Ramon Gras Alomà, co-founder of Aretian, recently participated in a debate organized by the City Government of Barcelona and the historical district of Eixample. The event was titled 'The Eixample and the Metropolis of Barcelona: A Crossroads of Futures' and participants discussed the future of the neighborhoods of Barcelona. Held over two days, a series of debates and reflections explored various topics such as the role of the Eixample District in the 21st century Metropolitan Barcelona area. Ramon discussed issues impacting the population such as environmental transformations, the economic contribution of Eixample and the need for a new mobility model for the city and the district.
This conference was organized by the district in collaboration with the Plan Barcelona Metropolitan Strategic and commemorated the influence that Ildefons Cerdà, a Catalan urban planner and one of Aretian’s main sources of inspiration, had on the city of Barcelona and on the field of Urbanism. Next to Ramon Gras, leading experts such as Carlos Moreno, David Mangin, Carolyn Daher, or Alfonso Vegara gave an insightful overview of the current situation aiming at improving the initiative tackling several important challenges. The challenges discussed included ecological transformations, the renewal of a sustainable urban fabric, affordable housing, gentrification, the management of urban mobility and the prioritization of economic activities and industries.
During the conversation, Ramon emphasized how to align urban design with smart specialization strategies and how the Eixample can be a metaphor of a larger 5 million inhabitants fractal city for the entire metropolitan region. He pinpointed the fact that the new Innovation Districts in Bon Pastor and La Sagrera, Badalona i les Tres Xemeneies, and Diagonal Mar need to be coordinated and that the district of Eixample has the potential to specialize in 4 different areas: medical & biotech, data science & software, creative industries, and urban logistics.
As explained during the debate, Barcelona and the Eixample district will have to be more active, innovative, intermodal and sustainable to better connect low-density territories with the metropolitan center. Aretian has already contributed to the improvement of Barcelona and will continue to strive to ameliorate this historical city.
Watch the intervention by Ramon Gras: here