In , with the Industrial Revolution well underway, the engineer Ildefons Cerdà, author of the Plan for the Reform and Extension of. Ildefons Cerda (December 23, – August 21, ) was an urban planner originally trained as a civil engineer who left his job in the civil engineering. Constricted by its medieval walls, Barcelona was suffocating – until unknown engineer Ildefons Cerdà came up with a radical expansion plan.

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Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 10 Septemberat For further information and locations of the reclaimed courtyards in Barcelona, this pdf-file provides a complete listing. Although in general terms his plan was realized, he died penniless, credited with a neighborhood ildefonns is a distant reflection of his initial intentions.

Demolition work would finally start a year later.

Ildefons Cerdà

Courtyard recovery ildefobs within the Eixample neighborhoods. According to the artist, when asked how he wanted his house, a member of the bourgeoisie said: In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Traffic — in those days, horse-drawn carts — was problematic too: Unfortunately, many of the reclaimed courtyards lack a standout landscape or architectural design impetus that would position them as a tourist destination.

This unknown engineer was revolutionary in what he envisioned — but also in how he got there. His designs belie a crrda approach far ahead of his time. His plan for Barcelona underwent two major revisions; the second version, approved by the Spanish government at the time, is the one still recognizable in the layout of today’s Eixamplethough the low height of buildings and the gardens within every city block were soon dispensed with by politicians inclined to cave in to or perhaps even indulge in property speculation.


An aerial view of a portion of the Eixample. Retrieved 20 March However, even if the courtyard reclamations are meant to be small-scale, local ildefins for the enjoyment of the nearby manzana residents rather than the broader public, many of the conversions seem to ildegons very little in terms of providing actual shaded green areas.

Culturally, the Eixample ilddefons and still is inhabited by the well-to-do, instead of integrating social classes.

The streets would be built to a width of 20 metres with 5 meters dedicated on each side for pedestrians with the exception of Gran Via which was to be 50 metres wide and Passeig de Gracia which was to be 60 metres widewhile a district would be defined as a block self-sustaining unit with direct access ildefonns shops, services, markets and schools.

In the mids, Barcelona was on the brink of collapse. The city was living at a faster pace than the rest of Spainand was ready to become a European capital. At this time, grid or radial based urban planning principles were being implemented or experimented with in New York, Buenos Aires, Paris and London. Now the city and the Spanish government had to design and manage the sudden redistribution of an overflowing population.

Behind Four Walls: Barcelona’s Lost Utopia – Failed Architecture

Larger institutions such as hospitals, cemeteries, parks, plazas and industrial buildings would be spaced at calculated, even distances within cwrda zone providing an overall utilitarian radius of access for Eixample inhabitants. From within, the uniqueness of each city block is a disorienting yet atmospheric pedestrian experience.

What began as a utopian master plan championing publicly accessible green space has today become an enclosed and privatized neighborhood specifically lacking this publicly accessible green space. Retrieved from ” https: His was the first meticulous scientific study both of what a modern city was, idefons what it could aspire to be — not only as an efficient cohabiting space, but as a source of wellbeing not a straightforward concept back then.


Your email address will not be published. It subsequently selected Antonio Rovira y Trias and his radial centric design as the winning master i,defons.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. An industrial city with a busy port, it had grown increasingly dense throughout the industrial revolution, mostly spearheaded by the huge development of the textile sector.

Ramon Casasa painter who had grown up in a shadowy house in the old town, was one of the modernist artists who moved to this new district, and could often be seen strolling or riding a bike on its streets with fellow cultural figures.

Story of cities #13: Barcelona’s unloved planner invents science of ‘urbanisation’

The latest technical innovations were incorporated in his designs if they could further the cause of better integration, but he also came up with remarkable new concepts of cerdda own, including a logical system of land readjustment that was essential to the success of his project, and produced a thorough statistical analysis of working-class conditions at the time, which he undertook in order to demonstrate the ills of congestion.

Development of the Manzana Block from public to private. It is not accidental that many of the gardens are named after women as the Barcelona street nomenclature is exclusively male.

The neighborhood as it stands, is functional, atmospheric and charming.