Barcelona: a new babylon?

Barcelona: a new babylon? | Doc du dimanche | France 5

Unbridled creativity, wild nights and a non-conformist life style make Barcelona one of the most unusual cities in Europe. Since the 1992 Olympic Games, it has been transformed from top to bottom: the colourful streets of the historic centre have been renovated and now house the chicest spots, the no-mans-lands have been taken over by skyscrapers and you go to the beach by tube. The result: Barcelona has an increasingly cosmopolitan population. The 15 million visitors per year mingle with the Catalans and the Erasmus students, but also with the artists. It is this mixture of types that has made its reputation. True, the unemployment rate has risen from 3% to 15% of the population in barely two years, but the excitement that buzzes around the capital of Catalonia has made it one of the most dynamic cities in the world despite the crisis. But the capital of Catalonia has not developed without hitches. The “Sunday Documentary” team tries to discover who is profiting from this dazzling growth. Contrasts between one neighbourhood and another are striking: less well-off students live in rat holes rented for a fortune, more modest inhabitants are evicted to make way for luxury hotels and artists invade abandoned factories.