Urban sustainability as the result of a carefully integrated process: Case study of a new urban development on the Barcelona seafront

Ezequiel Uson Guardiola, Josep Vives Rego, Diana Uson Maimo


An in-depth understanding of the basis of urban
sustainability in urbanisation involves tackling a carefully
integrated process. By means of a holistic guiding concept
pushing the boundaries in the sustainable design of buildings,
this article describes the development plan drawn up to
reurbanise the seafront “Área de las térmicas del Besós” in
Barcelona. This combines residential and tertiary uses,
infrastructure and also free areas for museum use in a great
industrial building home to a former power station. The current
plan will add a kilometre of beach to be used and enjoyed by the
citizens of Barcelona. It will also provide the municipality of Sant
Adriá de Besòs with access to the sea.
The plan’s most original contribution lies in its aim to collaborate
towards sustainable urban development. It sets out to do so by
incorporating strategies not only on an urban scale, but also on
an architectural scale and even introducing landscape and green
elements into the design. This methodology will facilitate the
generation of urban growth with a minimum environmental
impact and with low carbon emissions.


Barcelona seafront; sustainable urban development; carefully integrated process; the garden tower.

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