David Roberts @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Apr. 10, 2019 1 min read

My new post: in part 3 of my 5-part series on Barcelona’s ambitious plan to create a network of “superblocks,” I look at the short-term effects on traffic & gentrification & how they can be overcome.  https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/4/10/18273895/barcelona-superblocks-challenges-traffic-gentrification?utm_campaign=drvox&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter 

This was a fun entry in the Barcelona series. It's about two short-term effects created as superblocks are implemented: traffic & gentrification. On the first, the main effort is to reduce overall city traffic by going hard on a multimodal transpo system.

The new bus network and the in-process network of separated bike lanes were both designed with future superblocks in mind. And they both benefit from Barcelona's regular grid pattern. (I have really, really come to appreciate the grid pattern.)

On gentrification, the city is restricting foreign real estate speculation & limiting AirBnB & hotel licenses, but the only *real* solution to gentrification -- in BCN or anywhere else -- seems to be social housing: housing with rents protected or held low.

Curious how Urbanism Twitter feels about this. I see lots of arguments over gentrification, NIMBYs v. YIMBYs, etc., but for all the hue & cry, I've never heard any practicable solution for it other than social housing. Am I wrong?

One more note on this: BCN is *already* zoned for mixed use and *already* incredibly dense. Its population has held steady at 1.6M for a decade now, b/c there just isn't much more room for people. So whatever its solution to gentrification, it can't just be: build more.

You can follow @drvox.


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