JWE 01 - 20 - 2010

Barcelona Spain is not only one of the most beautiful cities I've ever had the chance to visit, but also a great example of how a city can incorporate a broad range of sustainable design principles into their city planning to create a vibrant and fresh city for both locals and tourists alike. It is one of the most biker friendly cities I have ever visited with bike lanes covering the entire city. One can relatively easily see the whole, massive, city from bike without even owning one. They have bike carols strategically spaced throughout the city, where one can hop on a bike on one side of the city, ride it virtually anywhere else in the city and then drop it off at the bike carol closest to their desired destination and be on with their daily affairs. Walking through the city, we witnessed both locals and tourists alike taking advantage of this great system. This, among other things may be why automobile traffic in this extremely large and populated city didn't seem to be an issue. With the numerous bike lanes and pedestrian walking lanes that were intigrated into the city layout, automobile traffic didn't even dominate the atmosphere like it does in most U.S. cities today. There are also several recycling and trash deposit bins spaced throughout the city, making it extremely easy for anyone wanting to be environmentally concious to do so. Every few blocks, along the sidewalks, outside of grocery stores, shopping areas, and even restaurants you can find these recycling bins in groups of three color cordinated large bins. They were easily marked with pictures (so even those of us that don't speak cantalonian or spanish could easily understand how to use them). Even some of the public spaces incorporated planning that took advantages of sustainable design principles in building design. For example, Parc del Forum, near the beach, encorporates several covered pavillions with roofs made of solor hot water collectors as well as a trash storage unit that was underneath outdoor plaza floor.

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