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From the Prat to the Besòs: Discover Barcelona’s regeneration on this virtual trip

Barcelona’s regeneration on a virtual trip | IE A&D

The pandemic has brought many obstacles our way, but IE has transformed obstacles into opportunities by transforming the unprecedented times into an era of adaptability and new possibilities. We will not stand by, and we have decided to adapt and take a different approach to learning. We are proud to present our new and adapted virtual trip to Barcelona. A virtual trip full of connections, perspectives and knowledge.

Gain a holistic architectural introduction to one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. The great minds that have shaped Barcelona understand that every challenge is an opportunity. We understand that too. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our virtual format provides the opportunity to experience some of the largest regeneration developments in Europe like never before. Featuring talks by top urban planners, city makers and real estate managers, you will discover the process behind these projects, while exploring the past, present and future of this dynamic city.

“For me the most interesting part of the Barcelona Virtual Trip was getting insights from professionals who have first hand experience developing major projects in the city of Barcelona. Rarely do you get such detailed analysis regarding the peculiarities that enabled the formation of one of the densest cities on earth.”

Maximilian Thoelen

Barcelona: A Unique Journey Through A Unique City

Barcelona’s regeneration on a virtual trip | IE A&D

During this virtual trip, you will embark on a journey of multiple perspectives and destinations exploring the key factors that make up this internationally lauded city—guided by innovative architectural minds. From the history to the urban and environmental legal frameworks, you will experience every factor that influences this city’s urban composition.

The geography

Barcelona’s topography has had a huge impact on the city’s growth, with geographical features presenting challenges to its development. After the city’s famous grid layout was completely filled in—a century after it was designed by Ildefons Cerdà—the focus turned to regeneration projects, particularly for the Olympic Games.


Barcelona’s regeneration on a virtual trip | IE A&D

The Barcelona Model

This growth model is largely based on regenerating existing areas instead of occupying new spaces, resulting in what has come to be known as the “Barcelona Model.” It combines transformation with economic development and social consensus, creating a unique environment where different public and private stakeholders cooperate to share the same objectives. Nowadays, after reaching the limit of the Besòs river, the city is continuing its expansion toward the south and the north.

The characteristics of the Barcelona Model are:

  • Design: The main drivers are urban landscape, art and architecture, with a focus on using design to improve quality of life.
  • A suitable mix of uses: Barcelona has been built to show greater resilience to rapid economic and technological changes and social needs.
  • Flexible planning instruments: These instruments can be easily adapted to changing conditions and expectations.
  • Programming: This combines immediate results and long-term visions to make the process of building and transforming the city as efficient as possible.
  • The involvement of the private sector: The private sector has collaborated with public administrations, sharing the same concept of “territorial responsibility”.

Barcelona’s regeneration on a virtual trip | IE A&D

The historical basis

Barcelona is a city characterized by complexity, with multiple factors having shaped what it is. But much of what makes Barcelona what we see today is rooted in distinct moments in time, and this force continues to push it forward into the future. Led by Joan Busquets, Internationally Renowned Spanish Urban Planner and Architect, you will gain exceptional insights into the history of Barcelona, and how it’s breaking through the bounds of history to usher in a new tomorrow.

“It was an interesting week waking up and listening to experts all over the world starting with AI usage in China to officials promoting the urban development philosophy of Barcelona. In between classes I tuned in to Carlo Ratti’s call. His view was refreshing and added a sense of new possibilities emerging from the pandemic in what he calls “Sensible Cities” focused on using technology and better design to create a city for people.”

Lukas Enrique Tejada

Moving into the future

A lot of the city’s future is based on the emergence of smart tech. With around 2150 tech companies based in the city, it’s no surprise that the SmartCity World Congress is celebrated here each year.

As part of this virtual trip, you will get the opportunity to attend the SmartCity World Congress, this year in their first online edition.

Barcelona’s regeneration on a virtual trip | IE A&D

Barcelona: A city of many parts

Beyond historical or technological factors, there’s something imperceptible that makes Barcelona stand out. Throughout the world, architects, designers and the general public look to Barcelona. Through this trip you will submerge yourself into the liveliness and inspiration of the beautiful experiences this city has to offer. You will be able to take a thorough look and get a taste of different themes that will enhance your perspectives.

Urban development and land regeneration are one of those marvelous topics which will allow you to explore how urban development and land regeneration projects have shaped the city.

The dynamic virtual format allows you to more seamlessly compare, contrast and investigate the city’s most notable projects.  Additionally, you will have the opportunity to investigate another part of Barcelona´s unique offering by diving intro its architectural makeup which is entirely rooted in culture.

Drawing on culture as a cradle for innovation-led urban projects, get ready to explore the future of the city from this perspective. This experience also brings the chance to learn about Barcelona´s real estate by exploring the role of real estate in driving one of the world’s most innovative cities to better understand the current and future opportunities for real estate in this lively city. Finally, taking a look at FC Barcelona regeneration project which will be a meeting point for members and a place to welcome all visitors.

Barcelona is an architect’s dream, with rich and diverse structures and spaces that tell a story of innumerable, interlacing threads.

This eye-opening virtual trip will provide you with an overview of this story so far. But a city’s story never ends: the future of Barcelona is still being written. Will you be one of its authors?

For more information on “Barcelona Virtual Trip Agenda”, please write us.