Atlantic Gardens in Mediterranean Climates: Understanding the Production of Suburban Natures in Barcelona


While the city of Barcelona is being held up worldwide as an example of a compact and sustainable urban settlement, its metropolitan region has been suburbanized with low‐density housing that, among other impacts, threatens the water supply system of the area. In this process of urbanization new landscapes of consumption — greening the city with non‐native natures — have been produced, requiring a higher use of water and other inputs. Starting with the drought events of 2008 in Metropolitan Barcelona, this article aims to develop an understanding of the production of the green city in a Mediterranean environment. Using urban political ecology, and extending our scope to cultural theories, we investigate the proliferation of Atlantic gardens in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region. By broadening existing debates on suburban natures from a predominantly North American focus to other contexts, the article aims to offer a different view of the political, economic and cultural constructions of urban natures in order to facilitate the design of more equitable cities.