Riu Besós (2015)
The Riu Besós is a river in the northern part of Barcelona and flows into the Mediterranean Sea at Sant Adrià de Besòs. In the 1980s it was considered the most polluted river in Europe. The reason for this was the rapid urbanisation of the river region in the course of the Spanish industrialisation from the mid 1950s onwards. This led to a deterioration in water quality due to urban and industrial supply, as well as to structural changes to the river bed, as a result of which severe flooding caused recurrent major damage. In the 1990s, a renaturation process began with assistance from EU environmental funds, which was intended to restore the water quality and transform the river course into a nature conservation and recreation area. Today the park is one of the largest and most important urban green spaces in the densely built-up and low-income periphery of the metropolis.