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Barcelona Spain
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Barcelona, Spain

January 20, 2006
This is a Landsat thematic mapper image of Barcelona, Spain, in 2004.

Barcelona is located in the Mediterranean Sea on the north of the Spanish coast. To its north the city borders the River Besòs and the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs; to the south it borders the Zona Franca, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Esplugues de Llobregat; to the east is the Mediterranean; and to the west Montcada i Reixach and Sant Cugat del Vallès.

It is divided into several districts following Cerdà's extension of the city on a rigid grid system called L'Eixample at the beginning of the twentieth century. The main districts are Ciutat Vella (old city): the Raval, the Barri Gòtic, and the Barri de la Ribera.

In 2004, Barcelona was host to The Universal Forum of Cultures - (Catalan: Fòrum de les Cultures), a 141-day international event that took place from May 9 to September 26, 2004.

The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures (henceforth "Forum") was organized by Barcelona's local council, the regional government (the Generalitat de Catalunya), the Spanish National Government and UNESCO. It was conceived by its prime mover (Pascual Maragall, then socialist Mayor of Barcelona) as a way of promoting the city's burgeoning tourist industry in the wake of the 1992 Olympic Games. The official aims of the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures included support for peace, sustainable development, human rights and respect for diversity.

The official aims of the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures included support for peace, sustainable development, human rights and respect for diversity. The event was, however, controversial, with critics pointing to the $2.3 billion price tag the massive property and coastline destruction involved in building the Forum site.

El Prat International Airport, Spain's second largest airport, can be seen as the large bright area on the southern tip of the coast on the images. The yellow triangle shaped area on the 2004 image is the Zona Franca. Many companies have moved into the Zona Franca, an industrial free-port, which has developed across the flat land of the Llobregat delta between the city and its airport. It is the site of the Logistics Park which is one of the largest projects in Barcelona's renewal program.

The green line which runs from the Zona Franca is the Llobregat delta. The delta is the result of marine erosion that is occurring at a rate of one meter a year. The rich soil is used for horticulture, however, recent years have seen the loss of valuable farm land in this area due to the expansion of the Zona Franca tariff-free industrial park and the growth of Barcelona's airport, El Prat.

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Landsat
  • Instrument: Thematic Mapper
  • Acquisition: 10-Jun-2004
  • Center coordinates: lat. 41.38, lon. 2.17


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