Barcelona will dedicate the Paseo Marítim to Oriol Bohigas

The Barcelona City Council intends to resolve with a comfortable solution the promise that Mayor Ada Colau made on December 20 in the Saló de Cent. That day, in the absence of a funeral, because she donated her body to science, a tribute ceremony was held for Oriol Bohigas, who died on November 30. The mayor then announced that the versatile architect, essayist, editor and even councilor during one stage of his career would have a dedicated street or square in Barcelona. In the absence of completing some procedures, the option chosen, somewhat strange, is to give a surname to an existing ridethe Marítim, even if it is only in the section located in front of Barceloneta.

Promenade Oriol Bohigas. That would be the formula, comfortable because it avoids the postal disaster that usually entails any change of name in the gazetteer, something on the other hand, very common in the city. It is also a comfortable solution, even comfortable, because it disdains more daring and perhaps necessary alternatives. In the brainstorming that broke out inside the town hall, more groundbreaking solutions were put on the table. One of them, for example, was unhorse another Bourbon from the streetin this case Juan de Borbón, who has dedicated the wide promenade that separates the neighborhood of Barceloneta from the port of the city and of whom Bohigas, a very convinced republican, once expressed his opinion during his lifetime: “Don Juan is the most illustrious left zero in Spanish history.”

The decision to name part of the promenade with the name of the architect seems to have pleased the family. For several reasons. The most obvious is that it is a space that was radically transformed under his urban management for the Olympic Games. Also because more obliquely it recalls another episode in his career, when he came out in defense of the city’s squatters, like those of Somorrostro, for whom, in the midst of Francoism, he asked not to be deceived, as in part finally happened, when they were transferred to newly built neighborhoods with hardly any essential services. It was the so-called ‘vertical barraquism’, whose headaches still persist.

There is a third reason why the decision comforts the family. Although he finally died serenely at home, the last days of his life were spent at the Hospital del Mar, which if the proposal goes ahead will be located at Paseo Marítim Oriol Bohigas, 25, 08003 Barcelona.

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For now, the solution has the agreement of the partners of the municipal government, which in these times is not little. The approval of the family, too. The neighborhood opinion is a pending matter. In any case, the main stumbling block in this type of situation has already been resolved a long time ago. To qualify for a place on the street, five years must have passed since the death. This is not the case, but there is an exception. If the character has the City Medal, this condition is not required.

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