Barcelona | A city for all phases of life

By 2030, nearly one out of every three Barcelona residents will be 60 years old or over. This is how one of the factors of demographic change will be expressed, but it is by no means the only one. Above all, demographic change is about women. In Barcelona, two out of every three residents aged 80 or over are women. They also account for 56% of the generation aged between 60 and 79.

The cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Hengelo, Greater Manchester, Nantes, Oslo and Zaragoza belong to a group of cities that are either already facing relatively high percentages of older people in their populations, or expect such high percentages in the near future. During the last years, these cities have undertaken action to improve quality of life for older people. Still, they have a knowledge need related to the following questions:

  • How do older people experience the daily life in the cities?
  • What do older people view as benefits and constraints associated with urban living?
  • How are the eight stakeholder cities responding to population ageing?
  • Which policies have been the most effective in developing age-friendly cities and how have they been implemented and which are the success factors?

ESPON ACPA has responded to these needs and resulted in good practices and policy recommendations based on case study research in the eight stakeholder cities. These insights have been combined in the ACPA synthesis report, main report and policy handbook.

The present report focuses on Barcelona and portrays the state of affairs in the city in terms of:

  • Demographic trends and developments related to population ageing within the city;
  • The strategy and policies that the urban authorities, professionals and other stakeholders in Barcelona pursue to cope with population ageing;
  • A selection of inspiring examples of how the ageing policy has been implemented;
  • Challenges and opportunities from the perspective of older people, interest groups and policy makers;
  • Policy recommendations for Barcelona based on the insights that have emerged from ACPA.

Further information

This Case Study is part of the ESPON Targeted Analysis ACPA.

This Case Study is available below in English and Spanish.

Contact our expert Piera Petruzzi


ESPON ACPA_city report_Barcelona.pdf

ESPON ACPA city report Barcelona_ES.pdf