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CERDÀ POSTMETROPOLIS International Congress Government of Metropolitan Regions in the 21st Century



June 2009 saw the beginning of the events held in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the approval of Ildefons Cerdà’s Barcelona Eixample Plan. This is a celebration of the past that aims to look to the future, offering the opportunity to review urban planning in the territory and the social construction of the city in order to confirm the need for a gesture like the one Cerdà made when he proposed the Eixample neighbourhood for Barcelona.

Updating urban policy for the compact city, planning new policy for areas of disperse urbanisation and, in both cases, planning strategies and actions to the measure of territory on a scale that goes beyond administrative limits of municipalities: this is the Cerdà gesture that Barcelona hopes to benefit from in this new century, and this is the spirit of the “Cerdà Postmetropolis” Congress that will be held in the CCCB, bringing together over sixty experts in the local and international domains, as the concluding event of the Cerdà Year.

Tuesday 8 June

Cerdà Postmetropolis

10 a.m. Official opening of the Congress

10.30 a.m. Presentation of the Congress content

From the 19th to the 21st Century: the Cerdà Gesture and the Postmetropolis
Francesc Muñoz
, director of the Cerdà Postmetropolis International Congress.

11 a.m. Presentation:

From the Metropolis to the Postmetropolis: Urban Form and Government of the Territory City
Edward Soja
, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA.

Presented and moderated by Francesc Muñoz

12 noon – 12.30 p.m. Break

The New Scale of the Metropolis

12.30 – 2 p.m. Panel 1

From the First Metropolis to the Territory City: The Change in Scale of Urban Government
Joan Busquet
s, architect and professor of Urban Planning at the ETSAB, Joan Fuster Sobrepere, lecturer in Contemporary History at the Open University of Catalonia and member of the advisory council for the Cerdà year, and Joan Roca, director of the Barcelona Museum of History.

Presented and moderated by Antoni Tulla, director of the Department de Geography at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

4 – 5.30 p.m. Panel 2

Visions of the Future for a Metropolitan Government in Barcelona
Jordi Borja
, sociologist and urban planner, director of the Department of City Management and Urban Planning at the Open University of Catalonia, Oriol Nel·lo, general secretary of Territorial Planning of the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia and Ramon García-Bragado, deputy mayor for Urban Planning, Infrastructure, Housing and Internal Government of the Barcelona City Council.

Presented and moderated by Mireia Belil, geographer and general director of the Universal Forum of Cultures Foundation.

5.30 – 6 p.m. Break

6 – 7.30 p.m. Panel 3

The Change of Scale of Metropolitan Government: European Examples
Andy Thornley, professor of Urban Planning at the London School of Economics, Leo van den Berg, professor of Regional Economics and Urban Development at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and director of EURICUR, and Andy Jonas, professor of Human Geography at the University of Hull.

Presented and moderated by Mariona Tomàs, lecturer in Constitutional Law and Political Science at the University of Barcelona.

7.30 – 9 p.m. Panel 4

Governing Territory and Metropolitan Governance
Tim Campbell
, president of the Urban Age Institute, Bruno Dente, professor of Public Policy Analysis at the Politecnico di Milano, and Christian Lefèvre, professor at the Institut Français d’Urbanisme at the Université Paris-Est.

Presented and moderated by Joan Subirats, Professor of Political Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.


Wednesday 9 June

10 a.m - 11.30 a.m. Panel 5

The Metropolitan City at Boiling Point
Florian Beigel,
professor of Architecture at London Metropolitan University, Eduard Bru, architect and Manuel Gausa, architect, vicepresident of CADS, professor and director of the Scuola di Dottorato in Architettura e Design de la UNIGE (Geneva).

Presented and moderated by Francesc Muñoz

11.30 a.m. -12 noon Break

Urban Policies in the Compact City

12 noon -13.30 p.m. Panel 1

The Compact City: Beyond Density
Giandomenico Amendola, professor of Urban Sociology at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, Amador Ferrer, architect and Albert Serratosa, president of the Institute of Territorial Studies and professor of Territorial Regulation and Urban Planning at the Technical University of Catalonia.

Presented and moderated by Carme Bellet, lecturer in the Department of Geography and Sociology at the University of Lleida.

4 – 5.30 p.m. Panel 2

Urban Policies in the Compact City I: From Regeneration to Sustainability

Isabel Guerra, professor of Urban Sociology at the Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e Empresas of Lisbon, Salvador Rueda, director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona and Xavier Monteys, professor of Architectural Projects at the ETSAV/ETSAB

Presented and moderated by Núria Benach, lecturer of Human Geography at the University of Barcelona.

5.30 – 6 p.m. Break

6 – 7.30 p.m. Panel 3

Urban Policies in the Compact City II: From Social Segregation to the Economics of Culture
Neil Leach
, architect and Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California, Juli Ponce, Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Barcelona and Andy Pratt, professor of Culture, Media and Economy at King’s College, London.

Presented and moderated by Jordi Pascual, Agenda 21 for culture (Barcelona City Council and CGLU).

7.30 – 8.30 p.m. Voting session on Urban Policies: Panel discussion on various urban scenarios.

Panel of experts: Oriol Clos, chief architect of the Barcelona City Council, Sebastià Jornet, architect, lecturer in Urban Planning at the ETSAB, Carles Llop, director of the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning at the Technical University of Catalonia and Isabel Salamaña, lecturer of Geography at the University of Girona.

Presented and moderated by Albert Arias, geographer.

Thursday 10 June

Urban Policies in Disperse Urbanisation

10 - 11.30 a.m. Panel 1

Dispersion of Urbanisation in Territory: Visions and Challenges

Francesco Indovina, professor in the Faculty of Territorial Planning at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Hans Ibelings, architecture critic, editor of the review A10 New European Architecture, Manel Larrosa, architect, and Josep Maria Carrera, coordinator of the Metropolitan Territorial Plan of Barcelona.

Presented and moderated by Ivan Muñiz, lecturer in Applied Economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

11.30 a.m. - 12 noon Break

12 noon - 1.30 p.m. Panel 2

Reinventing Urban Policies in Disperse Urbanisation I: Strategies from the Standpoint of Planning

Josepa Lleida Solà, head of the Cartographic Technical Office and Local in the Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona County Council), Antonio Font, Professor of Urban Planning at the Vallès School of Architecture, Technical University of Catalonia, and Albert de Pablo, architect.

Presented and moderated by Judith Gifreu, lecturer of Administrative Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

4 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. Panel 3

Reinventing Urban Policies in Disperse Urbanisation II: Strategies from the Standpoint of Activity
Carme Miralles
, geographer and lecturer at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Pere Torres, technical adviser for Territory, Infrastructure and Environment at the Institut Cerdà (Cerdà Institute) and Vicenç Tarrats, member of the Executive Commission of the Economic and Social Council of Barcelona.

Presented and moderated by Maria Buhigas, head of Strategic Urban Studies at Barcelona Regional.

5.30 – 6 p.m. Break

6 – 7.30 p.m. Panel 4

Reinventing Urban Policies in Disperse Urbanisation III: Strategies from the Standpoint of Urban Planning
Joan Barba
, architect and urban planner, Richard Ingersoll, architect and lecturer at Syracuse University in Florence and Maurici Armengou, head of Housing, Urban Planning and Activities Services in the Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona County Council).

Presented and moderated by Xavier Boneta, Territorial Observatory in the Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona County Council)

7.30 – 8.30 p.m. Voting Session on Urban Policies: Panel discussion on various urban scenarios.

Panel of experts: Jorge Perea, architect, Juan Carlos Montiel, architect and managing director of Barcelona Regional and Txema Onzaín, architect and partner of the Office ONL-Arquitectes.

Presented and moderated by Maties Serracant, geographer and consultant on matters pertaining to territory, mobility and environment.


Friday 11 June

The Cerdà Gesture: An Agenda for Metropolitan Government

10 - 11.30 a.m. Panel 1

Projecting the Supramunicipal Scale: A Metropolitan Vision
Juan Carlos Montiel
, architect and managing director of Barcelona Regional, Ricard Pié, Professor of Urban Planning and Territorial Regulation at the Technical University of Catalonia, and Vicenç Izquierdo, head of Road Infrastructure and Services and Mobility at the Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona County Council).

Presented and moderated by Josep Antoni Báguena, adviser on territorial planning for the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia.

11.30 a.m. - 12 noon

Conclusions and Prospects of the Congress. Francesc Muñoz

12 noon - 1.00 p.m. What Metropolitan City?

Final panel attended by mayors of the metropolitan municipalities.

1.00 p.m. Closing session by Jordi Hereu, Mayor of Barcelona.

Saturday 12 June

Postmetropolitan Itineraries

The Congress closes with a direct, explicit look at metropolitan territory on the basis of a series of itineraries of supramunicipal scope that will permit those who wish to participate to understand – from a bus or light aircraft – first-hand and with a real-life image of the territorial reality, the content presented in the Congress.

- Itinerary I: Where does the metropolis end? Reconnaissance flight over the territory leaving from the Sabadell aerodrome.

- Itinerary II: Besòs: from border to public space.

- Itinerary III: Llobregat: new metropolitan axis.

Voting on Urban Policies

What are the urban policies that best suit the metropolitan territory today? How are we to define urban projects in settings that are as different as the compact city and disperse urbanisation?

Is turning streets into pedestrian precincts a good option in urban design for every historic city centre? Is it possible to find an alternative model of public space that might be better adapted to a low-density town or city?

Questions such as these furnish the content for an intermeshed debate in which the planners – who are presently designing our cities – and the experts of the future – who are now training in order to be able to do so at some time yet to come – will have to choose and explain the best urban policies that will keep being proposed in a discussion that aspires to offer alternative gazes to the copy&paste of urban policies that have marked many examples both of urban transformation and of new urban development zones.


8, 9 and 10 June, from 7 p.m.

Audiovisual Programme Cities in Movement

Cities in Movement is a cycle on the construction of the city (construction in the sense of urban-planning and construction of an imaginary), on its transformations, on how it is and has been inhabited. From Africa at the height of its decolonisation to the American ghettoes of the nineties, from the Berlin of the 1920s to Shanghai in the twenty-first century: times, cities and faces are talking, asking and responding, tracing a territory that it impossible to embrace from end to end yet that is recognisable beyond time and frontiers. This is an inquiry into how we imagine and live in the city.

Tuesday 8 June

7 p.m.

Picturing a Metropolis - New York City Unveiled. DVD. No dialogue.

A programme of short pieces, 26 titles that portray the city of New York from 1899 to 1940.

9 p.m.

Borom Sarret, Ousmane Sembène, 1963, Senegal, 19 min, DVD, Original version, Spanish subtitles

London, Patrick Keiller, 1994, Great Britain, 85 min, 35 mm, Original version, Catalan subtitles

Borom Sarret looks at Dakar and the effects of colonialism through the story of a cart driver who has to take a man from a poor neighbourhood to an elegant residential zone where carts are banned.

London is a chronicle of the British capital over one year: the monetary crisis, the IRA bombs, the elections, the monuments and public spaces. It is an essay about a city undergoing constant transformation.

Wednesday 9 June

7 p.m.

Suite Xinesa (Chinese Suite), DA, Spain-Chine-France, 2008, 98 min., HDVCAM, Original version, Catalan subtitles
Through the gaze of several young Chinese directors, we learn about the inner life of five Chinese cities: Xi’an by Chen Tao, Chongqing by Peng Tao, Canton by Li Hongqi, Shanghai by Han Jie and Suzhou by Jia Zhangke. A production of Xstream Pictures/CCCB/Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine for the exhibition “A la ciutat xinesa. Mirades sobre les transformacions d’un imperi” (In the Chinese City: Perspectives on the Transmutations of an Empire).

9 p.m.

Public Housing, Frederick Wiseman, 1997, USA, 195 min., DVD, Original version, Catalan subtitles
With his unique focus on faces, gestures and words, Wiseman portrays daily life in a neighbourhood of public housing in Chicago: thirty hectares, all sorts of buildings, new, big or old, with kids, poverty and love, thirty-seven days of filming to compose a fresco that vehemently counters the generalised fictions about black ghettoes.

Thursday 10 June

7 p.m.

CITY2CITY (D’une ville à l’autre), 2006, 80 min, DVD, no dialogue

Ten artists from ten different countries offer us their varying perceptions on cities and urban life. The authors are Marina Chernikova, Nose Chan, John Smith, Toby Cornish, Alli Savolainen, Kentaro Taki, Pablo Altés, Ulrich Fischer, Dudouet, Kaplan and Agustin Gimel.

9 p.m.

Menschen am Sonntag, Robert Siodmak, 1929, Germany, 67 min, 35 mm, no dialogue

Metropolis, Report from China, Clemens von Wedemeyer and Maya Schweizer, 2006, Germany-China, 42 min., Betacam SP, Original version, Spanish subtitles

From one kind of modernity to another, from one city to another: from a canto to the city to the tempo and leisure spaces of Menschen am Sonntag in this encounter between the totalitarianism created by Fritz Lang in Metropolis and modern China in Metropolis, Report from China, a film about a crowded city, with no place to escape to, no limits or periphery, and crammed with images.

Congress in progress

From February to May 2010 a series of different introductory seminars have been celebrated in different municipalities of the Barcelona metropolitan territory. These introductory seminars have furnished content for some of the themes of debate at the final Congress. This “Congress in Progress” has made it possible to situate the debate on territorial dynamics and urban policy in different metropolitan municipalities (Sabadell, El Prat de Llobregat and Sant Adrià de Besòs) about which a number of case studies have been presented in order to show the transformation of the city in some of its more recent manifestations:

Regeneration of the existing city

Integration of urban surroundings

Areas of new growth

Recycling industrial landscapes


Participants: Francesc Muñoz, Edward W. Soja, Joan Busquets, Joan Fuster Sobrepere, Joan Roca, Antoni Tulla, Jordi Borja, Oriol Nel·lo, Ramon García-Bragado, Mireia Belil, Andy Thornley, Leo van den Berg, Andy Jonas, Mariona Tomàs, Tim Campbell, Bruno Dente, Christian Lefèvre, Joan Subirats, Florian Beigel, Eduard Bru, Manuel Gausa, Giandomenico Amendola, Amador Ferrer, Albert Serratosa, Carme Bellet, Isabel Guerra, Salvador Rueda, Xavier Monteys, Núria Benach, Neil Leach, Juli Ponce, Andy Pratt, Jordi Pascual, Oriol Clos, Sebastià Jornet, Carles Llop, Isabel Salamaña, Albert Arias, Francesco Indovina, Hans Ibelings, Manel Larrosa, Josep Maria Carrera, Ivan Muñiz, Josepa Lleida, Antonio Font, Albert de Pablo, Judith Gifreu, Carme Miralles-Guasch, Pere Torres, Vicenç Tarrats, Maria Buhigas San José, Joan Barba, Richard Ingersoll, Xavier Boneta, Jorge Perea, Juan Carlos Montiel, Txema Onzaín, Matías Serracant, Ricard Pié, Vicenç Izquierdo, Josep Antoni Bàguena, Jordi Hereu

This activity is part of CERDÀ POSTMETROPOLIS International Congress Government of Metropolitan Regions in the 21st Century, CERDÀ YEAR

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