There is an ongoing discussion on the design of public spaces and participatory planning (Horelli, 2002; an exposition of processes in these dynamics in Vidal, 2008), that sometimes elicits paradoxical situations with the essence of participation: the planned process —imposed—, which can be used as a medium with clear political interests that can lead to exhaustion and distrust of citizens (Castrechini, 2008). Moreover, the discussion above mentioned is closely linked to participatory experiences of people in every each city. Community design requires more than what urban designers are typically called upon to do; it requires the active participation of others (Brower, 2005); in fact, involving local communities in the —city or neighborhood— design processes can play a role in creating responsive environments and achieving community satisfaction (Romice, 2002). The purpose of this communication is to examine the role of the press during the period in which the urban regeneration of Barcelona’s Lesseps square became visible until the moment of its inauguration. After three years of intensive work, the subject gained a significant place in the media as matter of public debate. Along with the reactions generated by the project, the complex participatory process of the project and its presence in the media provided an ideal setting for analyzing this public debate as a case study. Our analysis is aimed at delimiting the ways in which the public debate on the subject has been mediated and objectified. This study is part of a research that seeks to answer the following questions: a) are participatory procedures able to guarantee an optimal result in the production of public space?, and b) which aspects should be taken into account when introducing citizen’s demands, needs and expectations into public space design processes? The analysis included a thematical categorization of contents in a sample of 101 items of news published in four newspapers (El País, La Vanguardia, El Periódico, and Avui), from 05/01/2008 to 07/03/2009. The analytical categories were organized in the form of a “triangular approach” exploring (a) objects (urban public space, the square in general and its components, the participatory process, people, other objects); (b) positions (actors, events, adjectives, values, arguments, things unsaid, implicit beliefs, images and usages); and (c) interactions (conflicts, collaborations, lack of interaction, key moments and effects). The analysis was conducted with the aid of ATLAS.ti software. The debate generated by the press fosters a selective magnification of some facts, a reductionist view of events linked with the history of the square, and an oversimplification of ongoing debates about public space design. On one hand, the press offers little support to measures of preservation and improvement regarding the achievement of a design more adjusted to the neighbors’ expectations. Additionally, there is a low contribution of media to disseminate new formal proposals in the construction of public space emphasizing, thus, the negative aspects of the debate. On the other hand, the press tends to focus the debate on the hidden intentions of the participatory process instead of assessing the strengths and weaknesses associated to the process (content, time, effort invested) with the aim of improving future participatory process. This study underlines the need for thorough approaches to the “know-how” of the participatory process conducted in the framework of the public space design. This contribution belongs to the symposium “A plural psycho-social view of Barcelona’s public space nowadays: experiences of risk, participation, and leisure”, that summarizes the main results of the project “Conflictive experiences in public space: New modes of coexistence, uses and opportunities for the participation in urban cohesion” (reference SEJ2006-08975/PSIC; Director: E. Pol), supported by Spain’s Ministry of Education and Science.