Barcelona launches the ‘Barcelona Superblock-The city after Covid’ conferences

Barcelona launches the ‘Barcelona Superblock-The city after Covid’ conferences

30/08/2021 - 12:47 h*

Cities. Barcelona is organising an international conference on 5, 6 and 7 October, entitled “Barcelona Superblock – The city after Covid”.

Barcelona is organising an international conference on 5, 6 and 7 October, entitled “Barcelona Superblock – The city after Covid”, an event aimed at providing a point of exchange for thinking up what cities after the pandemic ought to be like and how they wish to be built.

The conferences will reflect on what has changed, what has been learned and how urban environments have been modified in the wake of this exceptional situation as a starting point to discussing what the cities of the future should look like.

During these events, people from all over the world will have the opportunity to share perspectives, experiences and to think about what they want post-pandemic cities to look like.

A shared initiative

The international initiative is promoted jointly between the Barcelona City Council and the Placemaking Europe Foundation: a European network that works with urban planners, activists, academics, architects and sociologists, amongst others, to set strategies and research public space tools to make cities more sustainable and liveable.

The event will take place from 5-7 October and will feature online and face-to-face sessions that will be held at the Cànodrom Athenaeum for Democratic Digital Innovation in the El Congrès i els Indians neighbourhood in the Sant Andreu district.

Towards more resilient cities

The aim is to reflect on and debate those measures that can make Barcelona and other cities more resilient and sustainable. Thus, through this international online and in-person platform, for three days, Barcelona will become the world capital of post-pandemic urban debate.

The conference will officially begin on 5 October at 5 pm, and will entail a total of 8 sessions. In these sessions, discussions will be held on topics related to the liveable city; a new economic model for the city; the public city; the breathable and inclusive city; the connected city; and culture, the city and gentrification, amongst others.

A crossroad of reflections

The conferences will feature presentations of projects, videos and other events, such as a discussion between city mayors on how to implement flexible and resilient strategies for adapting cities to the changes related to epidemiological threats or other crises that could occur in the future.

Online tickets will allow access to all video sessions in real-time. However, there are only a limited number of seats available for sessions at the Canòdrom. You need to register before the event. You can do on the following website:

Post-pandemic learnings

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to reflect deeply, on a collective and international level, about the future of our cities. With 95% of all coronavirus cases reported in urban settings in the first few months, cities have faced major challenges over the past year that have put transport and public spaces to the test, among others, leading to profound disruption in the daily lives and habits of citizens.

Over the last few months, the pandemic has highlighted the following:

  • The importance of proximity, with neighbourhoods and the need to weave more resilient and cohesive neighbourhoods being rediscovered.
  • A shift towards more economic and sustainable forms of transport, such as cycling or walking.
  • The relevance of urban public spaces that promote walking and communal outdoor activities.

The post-pandemic landscape has confronted the international community with the challenge of building a new model of city that is more resilient and capable of addressing future crises. The new UN-Habitat report entitled Cities and pandemics: towards a more just, green and healthy future demonstrates, based on documentation from more than 1,700 cities, how cities can reduce the impact of pandemics by being more equitable, healthy and environmentally friendly.

Cities have been and remain on the front line of the battle against the virus and need to adapt in order to provide solutions to the challenges of the future, which will come not only from possible future pandemics but also from the reality of climate change. The conferences due to be held in Barcelona this October are conceived to be the first stage from which the solutions to these issues can be debated.

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