The Cerdà Plan

Design for an Extension to the City and its port, approved by H.M. Government - Proyecto de Ensanche de la Ciudad y su puerto aprobado por el gobierno de S.M., Ildefons Cerdà, 1859.

In 1859, the reform and extension plan drawn up by Ildefons Cerdà was approved, in order to develop the area between the old city and the village of Gràcia. The Cerdà plan, implemented with notable alterations to the original, established a right-angled network of streets and blocks of houses made up of two buildings on either side and open gardens in the centre. The road network was made up of wide streets and 45º chamfers, designed for traffic, and there were main roads arranged obliquely. The egalitarianism and rationality of this plan was swamped by land speculation, which, in the end, intensively increased the density of the blocks of houses.

Image: © City of Barcelona Historical Archive – AHCB.