Over the years I have been saddened to see some of the most iconic shops and other commercial premises here disappear to be replaced by mobile phone case shops, estate agents and shoe shops. Does anyone else remember Ferretería Alba that used to be on the Rambla? A wonderful place with such helpful staff that served us well for many years.
Catalunya is now in the process of dafting a law to protect these iconic businesses.
Building facades of over 100 years old have been protected for some time (although I've seen some of those disappear too) but now the business itself will be protected. For instance if a long term bakery closes only a bakery will be able to replace it.
Of course this would also mean that well liked places like the Carpeta Moderna on Plaça de la Vila would not have been a cafe, but still be a stationers.