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by Felicia Esquinas

The urban renewal of Ciutat Vella, begun over a decade ago, is one of the most ambitious projects of its type in Barcelona. The process will be completed in the old city centre over the next few years. The major programmes now under way are the Central Plan for the Raval and the Special Plan for Internal Rehabilitation (PERI) of the Eastern Sector. Other actions will also contribute to the definitive revitalisation of Ciutat Vella. The Rambla is being remodelled. The Teatre Principal has been restored and the new Liceu will open in 1999. Work began on renovation of the Boqueria market in 1998 and the stalls selling pets along the Rambla were remodelled with a new look this year. In the Ribera district, the old Born market will be converted into the city’s Provincial Library.
The Central Plan for the Raval is the most extensive urban renewal project carried out in a fully consolidated city district since the Via Laietana was built in 1914. The Plan calls for the opening of a huge public space —55 (58) metres wide by 300 (317) metres long— in the heart of the neighbourhood, with a tree-lined avenue running from Carrer Sant Pau to Carrer Hospital, finishing in a roundabout at each end. (...) Some 250 housing units will also be built. Perpendicular to this, running between Carrer Princesa and Carrer Sant Pere Més Baix, the opening of the Casc Antic Gardens, a tree-lined public area, will be completed. (...) Work on this project is scheduled for completion in 2000.
(...) All of these projects have been subsidised by the European Union (EU). (...)