Achievements of Barcelona 1992 in the realm of sustainability: goals of urban legacy and a better quality of life


  • Alberto Aragón-Pérez Centre d’Estudis Olímpics i de l’Esport, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


Barcelona’92, Olympic Games, sustainable development, environmental management, urban legacy


The 1992 Summer Olympics were conceived as a tool for creating a long-term urban legacy, which contributed to the positive image and appeal of the Barcelona’s city brand. Barcelona City Council planned to execute the environmental regeneration of the metropolitan area during preparations for the 1992 Olympics. This vision led to three strategic cornerstones, i.e. the regeneration of the shoreline, the reduction of air pollution and the promotion of parks. The municipal authorities developed an urban regeneration of abandoned areas for building or refurbishing most Olympic venues. At the same time, ecological issues gained great social and political awareness, so this article begins with the hypothesis that the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona were a milestone on account of the existence of sustainable regeneration plan throughout the Olympic event. It argues that achievements in the realm of sustainability accomplished by Barcelona’92 revealed that environmental issues could be part of the urban legacy plan aimed after the organisation of this sports mega-event.