Territorializing the city

We need to territorialize the city, change the scale we use when we look at it and work on it. Understand the implications of urbanization both for its immediate surroundings and for what lies farther afield, outside the range of any map.

A vision that aims to broadening the scope of what the urban sphere includes. A perspective with the capacity to territorialize, to put the city in a broader context, connecting it with the environment and the world, with the people who live in it, visit it, remember it.

The commons

City as a sharing space

Cities are the scenario of social pacts. From the individual to the collective.


Unveiling the city symbolic values

Besides of its important role as a driver of culture (and the visitor's economy), heritage embodies the symbolic relation between citizens and their city. Most relevant monuments have catalysed common social values for a long time. However, the disruption of social networks and other digital tools has radically transformed the identification and beloging processes, to the point that identities are not only physical but digital. In this context, we need to address both the conservation of heritage sites and the creation of new symbolic values associated to the traces that citizens create in the digital world.
On the other side, we need new mechanisms to help communicate knowledge about public heritage, engaging civil society in its classification and other identification processes.

We have actively promoted the creation of several interactive platforms to disseminate heritage. We have also helped different stakeholders to create digital narratives based on heritage.


The spatial injustice

The transformations of economic relationships and models have come with the incorporation of more precarious social conditions. From bike delivery gig-workers to tourist apartment hosts who live with strangers, sacrificing their privacy, each new “success” in the innovation economy is also the revelation of a vulnerability in the social contract.


Planning the 24 hour city

Today, night-time planning is of the utmost importance in urbanism, becoming a condition for opportunity but also a space of conflict.

Night poses significant challenges in urban settings, from achieving energy savings and controlling light pollution to finding the balance between residents’ rest and a growing business activity, not to mention defining a shared identity distinct from that of the day-time city.


Collective care

Our individual health depends on collective health, whether we are talking about pandemics or the chronic ills of contemporary society (such as air pollution, noise pollution or sedentarism). Our health depends on the health of our environment and its characteristics.
That is why we should make cities into collective health organizations that leave behind the vision of health treated individualistically to make collective habitation into a form of caring for ourselves and others.

Public space

The place of the crisis and the identity

Public space characterizes the city, and it is from there that we mostly observe what happens within it. It is the viewpoint, the place of urban interventions, and where many other impacts take place.
It is within public spaces that a significant portion of urban crises and conflicts occur: from the balance between individual and collective benefits, to the gentrification caused by its transformation, or the negative impacts on health due to poor management, among many others.
The ability to weave and foster relationships among the citizens who share these spaces is no longer an exclusive quality of the physical realm, but is also shared by the social spaces offered by digital environments, which often replace or shape them.
Not everything we see in these spaces is what it seems; their image is also influenced by what they conceal and hide. Therefore, we must learn to look at them with new methodologies.


New forms of living

Transforming an area of territory in a liveable environment means to provide housing where citizens can grow, generate employment that allows for livelihoods, to guarantee health and access to services. Housing must be a right for all citizens.

Today, it is still necessary to provide adequate forms of housing for the diversity of family units and the new collective habitat models. Housing requires specific solutions for different genders, ages, incomes and family units, and can be a possible source of shared facilities, storage space, urban services and more sustainable mobility. This typological diversity needs to be addressed in housing policy planning, quantifying these requirements and integrating them into the overall housing mix.

We have advised local and regional authorities in the drafting of housing policies that focus on urban regeneration and tourist gentrification. We have also created and visualised indicators to monitor different aspects of housing policies and plans.


Cities are vital hubs

Cities need to provide inhabitation to a diverse a population. They must prioritize affordable housing, catering to diverse socio-economic groups, and fostering inclusivity. Accessibility to public spaces enriches communal bonds, promoting well-being and a sense of belonging. Ensuring a high quality of life involves healthy environments, efficient infrastructure, and easy access to amenities. Citizens also need to have opportunities to develop economic activities that create wealth without interfering to the common good. Balancing all these elements create vibrant and resilient cities, contributing to a community’s progress.


From moving people to transporting goods

Major environmental problems (such as air pollution or global warming) stem from the need for mobility in cities. Today, we are in the midst of a a systemic change, fuelled by the need of descarbonisation. In recent years, we will shift from a vehicle-centred mobility perspective to slow mobility modes to achieve healthier and more sustainable environments.

Indeed, the disappearance of private vehicles (as a result of new options tied to mobility as a service) along with improvements in public transportation (network, frequency and mixed-mode), will help us reduce the spaces currently occupied for circulation and individual parking (transforming them into other uses with added value for the city) in favor of new spaces for intermodality and mobility services.

That implies intertwining planning and mobility with an eye to achieving that future and providing nearby access to all the necessary uses for a full life. As a result of this active mobility model (walking and cycling), the city becomes an infrastructure that promotes healthy habits and generates collective health. On the other side, the management of freight mobility is becoming a major issue in urban areas. Offshoring production and storage generates intense internal logistic flows which have been intensified by the emergence of e-commerce, forcing us to address logistics needs inside the city.

Overall, this transformation needs to be supported by new data-driven knowledge and prospective tools that enable public administrations and decision-makers to deploy the best strategy in the optimal area of the city to achieve social and spatial justice.
Engaged with better cities