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Barcelona World Complex, Catalonia, Spain


“Barcelona World” is a development project complex of hotels, mega-casino and leisure centres. According to Suau-Sanchez et al. (2012), the project consists of six hotels with 12,000 beds, shopping centres, theatres, convention centres and other associated services, as well as casinos; it covers an area of 445 hectares between the Port Aventura theme park and the towns of Vila‐Seca and Salou. The investment will be of €4,775 million leaded by the Veremonte Group.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Barcelona World Complex, Catalonia, Spain
State or province:Tarragona, Catalonia
Location of conflict:Salou, Vila-Seca
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

6 Casinos

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Project area:825
Level of Investment:6,186,616,796
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:07/09/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Veremonte Group from United Kingdom
Value Retail from United Kingdom - Investor
Melco Crown Entertaiment from Cayman Islands - Investor
Melià Hotels from Spain - Investor
Investindustrial from Luxembourg - Investor
Relevant government actors:Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous region government).
Local Governments.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Aturem Barcelona World
GEPEC (grup d'estudi i protecció dels ecosistemes catalans)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Other Health impactsGambling addiction
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
Development of alternatives:The promotion of a more ethical tourism in consideration of nature and society
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:It is not possible to assess because the works have not yet started, the project has not been dropped.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Llei 2/1989 de 16 de febrer de Centres Recreatius Turístics
[click to view]

Decret 328/1992, de 14 de desembre, pel qual s'aprova el Pla d'espais d'interès natural
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Golda-Pongratz, K. (2013). Landscapes of pressure, landscapes of standstill. RC21 Conference, Humboldt University Berlin

Suau-Sanchez, P., Arias, A., Marti i Costa, M., Recio, A., Pybus Oliveras, M., & Serracant Camps, M. (2012). Learning from Las Vegas: debunking some myths about the gambling-urban economy. P3T. Public policies and territory, 1(3).

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Project official website
[click to view]

News in "El Pais" newspaper
[click to view]

Supplement produced by the alternative journal "La Directa" (in Catalan)
[click to view]

Description of the project by Observatori de projectes i debats territorials de Catalunya
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Alfred Burballa-Noria
Last update10/10/2014
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