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Esplugues Innovation District Masterplan

Transforming Esplugues into a leading innovation hub through strategic urban and economic regeneration

Esplugues Innovation District Masterplan


The Esplugues de Llobregat Innovation District, located northwest of Barcelona, is a groundbreaking project spearheaded by the Esplugues City Council and Aretian Urban Analytics and Design LLC. This initiative aims to transform Esplugues into a dynamic hub of innovation and economic development by leveraging its proximity to leading academic and research institutions and its latent economic potential.

Aretian - Esplugues Innovation District Render

The Challenge

One of the primary issues for the Esplugues City Council while planning the new Innovation District was the lack of a comprehensive and organized approach to detailed land and area studies. Disaggregated and scattered data made it difficult to harmonize economic development strategies for the underdeveloped urban ecosystems in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.

The project also involves numerous stakeholders critical to its success, including the Esplugues City Council, Barcelona City Council, and other municipalities, as well as private entities such as Emesa, Sacresa, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Clínica Dexeus, Clínica Diagonal, and over 350 startups. Key research centers, including BarcelonaTech (UPC), the University of Barcelona, IESE, and ESADE, are also crucial participants.

Aretian’s Solution

  • Innovation and Knowledge Economy Strategy - Aretian defined land uses and real estate capacity and established a network of knowledge relationships between various agencies and companies, aiming to foster a creative tension between research centers and the local industrial and technological fabric.

  • Intelligent Industry Specialization Strategy - by identifying industrial sectors with international comparative advantages and future intelligent specialization products, we recommended ways to enhance the sophistication and quality of industrial production in Esplugues.

  • Urban Regeneration Strategy - we identified the main lines for regenerating the urban fabric, including street topology, building morphology, urban entropy, scale/density, and urban fractality.


Aretian - Visualization of Esplugues Research Networks


  • Aretian established a clear urban and economic regeneration vision, focusing on innovation and knowledge economies.

  • The new master plan will allow Esplugues to increase Innovation Intensity from 10.32% to over 35% and assist in creating approximately 51,500 jobs in Esplugues and Barcelona, focusing on knowledge-intensive roles.

  • Our Urban Regeneration Strategy will guide the development of a vibrant urban area with high-quality public spaces and green areas to maintain attractiveness and sustainability.

Aretian - Esplugues Innovation District Maps

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