City Habitat – Barcelona City Council

Barcelona as a Common Ground
Barcelona is a Common Ground. It is the city where Cerdà coined the term ‘urbanism’ in 1859, and the city that in recent years has developed the celebrated ‘Barcelona model’, which enjoyed its period of greatest splendour during the Olympic years -a city in which every example of economic and social progress is embodied in the public space. Now, twenty years later, all over the world the urban is facing the new challenges of the information age. This being so, Barcelona is renewing its commitment to its continuing tradition of innovation at times of paradigm shift, and has developed two new mantras: “Barcelona wants to be a city of productive neighbourhoods at a human pace, making up a hyperconnected city of zero emissions.”

“Many slow cities in a smart city.” With this in view, Barcelona is acting on two levels. On the one hand the city is continuing the projects initiated in recent years in order to generate urban innovation in neighbourhoods such as 22@, La Sagrera and Plaça de les Glòries, and is promoting initiatives that will transform the concrete reality of its citizens by means of projects such as Portes de Collserola, Els Tres Turons, Nou Barris or Can Batlló, in which the architecture will necessarily interact with a range of disciplines related to the transformation of the human habitat. On the other hand Barcelona is promoting the development of a City Protocol, in order to make understanding of the construction of the city common ground for cities, universities, companies and organizations. In the 21st century, our common ground is that people will be the cities in which we live and work, in which the real economy is produced. The City Protocol will therefore be a global, open platform, comprehensive and progressive, where cities will share knowledge, projects and policies, define indicators and common evaluation systems, and promote the transformation of our cities on the basis of ecological principles and collective progress.