Stakeholder perceptions of the socio-ecological role of nature-based solutions in the Les Glòries Park, Barcelona

Andrea Noblega Carriquiry*, Hug March Corbella, David Sauri Pujol

*Corresponding author for this work

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The ongoing effects of the climate emergency and the recognition of the need to redesign cities to cope with future socio-environmental changes and increase the quality of life of urban inhabitants has pushed many cities to embrace the ‘re-naturalization’ of public space through Nature-based Solutions (NbS). Les Glòries park (Barcelona) is an ongoing massive urban transformation project that incorporates NbS as a multifunctional tool. It attempts to respond to complex environmental, social, and economic urban problems while at the same time mitigating and adapting to hazards, such as floods and droughts, both predicted to increase in the Mediterranean region due to climate change. While NbS are also expected to improve environmental quality, not much attention has been given to how those strategies would intersect with citizens’ expectations and visions of public space and the uneven socio-environmental relations they can enforce. Through a case of urban development of a new large green area in Barcelona, this article aims to discern different perceptions by the local community and planners on the socio-ecological role of NbS and the implications this has for sustainable urban transitions. In-depth interviews were held with 25 key stakeholders and users, complemented by the analysis of secondary data from the town council of Barcelona about the perception of the space by residents living in the surrounding neighborhoods of the park. The results of this paper show that perceptions around NbS are strongly divided into three groups: the believers, the opposers and the skepticals. These results contribute to nuance NbS, as they do not provide universal benefits, neither for nature nor for society, and that they are subject to urban tensions derived from inequities, conflicts, tradeoffs, and particularly from divided visions of what the ‘re-naturalization’ of cities should look like.
Original languageEnglish
Article number127966
Number of pages10
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Early online date10 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Nature-based Solutions
  • Politics of parks
  • Socio-ecological relationships
  • Les Glòries Park, Barcelona
  • Stakeholder perceptions


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