Annalisa GIOCOLI, Jacob CIRERA, Eugènia VIDAL, Teresa GÓMEZ-FABRA, Raimon RODA, Laura CID, Ana ROMERO, Javier ORTIGOSA, Patricia GARCIA, Elena ARGELICH and Antoni FARRERO

Institution: Àrea Metropolitana Barcelona – Spain


Keywords: Nature Based Planning, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Water, Agro-Forest Mosaic, Green Network, Pilot Test, Coordination, Participation


The Barcelona metropolitan area is a region with 36 municipalities and 3.2M inhabitants. It is a metabolically open system which depends on external regions for its water, energy and materials supplies, and it faces pollution problems in its urban centers. Moreover, its location makes it extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. For this reason, the future Barcelona Metropolitan Masterplan of the AMB (public metropolitan administration) bank on a Nature Based Planning model which seeks to transfer the philosophy of Nature Based Solutions to urban planning.

Three strategies and a pilot test

The renaturalisation of this territory enables the ecological functions and ecosystemic services of the entire system to be preserved and improved. Also, that guarantees more circular and resilient urban systems.

The goal is to achieve this model via 3 strategies:

  • Water, a vector of regeneration of the metropolitan area. By fostering the improvement in ecological connectivity and enhancing water’s function of hydric and thermal regulation in urban settings.
  • The agro-forest mosaic, a model to manage open spaces. By recovering farmlands allowing for production in urban or marginal spaces as well, and fostering the management of the agro-forest lands.
  • A green exchange network. By fostering a functional ecological network which should lead the urban edges viewed as marginal spaces to disappear.

There are plans to hold pilot tests in the area between the Collserola mountain and the lower Llobregat River valley to validate the proposed model. They include two studies: one of the structuring elements that should need intervention and regeneration to complete the ecological and social connections and another of all the agro-forest spaces and their conditions of use to foster their multifunctionality and overcome their marginality as border spaces.

To carry out these actions, the AMB should spearhead the coordination among the municipalities and the administrations with powers on this matter and articulate a participation strategy of the population.


NBplanning incorporates natural resources into urban planning, and it will incorporate innovation in the everyday tasks of public administrations, such as urban planning and fostering cooperation among the different regional agents, city councils and their inhabitants.


Web Barcelona Metropolitan Masterplan:

Presentation: link