Though Francisco Franco’s totalitarian Spanish regime was toppled nearly 40 years ago, its legacy is still present in the country. Walk through the cities of Spain, and you’re likely to find streets named after regime members like general José Millán Astray, attorney Adolfo Muñoz Alonso, minister José Enrique Varela, and many more (link in Spanish).
But not for long.
In February, the government—applying a 2007 law that promised to get rid of the marks of autocratic heritage in public spaces—announced it would retire these street names. Now, cities around the country are renaming them after women, answering the complaint that about 90% of streets in Spain’s cities are named after men—and those honoring women usually reference saints (link in Spanish).
Janette Sadik-Khan, former New York City transportation commissioner, once famously said, “if you can change the street, you can change the world.” If she’s right, Spain is on its way to a metaphorical …