Geographies of Innovation in Barcelona


The research ‘Geographies of Innovation’ aims to define what form innovation takes in urban areas, exploring spatial relations between innovative initiatives to identify success stories and potential knowledge transfer. The research specifically examines the necessary urban conditions to promote innovation, the relations established between innovative initiatives, the urban morphology of Barcelona’s ecosystem and the transference of knowledge between different areas of the city.

As evidenced from the analysis and visualization, one of the strengths of Barcelona’s model is the apparently uniform distribution of innovation facilities throughout the city. Urban and environmental conditions (compactness, good communication, cheap rentals, diversity of local services, etc.) have a decisive impact on the location of innovative initiatives giving rise to contrasting economic models. Another significant finding of the research -emerging from the possibility to cross several public datasets with a database of the top 700 innovative initiatives in the city- is that environmental and morphological factors configure three different spatial models: line, network and centre.

Finally, the most relevant conclusion of the research is the fact that a diverse and compact urban fabric enables a positive transference of innovation and knowledge to different parts of the city. The data and analysis in this research are intended to help drive evidence-based decisions on which companies and industries should invest in Barcelona –and other similar cities- and how planning and policy-making can augment this process. It looks at the research landscape underlying the urban landscape, highlighting opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and economic development.



Link to the project ->


The urban study Geographies of Innovation has been developed by 300.000 km/s under the direction of Vicente Guallart, chief architect Barcelona City Council (2014), using the database of innovative initiatives by Infonomia.

Client: Barcelona City Council
Completion: 2014
Copyright: Barcelona City Council
Director: Vicente Guallart / Chief architect Barcelona City Council (2014), –>link
Urban study and cartography: 300.000 Km/s –>link
Database: Infonomia –>link

Posted in pfabric, spatialities