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EXTENDING THE DIAGONAL — A LONG-STANDING AMBITION
by M. R.

The extension of the Diagonal as far as the sea-front, to Rambla Prim, is a long-standing ambition that is now gradually becoming a reality and forms a part of the new Barcelona projected for 2004. Ildefons CerdÓ, who had planned for the Plaša de les Gl˛ries to be the nerve centre of his Eixample, could not have imagined that it would instead become a marginal element (...). Now, after years of inactivity, there are plans to finish the newly developed stretch of streets in 1999, although the 5,000 housing units that are to line these streets will take somewhat longer to complete.
(...) The project takes in an area of over 60 hectares and involved the expropriation of some 730 existing housing units and around 500 business premises, many of them occupied by small industries and workshops. Work on the project was to take ten years, with an estimated investment of Pta147 billion. It includes the layout of an avenue 50 metres wide, with the continuation of the intersecting streets, many of which had been blocked by existing buildings. The project calls for a street plan as similar as possible to the Eixample, made up of around twenty city blocks with housing and green spaces, public-use areas —such as the old Ca l’Aranyˇ textile factory, to be converted into a motorcycle museum—, as well as other public facilities in the area around the Plaša de les Gl˛ries, along with some zones reserved for office blocks. (...)