• Barcelona;
  • parks;
  • public space;
  • Spain;
  • sustainability;
  • urban renewal

ABSTRACT. In this article we explore the relationships between public parks and a broad interpretation of sustainability, taking as a case study the city of Barcelona, Spain. Recent official discourses in Barcelona insist on sustainability as one of the fundamental assets of public parks. Yet whether these urban artifacts actually contribute to sustainability objectives in environmental and social terms remains to be examined. We compare two public parks in Barcelona-the Parc Joan Miró (1983), and the Parc de Diagonal Mar (2002)–and show how, in the former, the integration of the social, political, and environmental dimensions of sustainability was largely achieved, whereas in the latter, only the environmental dimension appears to have been considered.