Superblocks, Barcelona Answer to Car-Centric City


Superblocks, Barcelona Answer to Car-Centric City

Cities of the future

Barcelona wants to be the world’s best city for people. To reclaim the public space and community living that residents lost to cars over the last century, the city, in the spirit of the original design by Cerdà, is transforming mobility and access to public space by introducing the Superblock.

When Catalan urban planner Ildefons Cerdà i Sunyer, back in the 1850s, designed the Eixample, the expansion of Barcelona outside the old city walls, he envisioned a city based on community living, where people could interact on wide streets, with a wealth of public and private gardens, and where transportation of people and goods wouldn’t dominate public space.

As Geoff Boeing, of the University of California, Berkeley – Department of City and Regional Planning, wrote on his recent paper International Lessons from Barcelona in Linking Urban Form, Design, and Transportation: “Ildefons Cerdà’s 19th century utopian plan for Barcelona’s Eixample district produced a renowned, livable urban form. The Eixample, with its well-integrated rail transit, serves as a model of urban design, land use, transportation planning, and pedestrian-scaled streets working in synergy to produce accessibility”.  

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