One of the biggest difficulities of urbanism and local policy in Barcelona is to keep the old town decent. Which means clean, with proper services and keeping it as an area where is possible to live. It is not easy because of the preassure of so many people living in such an old quartier with narrow streets. This evening I heard Mrs Catalina Gayà (a local journalist) talking about urbanism and it was interesting. One of her theories is that local government has tried to avoid people being able to meet in free spaces in the street: “That’s why any free space to sit is so uncomfortable. It is not due to dessign but to a well thought policicy that prefers citizens to have to pay for a coffee or a Coke in a bar or a terrace instead of being able to sit on a bench”. On the other han people like local politicien Alberto Villagrasa (PP) defends that terraces create safe spaces in an area with so many problems and were the feeling of unsafety is quite common.
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