A vision for Barcelona's future conference
PPP for Cities conference on City Science
AGENDA PPP for Cities
AGENDA PPP for Cities
A vision for Barcelona's future conference
PPP for Cities conference on City Science
Registration not available

Registration for this event has closed.

City Science, Urban Design and Economic Development to transform Barcelona. The Greater Barcelona Area holds the promise of becoming a thriving metropolis, a world class talent magnet, able to propel the knowledge economy by generating a prosperous and egalitarian society whilst providing a high quality of life for all its citizens. However, the city of Barcelona and the broader metropolitan region do not currently present neither a clear path, nor the ingredients and dynamics for such a vision to become a reality.

Design Thinking techniques and a Complex Systems approach can illuminate the urban diagnostic in an evidence-based manner, while informing design and management decision-making processes by understanding the metropolitan region as a dynamic urban ecosystem.

We would like to invite you to the conference organized by the PPP for Cities Research Center of IESE Business School and the Barcelona's City Council Agenda 2030 Commissionate where we have invited Aretian's Ramon Gras to introduce us to City Science, as well as to an Urban Design and Economic Development vision aiming to illustrate how understanding Urbanism as both an art and a science can illuminate the path towards raising the quality of life and opportunities for citizens. Up-and-coming innovation districts in the Besòs Area, Badalona, Sant Adrià / les Tres Xemeneies, Esplugues, and Alta Diagonal will be discussed. Such an ambitious vision will require the contribution of both the public administration as well as the private sector, where PPPs can play a major role in harmonizing city-wide planning with bottom-up projects, enabling the Barcelona Metropolitan Region to become a prosperous and resilient urban metropolis. 

After Ramon Gras' speech, a round table will take place with the aim to detect the challenges of innovative ecosystems and public-private governance. 


09:45 – 10:00 Registration

10:00 – 10:10 Welcome
• Prof. Joan Enric Ricart, Academic Director of the PPP for Cities and Stategic Management Professor at IESE Business School
• Bárbara Pons Giner, Agenda 2030 Commissioner, Barcelona City Council

10:10 – 11:00 City Science: Urban Design for economic development
• Ramón Gras, Urban Innovation Researcher at Harvard University and Co-Founder of Aretian Urban Analytics and Design

11:00 - 12:00 Roundtable: "The challenges of innovation ecosystems and public-private governance in Barcelona"
• Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell, President, BIST
• Miquel Barceló, Member of 22@ and the Global Institute of Innovation Districts
• Roberto Gili, CEO, Fractalia Innovation Hubs
• Maria Galindo, Board Member of the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, European Commission
Moderator: Prof. Joan Enric Ricart, Academic Director of the PPP for Cities and Stategic Management Professor at IESE Business School

12:00 Cocktail 

Friday, March 24, 2023
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Barcelona North Campus, Aula Magna Carrer Arnús i Garí, 3-7, 08034, Barcelona, ES


Ramón Gras Alomà 
Aretian Urban Analytics and Design Co-Founder. City Science Researcher at Harvard Ramon Gras Alomà (Harvard'18, MIT'15, BarcelonaTech'10) is a City Science Researcher and Urban Designer from Barcelona. Aretian develops boutique urban analytics and design projects as well as software development services for both private and public clients around the world. Aretian published the very first Atlas of Innovation Districts in 2019.At Harvard, Ramon graduated from the inaugural cohort of the Harvard MDE program, where he developed research around urban design criteria for innovation districts. At Harvard, Ramon developed an urban design plan for the redevelopment of the Port of Tallinn. Prior to developing his city science thesis at Harvard, Ramon worked at Ferrovial’s Innovation office in London, where he led design and technology projects at the London Heathrow Airport and the London Underground. Ramon developed at MIT urban design projects for the Kendall Square innovation district expansion and Somerville Innovation Districts in the Boston Area. Ramon’s thesis at MIT addressed the consolidation problem in air freight transportation by designing an advanced Business Intelligence platform. He expanded his training at MIT after working as a designer in major urban design and infrastructure projects involving city planning, bridge design, maritime infrastructure, high speed rail, and architectural design. Ramon’s early research at Barcelona Tech focused on urban planning and high performance materials for structural engineering. Ramon is interested in enhancing innovation around Cities, Technology and Infrastructure, by designing creative and rigorous interdisciplinary solutions to address large, complex challenges facing the cities of the future.