UMR Index


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Score: 61.4%

Sustainable Mobility


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Score: 54.7%

Public Transit



Score: 59.1%

Population 5.2 million
Surface area (km2) 1,072
Population-density (people/km2) 4,891
GDP per capita ($) 34,821
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What Barcelona Does Well in Urban Mobility

Thanks to investments in road infrastructure, Barcelona is home to a world class roadway system focused on safety, quality, and connectivity.

Barcelona has been scaling up implementation of car-free "superblocks" — dedicated areas for pedestrians that make it one of the most walked cities in Europe. The superblock program also includes 245 kilometers (152 miles) of cycling lanes that make the city appealing for cyclists.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for Barcelona’s Transportation System

Despite the city government's investment in low-emission zones and electric vehicle (EV) incentives, EV market share remains moderate compared to European peers, and Barcelona offers comparatively limited charging station density. However, Barcelona’s charging provider plans to have 1,000 charging points by the end of 2023.

Commuters in Barcelona using public transit are often faced with long walks due to low station density throughout the city. Seven new metro stations are expected to be built by 2025, which should help with station density challenges, as part of the city’s vision to have 65% of all trips be made via public transportation.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How Barcelona Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

Despite a strong national EV incentivization and subsidy program, Barcelona still lags in EV sales, with a market share 3.6 times smaller than that of Munich. Barcelona can add city-wide incentives, such as tax breaks, registration fees and toll exemptions, or special access lanes, to support and encourage EV purchases and charging station installation. Charging station availability is another major factor in EV purchase decisions, and to catch up to Munich, Barcelona would need to accelerate the deployment of charging stations to multiply its charging station density by a factor of 3.5. The city has acknowledged this, and its previously mentioned plan to add charging points demonstrates progress.

Public transit riders in Barcelona often struggle with long commutes due to low transit speeds. To help close the gap with other cities, it can build dedicated bus lanes to help avoid congestion. Bus lanes and permitting buses in car-free zones, as applicable, is an efficient and effective way to shorten travel times for commuters. By 2025, Barcelona aims to complete work on new traffic light rules, bus lanes, and routes to achieve a 10% speed increase on main bus lines. In addition, expanding Barcelona's already impressive number of automated metro lines (currently three out of their 12 lines are automated) will help to expedite travel.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores