Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona

We, at EIG, recently proposed some BOLD ideas for how BCN might grow. We think these ideas are feasible and that many of them could be implemented immediately and cheaply. Apart from radically changing the eco performance of the city, we believe that they would hugely affect the livability of the city, and indeed enliven the very soul of this strange city.

We would like if you viewed the short PDF document, Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona of only 9 pages with many images and with that, should you agree with all or some of the proposals, give us suggestions as to how best we can realise these dreams.

Here are just 2 of the ideas proposed:

Vias Verdes BCN + Green Roof BCN

Vias Verdes BCN: greenway network for city of BCN

Ciutadella and her green routes: A series of organic root like threads come from BCN´s park, her green heart, and weave to and through the rest of the greenway network.

Parc de la Ciutadella is not only the cities strategically placed central green lung; it happens to make up one of the most deeply loaded parts of Barcelona’s, and indeed Catalunya’s, urban and social history. In short; it matters. From this much loved city space, and always connecting back to and through it, are the 3 ripples; a series of radiating greenways that form a simple orbital matrix, the spine of the network. This structure forms the organising system through which all future greenways routes (roots) weave, from within the city out to her sea, rivers and surrounding hills. And from there to the wider Euro and Global network…

Green Roof BCN

Picking a juicy orange from a nearby tree and eating it, relaxing and talking with friends on a bench, working in a community garden to cultivate food, smelling the colourful flowers. All this in a place that’s always been there, but never been there.

A vast zone of food production, solar energy harvest, water collection, a series of public parks of varying scales; this is what the roofscape of Barcelona’s old city could easily be like. A many hectored, multi islanded, connected green space, linked by a network of bridges. A very exciting new urban terrain which would help reduce the cities carbon emissions by sequestering carbon while creating clean, cool and fresh air for the city. Presently, about 80-90 % of this area is unused and inaccessible to the inhabitants below. It now acts as a huge heat island, raising the cities temperature and worsening smog levels. Green roofs act as natural rain water drainage systems and also insulate the apartments below, further alleviating need for air conditioning.

Soon Barcelona’s Ajuntament might have to pay a carbon tax; this money could be used now to offer incentives to landlords to immediately cover their terraces with planted green roofs. From there public-ising of roofspaces might begin. Take this bold urban step and make Barcelona a model urban city once again.

9 simple, immediate, intelligent steps for a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona.

1 – Healthy cities address their rivers lovingly.

2 – Make a mesh of connected greenways in the city.

3 – Turn greenways into CPUL threads.

4 – Edible Barcelona

5 – Use the city to cleanly power its transport

6 – Barcelona has a water crisis. Time to start using water smartly.

7 – Make urban wandering ring more joyful

8 – “Let the Eixample mosaic of hidden green zones sparkle in the city”

9 – Passeig de Sant Joan Park

File location:

Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona +on WISER Earth

Related links:

Ronda Verda: new greenway for city

Spanish Greenway network:

Euro Greenway network:

Bill Mc Donough outlining C2C architecture with greenroofs

Vias Verdes en España

William McDonough on Ecocities in China

The Paper was an appendix to a White Paper delivered by EIG, July 2008.

Themes of Paper:

– Urban Greening systems : page 2

“Buildings as Trees, Cities as Forests”: 2 slides

– Urban Greening systems: page 3

Infrastructure and Participation + Botanic Spine

– What are greenways? page 4

– CPULs – Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes page 5

– Edible cities, Middlesborough, UK page 6

– 9 simple, immediate, intelligent steps for a page 7

healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona.

– Reworking the Building and the Block page 8

to make Barcelona a model urban city once again.

– Via Verde BCN: A series of greenway ripples, page 9

radiating out from the green heart of the city.


5 Responses to Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona

  1. fuspey says:

    an old margin and a new center

    EuroGreen Observations
    A Philadelphia Green director tours Europe’s “green” cities

    sustainable Renovation project of a flat in Barcelona, based on the 5 Rs of eco design:
    Reuse | Reduce | Recycle | Restore | Respect. @ BCN

  2. fuspey says:

    “Ciudades a escala humana” BLOG, which translates as “cities at human scale, on a poste entitled “¿Miente Barcelona?” (¿Barcelonas lie) they link to this post saying:

    “Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona” suggests different ideas to activate the life of the city.

    post found here

    the post is mostly regarding recent book about BCN

    La ciudad mentirosa. Fraude y miseria del “Modelo Barcelona”,

  3. […] from BCN (by the way, views on ideas for change here online here) Dunk __________________ "Always look at things from the perspective of infinity" […]

  4. […] from that to grow plants and greenery coming from the gardens, roofs, windows… a vision of what a happier, healthier more eco effective city might look […]

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