In order to understand the legacy of Barcelona’92, it is vital to explain its relationship with today’s challenging environmental situation. The year of the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games was internationally important in environmental terms because the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro established a series of protocols on matters of sustainability for the first time in history. The fact that the two major events were being held in the same year led to the Earth Pact between the United Nations (through the Earth Summit) and the Olympic Movement.
Within the powers of the Organising Committee for the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games (COOB’92) was the ability to offer tax incentives to companies that made donations for environmental issues (the total figure for tax incentives certified by COOB’92 amounted to 1.33 billion or 221.5 billion Pesetas). The environmental impact of the Olympic Games was a hot topic at several pre-Games exhibitions on the development of different projects, and was particularly so at the Beloved Earth exhibition that welcomed more than 100,000 visitors.
After the Olympic Games, Beloved Earth travelled internationally. Once again, its focus was considered to be a key ingredient of the Olympic message first conveyed at Barcelona’92. It should be said that the philosophy devised by Barcelona for the prioritisation of the city’s needs in terms not only of urban and infrastructure planning, but also of Olympic-facility spacing and subsequent use constitutes a precedent for today’s economic and environmental sustainability policies.