• SmallBanner 01
  • SmallBanner 02
  • SmallBanner 03

Administrative Boundaries and Covid-19: The Case of Catalonia, Spain


Year published: 2022
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91112-6_10

Author / Authors:

  • Ramon Galindo Caldés
  • Joan Tort Donada
  • Albert Santasusagna Riu


First Online: 04 May 2022
3 Altmetric

Part of the Local and Urban Governance book series (LUG)


This chapter provides an overview of the policies adopted in Spain to halt the spread of COVID-19 based on territorial criteria. Limitations on the free movement of people, lockdowns, restrictions on a range of activities and public policies to contain the pandemic have been implemented based on sectoral, regional, provincial and local administrative boundaries. In many cases, these boundaries present problems (being imprecisely defined, overlapping and subject to historical conflict, etc.) that hinder effective public policy management. Against this backdrop, we analyse different types of boundary and their associated problems which have made them largely ineffective in controlling the pandemic or localised outbreaks of infection. We place special emphasis on the borderlands occupying areas adjacent to regional or other boundaries where a lack of cooperation has caused difficulties in combating COVID-19. Our analysis focuses specifically on the autonomous community of Catalonia and its neighbouring regions. Catalonia provides us with some paradigmatic cases for analysis, including its border with Aragon (the site of a major outbreak in July 2020), the administrative boundary between the municipalities of Barcelona and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (an example of an urban boundary and the site of a COVID-19 upsurge within the Barcelona metropolitan area in July 2020), the district of La Conca d’Òdena (one of the first cases of supra-local lockdown in March 2020), and the management of de-escalation in Catalonia, based on the so-called healthcare regions (April–June 2020).

Cite this chapter
Galindo Caldés, R., Tort Donada, J., Santasusagna Riu, A. (2022). Administrative Boundaries and Covid-19: The Case of Catalonia, Spain. In: Nunes Silva, C. (eds) Local Government and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Local and Urban Governance. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91112-6_10


  • Book Chapter