Urban Designer, Architect and Researcher

Barcelona Eco-Industrial Park

Urban Study for the Barcelona Global Masterplan 

  • Site: 30ha. Torrent Estadella, La Sagrera, Barcelona, Spain

  • Program: Eco-Industrial Park, Urban Farm, Water Sensitive Urban Design

  • Status: Completed

  • Client: Habitat Urba - Barcelona City Council

  • In colaboration with: Eduard Balcells


The study provides a strategy to revitalize the central but decaying industrial site of Torrent Estadella, reconnecting it to the city and turning the area into the productive center of Barcelona’s emerging Green Economy industries.

Barcelona is to become a smart and self-sufficient city with productive neighborhoods, it will need to integrate again the industry inside the city. In this direction, the term New Urban Fabrik proposes to merge two words that have been at odds for too long: “fabrik”, understood as factory or productive space; and “fabric”, the urban tissue of the city. This merger is possible thanks to the appearance of a thriving new urban industry that is clean, sustainable, intensive in added value, provides qualitative jobs and is perfectly compatible with all the other uses of the city.

Torrent Estadella, a large industrial area in the district of Sant Andreu in Barcelona, provides a prime opportunity for this New Urban Fabrik to prosper. Historically peripheral and disconnected, this area will become central and hyperconnected in the near future with the construction of the new high-speed train station of the city, the Barcelona-Sagrera Station.

The present study explores the reconnection of the site to the city through a system of Green Ramblas which incorporate Water Sensitive Urban Design (W.S.U.D.) strategies that enhance the city’s resiliency in the face of Climate Change. Green Ramblas recover the original meaning of rambla as “riera”, the typical intermittent streams along the Mediterranean coast that are fundamental water cycle and climate regulators and formed the primeval urban order of Barcelona. The site can transform into an innovative Eco-Industrial Park, incorporating a wide array of sustainability and industrial symbiosis strategies, unfolding a truly Green Infrastructure, developing a governance model and actively promoting its businesses. Finally, the industrial fabric can become more compact and urban to better blend with the compact (and, therefore, sustainable) urban tissue of Barcelona.

Today, a New Urban Fabrik can come to life by turning the industry into a city-maker in the heart of our cities.


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