What Will Barcelona Look Like in 150 Years?

Barcelona is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Eixample extention with a special time capsule.

Ildefons Cerdà i Sunyer was a Spanish Catalan urban planner who designed the 19th-century “extension” of Barcelona called “Eixample.” He focused on key needs: the need for sunlight, natural lighting, and ventilation in homes. His street layout and grid plan were optimized to accommodate pedestrians, carriages, horse-drawn trams, urban railway lines, gas supply and large-capacity sewers to prevent frequent floods – all without neglecting public and private gardens and other key amenities.

Barcelona is now celebrating the 150th anniversary of his plan, and as a tribute to his work to improve the city, many activities are taking place. One that is catching many people’s attention is Barcelona2159, created by Carlitos y Patricia.

Throughout the city there are many posters with a perforated capsule shape, letting passersbys see through to what’s beneath. The idea behind this project is to frame Ildefons Cerdà incredible vision of Barcelona’s future and now envision the city in 150 years.

There are a few “time capsules” around the city giving people a chance to leave a message of what they think Barcelona should look like in 150 years. A real time capsule is also being created with all the messages, that will be opened in the year 2159 for all the citizens to see, hear and read. This is the most complicated part of the project, to find out how to store all this information.

It’s receiving support from ten experts that come from different fields related to data and documentation: a professor of history who’s working for UNESCO, industrial designers, a documentalist, a writer and a few scientists who specialize in different areas. They is also an online forum where people can read what has been said and leave their opinions.

Contributed by Daniel Camprubi

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