Signal activation on La Rambla

“La Rambla” of Barcelona relies on Sensefields for its mobility management

Adapting the traffic lights circles of the intersections to the buses itineraries of the constantly enhanced Barcelona public transport network and defining the optimal speed of the different lines based on real-time traffic flow, Sensefields is proudly optimising mobility providing safety for the pedestrians in the most iconic street of Barcelona.

City road signal activation

La Rambla is one of the most known streets of Barcelona. Separating the Raval neighbourhood from the Barri Gòtic, this boulevard stretches for 1.2km from Plaza Catalunya to Port Vell. Home to historic monuments like the Gran Teatre del Liceu opened in 1847 and being lined with trees, la Rambla is the place where the future meets the past.


Being extremely popular, specially for the 18 million tourists visiting Barcelona every year, the mobility landscape of the area is very important for Barcelona City Council that runs one of the most advanced smart cities worldwide.


In the case of la Rambla, the city council was looking to harmonise mobility between private vehicles, public buses and pedestrians giving priority to the strollers walking around the area by providing them safety to enjoy their walk.


The concept of the project had two main directions:


  • Install speed detection points that would turn the traffic lights red in case of speed detection that would exceed the 30km/h. The main actuation zones were the areas of “Canaletas” and “Liceu” located close to Plaza Catalunya, a large square that is considered to be both the city centre and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.


  • Install a bus detection system to adapt the circles of the traffics lights to the buses´velocity and stops in order to optimise operations, minimize costs and improve the user experience.



Due to the complex nature of the street, the diverse uses, the historic buildings and the very high rates of touristic visits, the technology challenges were multiple:



  • One of the main considerations was to adapt the applied data technology to the variation of the magnetic “noise” caused from Barcelona subway – a parameter that increased the difficulty of detection reliability.


  • As further challenge was considered the necessary speed of installation since being a very touristic street could not close down for a long period of time. Then, the lack of power supply required a standalone autonomous solution.


Thanks to the very high accuracy rate and its capability to adapt in different use cases according to the needs of mobility decision makers of Barcelona City Council, as well as its capacity to fulfill  all the above requirements, Sensefields intelligence was selected as the ideal traffic management technology to be installed in la Rambla offering significant application advantages:

  • Adaptability of the detection threshold automatically in accordance with the magnetic noise caused by the subway
  • Power supply through the existing infrastructure being part-time lampposts combined with solar panels
  • Very quick and easy installation overnight - no need of installation of dedicated electrical connections that generate civil works impacting the users of the street - pedestrians and vehicles
  • Traffic light regulation and monitoring thanks to integration capacity of the DPS - Data Processing Station
  • Real-time classification of the vehicles, being car, motorcycle or bus to accordingly monitor their behavior
  • Landscape integration with no visual impact - technology adapted to the image style of the historic center

The application installed in 2016 is successfully up and running ensuring a balanced everyday life in the whole area of la Rambla zone, a historic street significantly affected by tourism. Making the first steps towards smart urban traffic planning n the la Rambla area, Sensefields keeps designing applications that aim to enhance quality life in every neighbour of Barcelona.


Get in touch with our experts!

To receive information and have all your questions answered, contact us today!