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Ajuntament de Sant Boi de Llobregat

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Who are we?

situacio de Sant Boi

General information

Name: Sant Boi de LLobregat
County: Baix Llobregat
Area: 21.94 Km2
Altitude: 30 m

Sant Boi de Llobregat has a population of 79,888 inhabitants, according to the 1999 census, with a density of 3.606 inhabitants per square kilometre. It is divided into six districts: Ciutat Cooperativa-Molí Nou, Marianao-Can Paulet, Barri Centre, Vinyets-Molí Vell, Camps Blancs-Canons-Orioles and Casablanca. The municipality is situated on the south bank of the Llobregat River, and borders on the municipalities Santa Coloma de Cervelló, Viladecans, el Prat de Llobregat, Cornellà de Llobregat and Sant Joan Despí. The Can Cartró point links with Torrelles de Llobregat, Sant Climent de Llobregat and Santa Coloma de Cervelló. The city enjoys a Mediterranean maritime climate, which usually means hot summers with mild winters and rainy autumns. The average temperature is 16.3 C°. In the municipality one can find dry and irrigated farming, with a predominance of vegetables, fruit and carob trees. The industry is mainly metallurgic, with also textiles, clothing manufacture, footwear and food products, although the main economic activity is trade and services.

Historical summar

The history of Sant Boi

In prehistoric times there was already a community of inhabitants in Sant Boi. This is indicated by the discoveries of archaeological artefacts of Iberian origin dating back to 600-100 BC, Roman ruins from 100-500 AC (including some Roman baths) and pre-Romanesque ruins. Although there are no physical remains, some place-names bear proof of the Muslim presence, which was brief. From the seventh to the twelfth centuries, the municipality was called "Alcalà", which means "castle" in Arabic, as Sant Boi was a strategic point from which to dominate the delta, cross the river and protect the crossroads where it was located.

In the middle ages, the population established itself around two points: la Sagrera, on the castle hill and surrounding the church and the Pobla Arlovina, further to the north near the Carrer Major. This was the basic structure of the old quarter which formed the population centre until the twentieth century.

During the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, many farmhouses (masies) were built in the urban centre and in the countryside. The first monasteries founded by capuchin monks and the new parish church was built (1710- 752), in baroque style, but with a neo-classical simplicity which is now one of the town's main signs of identity.

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the town, concentrated up to that time on the hillsides leading to the castle and along the river, began to expand. At that time there were some three thousand inhabitants. As of 1875, the urban area extended over the Sant Climent road, and in 1905 the first major local urban planning project was approved.

Around 1900 it was the most heavily-populated municipality in the county, with over five thousand inhabitants. At that time, the town activity was mostly agricultural. The first significant industry dates back to 1917, when sewers were built and streets were paved. Prior to the Civil War there were 10,000 inhabitants.

The end of the war meant the end of democratic institutions. Private investment was not subject to control, and urban growth was based on speculation and private profit, thus leading to an unstructured area lacking basic services. In 1940 the town had 10,000 inhabitants, by 1960 it had reached 20,000; in 1970, 50,000 and by 1975, 65,000.

In this period, large neighbourhoods were built on the outskirts of town to house the immigrant population - Casablanca, Camps Blancs and Ciutat Cooperativa. These were created without an overall urban plan and were separated from one another and from the town centre. High-rise apartments were developed with a speculative approach, without open spaces and services.

At the same time, growth took place from the historical quarter toward the new districts according to established expansion plans, but the mountain was also divided up into plots for single-family homes which were sold without prior urban development.

Evolution in recent years

In the 1960s and 70s, there were major migratory movements. In 1960, Sant Boi's population was only 20,000. In recent years, the number of residents has stabilised around 79,000.

During this time, new housing districts have been built (Riera Gasulla, La Bòbila de Can Miquel, Mas Pollastres, Torrelavila, etc.) with the aim of structuring the town, connecting the urban area and introducing a concept of territorial balance. The main characteristics of the new sectors are the great number of green spaces and the many areas reserved for services and facilities.

All of this growth has made possible, and also created a demand for, new and improved areas for meeting, reading, recreation, work and sport. Quality has grown along with quantity, and now in Sant Boi, in addition to many other facilities, we have libraries, community centres, facilities such as Can Massallera and l'Olivera, and parks such as La Muntanyeta, currently the key recreational and social area of Sant Boi.

This evolution has also led to an increase in associative activities, with over 300 entities, to the creation of new recreational and cultural facilities. A paradigmatic example is the Altaveu Festival, which has completed its tenth year, and gives colour to the public holiday on 11 September.

In 1976, at the outset of the transition toward democracy, the general metropolitan plan was approved, affecting the city of Barcelona and 26 surrounding municipalities, among them Sant Boi. This plan reduced the permitted building height, halted speculation and established reserves for infrastructures: parks, gardens, facilities, etc. A process of structuring and humanisation had begun for the town.

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