Will La Sagrera help to stimulate the barcelonian economy? / by Tom Oliver Payne

The recession continues to cripple the Spanish housing market.

While Barcelona remains is one of the strongest cities in the country, high unemployment rates, low wages and a decline in foreign investment means that many residents are unable to pay housing rental and services bills. And as a result, homelessness and mobbing continue to rise. 

Last week I travelled down to Barcelona to learn about the district being regeneration of the La Sagrera district. The Sagrera high speed railway station, promises to deliver economic growth through connections to Madrid and France.

The government has told the locals that the area will boom.  

But on the ground, I worry this could be a white elephant or an over-promise with false hope. Grandiose buildings stand empty, and the areas surrounding construction sites remain run down or derelict. 

The Spanish Government has a good record of promising loads of big stuff that will regenerate the economy, only to find that it creates more debt. Let's hope this isn;t another one. 

Time will tell whether or not this major development will actually see benefit for the local community. I hope to provide an update in a few years down the line.