramps to access the beaches.

The section that will be renovated is right above the Nova Mar Bella and Llevant beaches (the latter before the Fòrum marine platform). The project has been approved by the Planning Commission with the votes in favor of all parties and Junts abstaining. The works will have to be tackled in the next mandate, with the forecast that they can start in the second quarter of 2024. They will last 20 months and an investment of €21.2 million.

The project includes the demands that the residents expressed in a participatory process and that were embodied in the preliminary project that was presented last year. The promenade will be 12 meters wide with new lighting and there will be a separate lane four meters wide for bicycles and scooters. The trees will guarantee shade on the first line of the coast and there will also be meadows with grass and shrubs. The pavement will be soft and draining.

Provisional improvements pending reform

To break the barrier that now exists between the promenade and the sand of the beaches, four wide descents will be created with ramps and bleachers that will have seating areas. According to the City Council, this configuration is adapted to possible rises in sea level. To decongest La Mar Bella beach, spaces for leisure and sports such as volleyball courts and also children’s play areas with a sandpit have been reserved along the promenade.

While the works do not start, the space is being conditioned with two beach volleyball courts and soon both the pavements and the signage of the promenade will be fixed to improve coexistence between pedestrians and cyclists. The approved project will reform one of the three sections into which the promenade has been divided.

Kevin Haesendonck

Kevin Haesendonck is a long-distance runner from Leuven (BE) who became best known for diving under 3 hours at the Antwerp Marathon in 2013. He was the founder of the Belgian runners' collective "de Bosrunners" and discoverer of the man with the hammer at 15 km in the marathon. After his retirement at the highest level, he moved to Barcelona, from where he continues to share his knowledge and experience.

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