The social development bank in Europe

Barcelona for future generations

Tailored CEB investment helps Barcelona transition to a greener, more inclusive city

Barcelona cycling infrastructureWith 1.6 million residents, the City of Barcelona is the capital and largest city of the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia.  In recent years the population of Barcelona substantially increased due to a steady arrival of migrants and refugees, reinforcing the city’s commitment to create a sustainable, inclusive and resilient environment for all citizens. 

Barcelona’s Citizen Commitment to Sustainability 2012–2022 defines five priority areas:

  • Good quality of life 
  • Plural economy 
  • Ecological transition 
  • Participative city 
  • Open Barcelona committed to the world

The goal is to create “a city of Barcelona which can be handed down to future generations.”  To make that a reality, the city will need more than €300 million in annual investments.  

Social infrastructure for sustainability

Having successfully partnered with the Institut Municipal de l’habitatge I Rehabilitació de Barcelona, CEB approved in 2018 a EUR 100 million project benefiting the City of Barcelona. CEB funding comes in the form of Public Sector Finance Facility (PFF), a type of loan which facilitates the continuity of investments in the public sector and is particularly suited to cities and regions.  

Specifically, CEB loan will partially finance the construction/reconstruction and upgrading of sidewalks, local roads; public spaces; cultural heritage; sports facilities; schools; and energy-efficiency solutions. It will also fund measures towards safe, sustainable and active mobility such as use of bicycles.  

CEB financing helps green the city

Barcelona is pressing ahead with sustainable mobility that is environmentally friendly and healthy for citizens, promoting cycling and walking and improving public transport systems.  CEB funds are being used to expand the existing network of cycling lanes, offering a comfortable and safe space for bicycle users.

Moreover, the new green lung of the city, Las Glorias park, was made possible thanks to partial financing from CEB. With its 20,400 square metres of green area where there used to be road traffic, the new open space promotes biodiversity and provides a much needed island of clean air in the middle of the city.  

“The CEB’s loan has helped to achieve two key objectives for the management of the city: to finance the transition towards a more inclusive and sustainable Barcelona and diversify the sources of financing, betting on multilateral banking as an alternative financing path to traditional private banking,“ says Pau Batalla,  Finance Director of the City of Barcelona.

“Cities make up only two percent of the earth’s surface yet they are home to over half of the world's population. The lessons learned from CEB’s previous projects with the City of Tampere and the City of Vilnius have shown that investments in local infrastructure contribute to delivering affordable and sustainable essential services to local populations”  says Maria Siguenza, Country Manager for Spain. 


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