Ciutat Vella’s land-use plan recognised for its creativity and innovation

The European Commission has awarded the Grand Prize for Innovative Collaboration S+T+ARTS 2019 to the land-use plan for Ciutat Vella. The award recognises leading-edge collaboration between creativity, innovation, technology and art and its effects for the social and economic urban fabric.

27/05/2019 14:21 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The land-use plan for Ciutat Vella was designed as an instrument for combatting monoculture, balancing usage in the district and guaranteeing health and rest for local residents. The plan was based on compatibility between economic activity and the district’s residential role. It was the result of collaboration between municipal teams from the district and the Manager’s Office for Urban Planning, the Barcelona studio 300.00 Km/s and the cooperative Raons Públiques.

The Grand Prize for Innovative Collaboration recognises the quality of the plan, which uses a strategy combining an analysis of big data and public participation to develop a project which adapts to the needs of all stakeholders in the city.

The S+T+ARTS awards (Science, Technology and Arts) are an initiative by the European Commission which form part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and also involve collaboration from Ars Electronica, Bozar and Waag Society.

Design of the land-use plan for Ciutat Vella

Technology was a key tool in the development of a project which was complex due to the diverse idiosyncrasies of the district and the collaborative approach taken. The initial analysis of Ciutat Vella highlighted the need to regulate uses made by public establishments, food outlets and tourism and recreation services to make them compatible with the local population, dense and in some cases at risk, living in an area with a fragile urban make-up.

The project was developed in four stages:

  • Research: Included the description of the urban make-up, an analysis of the impact of night-time activity on local people’s health, and of tourist trends and the effects for local commerce. During this stage, the use of cutting-edge technology (sensors, automatic learning and artificial intelligence) was vital in rationalising data management.
  • Cocreation: The consensus reached for the land-use plan was the result of a participatory process involving local entities, retailers and residents.
  • Proposal: Simulation based on data collected with software which allowed the proposed plan to be developed according to a predictive model aimed at measuring and anticipating urban impacts, such as noise pollution and social vulnerability.
  • Approval: More than a year after being definitively approved, the land-use plan for Ciutat Vella is being applied through specific software based on regulatory parameters, guaranteeing transparency and harmony between the right to the city and economic activity in the district.


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