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In 1867, with the Industrial Revolution well underway, the engineer Ildefons Cerdà, author of the Plan for the Reform and Extension of Barcelona, published his General Theory of Urbanization. It was the first book in history in which the process of designing and building cities was systematically analyzed and defined as a science. In it, Cerdà coined the term urbanization, defined as “the set of principles, doctrines and rules that should be applied so that buildings and their conglomerations, as opposed to constricting, distorting and corrupting the physical, moral and intellectual faculties of social humans, can help promote their development and vitality thereby improving individual wellbeing, the sum total of which constitutes public prosperity.”   Today, in the midst of the digital revolution, at a time when the urbanization of the planet is still in full swing and we are facing new collective challenges, we are presenting the first full English translation of the Theory and publishing its statistical analyses in graphs and interactive maps on the open data platform urbanization.org. Vicente Guallart, editor

General Theory ofUrban ization 1867 Ildefons Cerdà

General Theory of Urbanization 1867 Ildefons Cerdà


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With the collaboration:


Introduction

To talk about urbanism now, in the century of globalization, when half of the world’s population lives in cities and most forecasts predict that by 2050 that figure will have risen to 70%, is not only habitual but also truly inescapable. Urban planning is a key element of global governance, a fact that was evidenced in the Habitat III Conference organized by the United Nations in Quito in 2016 and enshrined in the objectives of the UN’s New Urban Agenda: to fight against poverty, to create an inclusive urban economy and to achieve sustainable integrated urban development. The future of our planet is being decided in our cities. A century and a half ago, however, when he published his General Theory of Urbanization, Ildefons Cerdà was in advance of his time and was obliged, in fact, to coin a neologism, ‘urbanization’, which eventually evolved to become urbanism or urban planning. The new term was underpinned by an innovative and transformative vision of the city: a progressive vision that combined the rationalizing action of the urban layout drawn on a map with a profoundly social sense of the task to be undertaken by those responsible for defining the growth and construction of the city. One hundred and fifty years on, Cerdà’s ambitious premise and visionary approach and his philosophy can inform and inspire adequate responses to the present challenges that the growth of our cities pose to public and private managers. The development of smart cities and regions, as we avail ourselves of the extraordinary potential offered by the information and communication technologies, demands that we implement policies through which, as in Cerdà’s day, science must be placed in the service of people and at the same time contribute to the sustainability of our planet. The primary setting of the new


green economy, into which we are now moving, in a process that is already being described as the third industrial revolution, is the city. Cerdà not only theorized a new vision of urban growth in the crucially important nineteenth century but also, with a premonitory and democratizing social sensibility, explained how that vision should be materialized, taking full account at all times of both welfare of the people and the quality of the environment. His was undoubtedly one of the first urban planning proposals to engage with society as a whole rather than a single class, and what is more it did so with in great detail and exceptional coherence. It is for all of these reasons that the Diputació de Barcelona, ​​an institution that supports the local governments of a metropolitan area with ​​five and a half million inhabitants, is supporting the publication in English of this key work of reference for the history of urbanism. We appreciate the importance of making available to experts and specialists all over the world a work of great historical value that is also one of the foundation stones of the current trends in urban development and planning, an endeavour that is especially timely now, when the challenge of sustainability demands that we adapt and rethink urban growth, adopting new universal paradigms. This being so, it is with great pleasure that we present internationally the essential work of the man who imagined the modern Barcelona, ​​a city that today enjoys a unique and unquestionable global presence.

Mercè Conesa i Pagès President of the Diputació de Barcelona

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Preceding pages: Plan of Barcelona by Miquel Garriga i Roca, 1862. Arxiu Històric de la Ciutat de Barcelona. Plan of the extension of Barcelona, Ildefons Cerda, 1859. Arxiu Històric de la Ciutat de Barcelona.


Urbanization: The Science of Making Cities

Vicente Guallart Architect, founder of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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Urbanization: The Science of Making Cities


2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the General Theory of Urbanization1 by the engineer Ildefons Cerdà, author of the Plan for the Reform and Extension of Barcelona.2 This is the first text in history that presents urbanization comprehensively as a science and posits that it should be part of the great categories of human knowledge subject to rational descriptions, which were being outlined at the time of its writing. The text is relevant because it proposes using an analytical and structured scientific approach to describe a fact that was known and practiced by humans (living in community), but which had never been studied in a systematic way. This text, foundational for the discipline of urbanism, responds to the author’s desire to share his research in order to support the development of his plan for Barcelona and the incipient process of global urbanization in general, following a humanist vision of its relationship to the world. His Theory is based on his experiences prior the development of the Barcelona plan, the development of which required the fusion of multiple disciplines. For those purposes, he also had to invent a new vocabulary of terms, and he coined the word “urbanization”, which has since been adopted to define the process of making cities. Beyond its historical interest, this translation aims to promote reflection on the process of urbanization today, at the beginning of the 21st century, when a new revolution, the digital revolution, has shown us the need to define rational processes – and if possible scientific processes – for the construction and reform of cities around the world. So it is that, from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, in association with the Diputació de Barcelona, the ​​ Generalitat de Catalunya and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), ​​and with the collaboration of Bloomberg Philanthropies, we are presenting this first full English translation in a paper edition and via the digital platform urbanization.org.

1. Cerdà Sunyer, Ildefons. 1867. Teoría general de la urbanización, y aplicación de sus principios y doctrinas a la reforma y ensanche de Barcelona. Madrid: Imprenta Española. 2. Cerdà Sunyer, Ildefons. 1855. Plano de los alrededores de la ciudad de Barcelona y proyecto de su reforma y ensanche.


The technological revolution as a driving force for urban policy Cerdà has been studied in detail through his texts, his Barcelona plan, and his role as founder of the discipline of urbanism. Very rarely has his work been looked at in conjunction with the technical and social debates that were taking place internationally during his time. It is very difficult to differentiate his activities as a designer, as a theoretician, and as a manager. In that sense, his best written contributions are scattered across different documents (from the memorandum of the preliminary plan for Barcelona’s extension to the letters dating from his later years) written over the course of a 20-year period. The General Theory of Urbanization is important because it was the first attempt to consolidate a general theory on building and cities that was published internationally. Cerdà is a faithful reflection of his time, when the early effects of the industrial revolution were changing the social, economic and cultural relationships in society. The idea of dwelling ​​ also needed to be redefined, because cities could no longer accommodate the thousands of people who were moving from the countryside into the city in response to the new forms of industrial work. In fact, the new technologies associated with the advent of the steam engine had a great importance in Cerdà’s interest in the future of the city. In the introduction to his Theory he recognizes that a trip to the French Midi in 1844, at the age of 27, had a decisive impact on him. He recalls that he was aware of the steam engine’s importance in the field of industry or navigation. But it was only when he saw a railroad for the first time, capable of transporting the entire population of a town across the territory, that he realized that cities were unprepared. And that implied a need for rethinking how we would inhabit them in the future. He also comments that he looked around for books dedicated to the study of the effects of these technologies in cities, but to his surprise he discovered that nothing had been written about it. There were other urban plans for the expansion of cities, such as the plan for New York approved in 1811, the reform of London or Paris, and the plan for Vienna was being developed. But none of them was accompanied by a general theory.

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Translation of the General Theory of Urbanization. Volume 2. Urbanization Considered as a Concrete Fact. Urban Statistics of Barcelona. (Ildefons CerdĂ , 1867) into a digital platform: urbanization.org (IAAC, 2017 in association with 300.000km/s).


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Urbanization: The Science of Making Cities


Construction of the sciences Science and scientific thought as we understand it today constituted a recent phenomenon in the mid-19th century. Where scientific thought had its origins in research on astronomy carried out sequentially by Copernicus, Galileo, Newton,11 the idea of structuring ​​ any domain of knowledge in a global way, writing scientific treatises, aspiring to find laws and general theories was a new phenomenon. One of the great scientific contributions of those decades came from the naturalist world. In 1859, the same year that Cerdà published his Theory on the Construction of Cities12 and approved the plan for the Eixample, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species,13 which represented an authentic revolution in the field of science and that had profound religious and existential implications. Darwin proposed the theory of evolution rooted in natural selection, meaning that a living beings’ environment offers limited resources, resulting in the survival of the fittest. Darwin’s work spread quickly across Europe and found a faithful defender in the German botanist Ernst Haeckel. It was Haeckel who, in 1866, in his Generelle Morphologie der Organismen14 coined the term “ecology” from the Greek oikos (house) and logos (study or treatise). He defined ecology as “the study of all those complex interactions referred to by Darwin as the conditions of the struggle for existence.” The class struggle and the struggle for existence of the different species are at the origin of two theories that were contemporary with Cerdà. The science of ecology as a branch of biology that studies the relationships of different living beings with each other and with their environment has proposed a structure of knowledge that is similar to the ones that Cerdà proposed in his Theory. Where ecology analyzes the ecosystems made up of the non-living components of the environment, the communities that integrate it and the interactions of all the parts with the organisms, in the Cerdà’s Theory, he studied 11. Each contributed to the Scientific Revolution. Copernicus contributed the heliocentric model of the universe, Galileo contributed his telescopic discoveries, and Newton contributed his laws of gravitation. 12. Cerdà Sunyer, Ildefons. 1859. Teoría de la construcción de las ciudades, Vol. 1. Barcelona. 13. Darwin, Charles. 1859. On the Origin of Species. London: John Murray. 14. Generelle Morphologie der Organismen : allgemeine Grundzüge der organischen Formen - Wissenschaft, mechanisch begründet durch die von Charles Darwin reformirte Descendenz - Theorie.1866. Berlin: Druck und Verlag von Georg Reimer.


the Container (the physical manifestation of the city), Content (people) and Function, defined as the relationship between container and content. Since the mid-20th century, ecology and urbanism have begun to converge, as people began to study the impact of urban phenomena on the planet. And now that the effects of climate change are being felt by people, cities and the planet as a whole, the integration of these two sciences, urbanism and ecology, is accelerating. Cerdà intuitively included in his theory multiple references to the idea of ​​the urban organism and the study of all the parts that compose it, as an advance of our modern Urban Ecology, which studies the city as an ecosystem. The science of urbanism is more alive than ever. In recent decades we have seen the largest urbanization process in history, in China and in Asian countries, and with the reforms of multiple cities in Europe, as well as the incipient urbanization processes in India and Africa. The development of ideas and writings that occurred over the span of a few years in the mid-19th century is now equally relevant again, 150 years later. Theories are written as revolutions are taking place, when people can catch a glimpse of the effects of the revolution in course. It happened in the 19th century, it happened in the 20th century and it should happen now that we can see what the post-digital world will be like. The most important challenges facing our global society are centered on how to tackle the problem of the growing social inequality caused by the concentration of wealth in just a few hands and the increasing numbers of people with limited resources, concentrated in urban areas, who have created immense areas of informal urbanization across the planet. The growing increase in migrations due to wars or political crises compounds this sense of social inequality, rooted in the economic, social or cultural spheres. At the same time, the relationship between man the natural environment, which was the source of scientific discoveries and progress in the mid-19th century, has generated an environmental crisis today, with the climate change produced by the growth of fossil fuel consumption throughout the 20th century. We see

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GENERAL THEORY OF URBANIZATION BY ILDEFONS CERDÀ

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Urbanization: The Science of Making Cities


T H E G EN ER A L T H E O RY O F U R B A N I Z AT I O N

INTRODUCTION2 Mercè Conesa, President of the Diputació de Barcelona CERDÀ: UNIVERSAL AND CONTEMPORARY Damià Calvet, Director of the Institut Català del Sòl (Catalan Land Institute)

4

URBANIZATION: THE SCIENCE OF MAKING CITIES Vicente Guallart, Architect

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G ENERAL THEORY OF URBANIZATION 35 To the Reader49 Preface53

PART I 

ON URBANIZATION IN GENERAL – Introduction  BO OK I 

65

THE ORIGINS OF URBANIZATION – Preliminary Remarks

71

CHAPTER I THE NEED FOR SHELTER IS THE ORIGIN OF URBANIZATION

72

CHAPTER II MAN’S SOCIABILITY IS THE REASON FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF URBANIZATION

79

BO OK I I 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF URBANIZATION – Preliminary Remarks  CHAPTER I ELEMENTAL AND PRIMITIVE URBANIZATION – Preliminary Remarks

Index

37

83 85

General Theory of Urbanization


§–I HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS OF BASIC AND PRIMITIVE URBANIZATION

88

§ – II ANALYTICAL AND EPILOGICAL SUMMARY OF THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH 107 A Troglodytism B Natural Troglodytism 2B Artificial Troglodytism 2A Cyclopeanism B Semi-underground constructions 2B Aboveground constructions 3A Tegurism B The hunter’s hut 2B The shepherd’s cottage 3B The farmer’s farmhouse

108 108 108 109 109 110 111 112 113 114

CHAPTER II SIMPLE COMBINED URBANIZATION – Preliminary Remarks

117

§–I ON SIMPLE, HOMOGENEOUS URBAN COMBINATIONS

119

A On simple and homogeneous urban combinations adapted to the customs  and necessities of a tribe of shepherds 2A On simple, homogeneous urban combinations adapted to the customs and needs of a farming tribe 3A On simple, homogeneous urban combinations adapted to the customs and necessities of a tribe of craftsmen and merchants 4A On simple, homogeneous urban combinations adapted to the customs and necessities adapted to the customs and necessities of a hunter or warrior tribe Epilogical Summary of this Section § – II HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF SIMPLE BUT HOMOGENEOUS URBAN COMBINATIONS A Installation of the colony and the idea of ​​its settlement 2A The natural and spontaneous connection of dwellings 3A Combining efforts for the common defense 4A Development of the constructions 5A Emigration and transcendental life of the colony § – III DISTINCTIVE TRAITS OF COMPOUND URBANIZATION AND ITS ADVANTAGES A 2A 3A 4A

Harmony between family independence and sociability in ruralized urbanization Neutralization of the effects of fortification as a result of ruralized urbanization Absolute freedom in construction without detriment to third parties in ruralized urbanization Urban prosperity of our colony as a result of ruralized urbanization

119 121 125 129 133 135 136 138 141 142 144 146 148 149 150 151


CHAPTER III ON THE DIFFERENT URBAN COMBINATIONS, PRACTICED ACCORDING TO THE CHARACTER, CUSTOMS AND NEEDS OF CERTAIN PEOPLES – Preliminary Remarks

155

§ – I A RETROSPECTIVE LOOK AT SIMPLE COMBINED URBANIZATION, CONSIDERED IN ITS TRANSITION TOWARD COMPLEX URBANIZATION

157

§ – II GREEK URBANIZATION

168

§ – III PHOENICIAN URBANIZATION

178

§ – IV ROMAN URBANIZATION

181

A Roman urbanization, considered in its Etruscan origin 2A Ruralized character of the original Roman urbanization 3A Causes and effects of the later densification 4A Roman urbanization in the Roman provinces

181 187 189 192

§ – V FEUDAL URBANIZATION A Period of transition 2A Feudal urbanization in full operation

196 196 198

§ – VI SPANISH-ARABIAN URBANIZATION

200

§ – VII HISPANIC-AMERICAN URBANIZATION

204

Epilogical Summary of this Chapter 

208 BO OK I I I 

AN ANALYTICAL EXAMINATION OF THE CURRENT STATE OF URBANIZATION – Preliminary Remarks

215

CHAPTER I DIFFERENT TYPES OF URBS AND THE TYPE WE WILL FOCUS ON HERE – Preliminary Remarks

217

§ – I AQUATIC URBS

219

A Aquatic urbs where dwellings and streets are on water 2A Urbs where only dwellings are on water, and the roads are on dry land 3A Urbs that are aquatic in terms of their roads, but where dwellings are on dry land

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219 221 221

General Theory of Urbanization


§ – II TERRESTRIAL URBS

223

A Underground or troglodyte urbs 2A Urbs with dwellings raised above ground level 3A Urbs that are truly terrestrial in terms of both roads and dwellings  CHAPTER II MAIN AND ACCESSORY PARTS INTO WHICH THE LAND ON WHICH AN URBS IS LOCATED CAN BE DIVIDED

227

§ – I ON THE REGION

229

A On the region in relation to the settlement of an urbs B On regions located on the crest of a hill C On regions located on the pronounced, well-defined crest of a hill 2C On regions located on a plateau 2B On regions located on a hillside 3B On regions located in lowlands C On regions located in lowlands with a stream 2C On regions located in lowlands with a navigable river 3C On urban regions near the sea 2A On the region viewed as the sphere of influence of the urbs  § – II ON THE SUBURBS A History of the formation of the suburbs B Suburbs built because of the attraction of roads 2B Urban industrial suburbs or appendages, which can be found in all large urbs, and even in a few that could not be described as large but which are relatively important, are different 3B Suburbs shaped by administrative reasons 4B On suburbs built as a means of urban expansion 2A On the suburbs considered independently and in their relations with each other and with the urbs around which they are built B On the suburbs considered independently 2B On the suburbs in their relations with one another and with the urbs around which they are built § – III ON THE URBAN NUCLEUS A On the shape and size of urban nuclei B On the shape of urban nuclei 2B On the size of urban nuclei 2A On the boundaries of urban nuclei B On unbounded urban nuclei 2B On bounded urban nuclei C On natural boundaries 2C On artificial boundaries D On physical artificial boundaries 2D On artificial boundaries whether moral or imaginary

223 225 225

230 231 231 233 234 235 235 236 238 241 245 245 246 247 247 248 249 250 251 254 255 255 259 250 260 261 261 263 263 269


CHAPTER III AN ANALYTICAL STUDY OF THE URBS – Preliminary Remarks

275

§ – I ON URBAN ROADS OR STREETS

277

A Layout of the streets B On the layout of urban roads or streets C On the horizontal layout D On the horizontal layout of urban roads, considered globally, as the starting point and terminus of the larger universal roadways 2D The horizontal layout of urban roads, considered independently 3D The horizontal layout of urban roads, with respect to their junctions and crossroads 2C On the vertical layout of urban roads D Development of the vertical layout of urban roads, considered independently 2D Irregularities in the vertical layout as compared to the horizontal layout 2B The transverse profile of urban roads C On the width of urban roads 2C Transverse slope of urban roads 3C Form and distribution of the transverse profile 3B Paving of urban roads or streets 4B Underground (subsoil) C Drainage of rainwater and water for domestic and industrial use 2C Fresh water supply systems 3C Gas pipes for public and private lighting and electrical wiring for urbanization 5B Above ground (suprasoil) 6B Lateral and upper limits of urban roads or streets C On the lateral façades that border on urban roads, considered from the standpoint of their horizontal projection in plan along the length of the road 2C On the lateral façades, considered in their vertical section transverse to the street 3C On the upper boundaries of the street 2A On urban roads or streets, considered fromthe point of view of their origin and destination B On transcendental urban roads or streets 2B On strictly urban roads 3B On private urban roads 4B The connections between these different roads, within a single category, and from one to another C On the connections between transcendental roads 2C On the connections between strictly urban roads 3C On the connections between private roads 4C Examination of the peculiar appearance resulting from the combination of these three road systems, which constitute the urban road network

277 278 278 279 282 286 290 291 294 297 297 300 301 302 308 308 312 314 315 319 321 324 328 332 335 338 340 340 342 347 348 349

§ – II ON THE INTERVIAS OR SPACES ENCLOSED BY URBAN ROADS335 A On the intervias as a whole, and as the site for a small urbs B On the isolation of the intervias and the means that establish it C Transcendental circulation areas 2C Local area or perimeter road around the intervias 3C Perimeter enclosure

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358 358 359 360 362

General Theory of Urbanization


2B Effects and results of this isolation C Form of the intervias 2C Size of the intervias 3C Position of the intervias 4C Orientation of the intervias 2A How the intervias are split B On splitting the intervias by means of interior roads C On the interior roads of the intervias, which run from one point to another along the periphery 2C On the internal roads of the intervias, which penetrate into them but do not cross through to another point on the periphery 3C Connections between interior roads and exterior roads 2B On the division of the intervias by means of building plots § – III ON THE PLOT, CONSIDERED AS THE SITE FOR A HOUSE A On the means of isolating the plot and its effects B Form of the plot 2B Size of the plot 3B Position of the plot 4B Orientation of the plot 2A On how plots are split

363 363 364 365 367 368 369 370 372 373 374 377 379 380 381 381 382 382

§ – IV ON THE FLOOR PLAN OF THE HOUSE388 A On the plan of the house as a whole and as the site for the small-scale urbs/house 2A On the divisions to which the floor plan of the house is subject

388 390

§ – V ON THE HOUSE UNDERSTOOD AS THE FAMILY DWELLING – IN OTHER WORDS, THE ELEMENTAL URBS392 A On the simple or detached house/dwelling B On the means, conditions and circumstances of isolation C On the isolating area 2C Conditions of the isolating and surrounding wall 2B On the distribution of the isolated area C Spaces destined to transit in the detached house D Transcendental roads in the detached house 2D Local roads around the detached house E On the layout and natural lighting of domestic routes, considered independently 2E On the layout of domestic roads in detached houses from the point of view of their meeting points and mutual links 2C Living spaces D Rooms destined to the service of the collective E Rooms dedicated to sustenance 2E Rooms dedicated to cleanliness 3E Rooms for social gatherings 4E Auxiliary quarters in the domestic network 2D Quarters intended for individual living areas

396 397 398 399 400 401 401 402 403 404 405 407 407 408 409 411 411


3B Subsoil, soil, roof and air space of the house C On the subsoil of the house 2C On the floor of the house 3C On the roof and ceiling of the house D On the roof of the house: its exterior structure 2D On the ceiling of the house 4C On the open volume of the house 4B Openings created or maintained in elevation, both interior and exterior 2A On a simple combined house 3A On housing, in complex combination 4A On the fragmentation of the dwelling or the confused combination of houses

412 413 414 416 417 419 420 422 425 431 433

§ – VI URBAN INDICATOR, OR, IN OTHER WORDS, A CATALOG OF THE CONVENTIONAL DIVISIONS, NAMES, MEDIA AND SIGNS USED TO EXPRESS, DISTINGUISH AND DESIGNATE URBAN GROUPS AS A WHOLE, AS WELL AS EACH OF THEIR PARTS443 A On the names of urban settlements, their divisions and the names used to designate the parts resulting  from those divisions 445 B On the names corresponding to the greater urban settlement 445 2B On the names corresponding to suburbs 447 3B On the names corresponding to urbs taken on the whole 449 C On the common or generic names for urbs 450 D Customary meanings of the common or generic names for urbs 451 2D Origin and etymology of the generic or common names of urbs 456 2C On the proper names of urbs 483 D On the proper names of urbs, with origins in their foundation 485 2D On the proper names of urbs, stemming from the topography 490 3D On the proper names of urbs, stemming from historical, political, agricultural, or industrial considerations or importance 491 2A On the divisions adopted in urban areas and names and signs used to distinguish and denote  each of the parts 494 B On the divisions, names and numbers referring to an urban enclosure 496 2B On the divisions, names and numbers referring to urban roads 502 C On the transverse divisions of urban roads and the names they are given 504 2C On the divisions of the urban road network in the longitudinal sense, and on the numbers and names with which the resulting parts are distinguished 507 D On the divisions to which roads are subject along their lengths 507 2D On the names corresponding to streets 510 E On the names of streets 510 2E On the proper names or individual names of streets 515 F On street names, from the standpoint of their meaning or object 516 G On street names with an absolute meaning 516 2G On street names with a relative meaning 520 2F On the proper names or individual names of streets, according to their origins 522 G On the proper names of street derived from popular use 522 2G On street names with their origins in the administration 525 3F On the attempts made recently by some administrations to systematize the nomenclature of streets. 527

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General Theory of Urbanization


3D On the names of the elements that are complementary to circulation, and features of the roads 3B On the divisions, names and symbols of the intervias 4B On the names and numbers associated with houses and their divisions C Concerning generic names for the house 2C On the signs used to differentiate one house from another and to individualize them D The history of the signing of houses E The first period of signing – individualism and symbolic signs 2E Second period of signing – the authorities and numbering 2D Most recent systems of numbering and denomination: advantages and disadvantages 3C Concerning the names and signs of the various divisions of the house as a whole and in detail D Concerning the names of the various superimposed layers of the house 2D Concerning the names and indications of the rooms making up the home 3D Concerning the names and indications of the access routes and all other auxiliary parts of the house relating to access, light and ventilation § – VII THE LAWS OF URBAN FUNCTION A On urban function, in relation to the intervias B On urban function, from the standpoint of an individual’s own quarters 2B On urban function, considered from the standpoint of the family home 3B On urban function, from the standpoint of the apartment building with respect to the different families that occupy it 2A On urban function, from the standpoint of roads B On urban functions and roads and in the longitudinal sense C On the function in the longitudinal sense of the road on the part of pedestrians 2C Urban functions occurring in the longitudinal sense of the road on the part of horses 2B On urban function from the standpoint of roads, and in the transverse sense C On urban function in the transversal sense of the street, limited to the sidewalk 2C On urban function in the transverse sense of the street, as it affects the carriageway 3C On the urban function in the transverse direction of the street, when crossing from one side to the other 3B On urban function in the road and in the places where longitudinal and transverse movements occur simultaneously 3A External urban function B On the external urban function, from the standpoint of the material necessities of the community 2B On external urban function, corresponding to expansion and communication C On exterior urban function, whose purpose is recreation and leisure 2C On external urban function, whose purpose is communication 4A On the function of the administration in the urbs B On the function of the administration in the streets C On the function of the administration at ground level 2C On the function of the administration under ground 3C On the function of the administration above ground B On the function of the administration in the intervias 3B On the function of the administration in places and purposes related to proper service of the population or residents of the urbs C On the function of the administration with regard to public hygiene 2C On the function of the administration in places and purposes related to the domestic economy

531 534 535 535 538 538 539 541 545 547 548 549 551 554 557 558 560 563 569 570 571 575 578 580 588 591 593 600 600 602 602 603 605 606 607 608 609 614 616 617 620


3C On the administrative function, aimed at regularizing, protecting and harmonizing all other functions

623

BO OK IV 

HISTORICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL REASONS  FOR THE NATURE OF OUR CURRENT URBANIZATION – Preliminary Remarks

627

CHAPTER I ON THE FORMATION OF URBS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE NEEDS OF EACH AGE,  IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MEANS OF LOCOMOTION AVAILABLE – Preliminary Remarks

631

§ – I ON THE FORMATION OF URBS IN THE AGE OF PEDESTRIAN LOCOMOTION637 A 2A 3A 4A

On the formation of urban roads in the age of pedestrian locomotion On the formation of urban intervias in the age of pedestrian locomotion On the formation of the house in the age of pedestrian locomotion On the formation of the urbs as a whole in the age of pedestrian locomotion

638 641 646 648

§ – II ON THE FORMATION OF URBS IN THE AGE OF EQUESTRIAN LOCOMOTION652 A On the formation of roads in the age of equestrian locomotion 2A On the formation of the intervias in the age of equestrian locomotion B On the formation of the intervias of farming origin in the age of equestrian locomotion 2B On the formation of intervias of industrial origin in the age of equestrian locomotion 3B On the formation of intervias of trade origin in the age of equestrian locomotion 4B On the formation of intervias of military origin in the age of equestrian locomotion 3A On the formation of houses in the age of equestrian locomotion 4A On the formation of the urbs as a whole in the age of equestrian locomotion

652 656 657 658 658 659 659 661

§ – III ON THE FORMATION OF URBS IN THE AGE OF LOCOMOTION BY DRAGGING A On the formation of urban roads in the age of locomotion by dragging 2A On the formation of intervias in the age of locomotion by dragging 3A On the formation of houses in the age of locomotion by dragging 4A On the formation of the urbs as a whole in the age of locomotion by dragging

665 666 667 667

§ – IV ON THE FORMATION OF URBS IN THE AGE OF WHEELED LOCOMOTION668 A On the formation of urban roads in the age of wheeled locomotion B On the formation of urban roads in the age of wheeled locomotion, related to their horizontal layout 2B On the formation of urban roads in the age of wheeled locomotion, related to their vertical layout 3B On the formation of urban roads in the age of wheeled locomotion, related to their width and its distribution 2A On the formation of the intervias in the age of wheeled locomotion 3A On the formation of the house in the age of wheeled locomotion 4A On the formation of the urbs as a whole in the age of wheeled locomotion

Index

45

669 670 670 671 673 673 675

General Theory of Urbanization


CHAPTER II THE RENOVATIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE URBS IN THE TRANSITION FROM ONE AGE TO ANOTHER – Preliminary Remarks

677

§ – I ON THE RENOVATIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE URBS IN THE TRANSITION FROM PEDESTRIAN TO EQUESTRIAN LOCOMOTION680 A The renovations and transformations of urban roads in the transition from pedestrian  to equestrian locomotion B The renovations and transformations of the horizontal layout of urban streets in the first transition 2B On the renovations and transformations of the vertical layout of urban streets in the first transition 3B On the renovations and transformations of the width, distribution and other features placed on urban roads in the first transition 2A On the renovations and transformations of the intervias in the transition from the pedestrian  to the equestrian age 3A On the renovations and transformations of the house in the transition from pedestrian  to equestrian locomotion 4A On the renovations and transformations of the urbs as a whole in the transition from pedestrian  to equestrian locomotion §–II ON THE RENOVATIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE URBS IN THE TRANSITION FROM EQUESTRIAN TO WHEELED LOCOMOTION A On the renovations and transformations of the urbs in the first period of the transition from equestrian  to wheeled locomotion B On the changes and transformations of the urban roads in the first period of the transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion C On the renovations and transformations of the horizontal layout of urban roads in that transition period 2C On the renovations and transformations of the vertical layout of urban roads in that transition period 3C On the renovations and transformations of the width, distribution and other features placed on the roads in that transition period 2B On the changes and transformations of the urban intervias in the first period of the transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion 3B On the renovations and transformations of the house in the first period of transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion 4B On the renovations and transformations of the urbs as a whole in the first period of transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion 2A On the renovations and transformations of the urbs in the second period of transition from equestrian  to wheeled locomotion ON THE INTRODUCTION OF WHEELED LOCOMOTION INTO THE URBS B On the renovations and transformations of urban roads in the second period of the transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion C On the renovations and transformations of the horizontal layout in the second period 2C On the renovations and transformations related to the vertical layout in the second period

680 681 682 682 685 686 688

690 691 693 694 694 695 697 697 699 701 703 706 706 708


3C On the renovations and transformations related to the width, distribution and other features placed on the road in that second period D On the renovations related to the width of urban roads 2D On the renovations related to the layout, shape and surface of urban roads. 3D On all the other features placed on the road 2B On the renovations and transformations of the intervias in the second period of transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion 3B On the renovations and transformations of the house in the second period of transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion 4B On the renovations and transformations of the urbs as a whole in the first period of transition from equestrian to wheeled locomotion 3A On the economic means used to carry out urban renewal CHAPTER III ON THE RENOVATIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS MADE TO THE URBS IN PREPARATION FOR THE TRANSITION FROM THE AGE OF ORDINARY WHEELED LOCOMOTION TO THAT OF ADVANCED WHEELED LOCOMOTION

709 710 715 717 718 720 720 723

727

END OF VOLUME I

Acknowledgements735 Credits736

Index

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General Theory of Urbanization


TO THE READER

Having been born in the first third of this century, at a time when Spanish society still seemed attached to its old habits of quietism, I remember how deeply impressed I was by the applications of steam power in industry when, at a very young age, I first witnessed them in Barcelona. Some time later, after having traveled on sailboats on more than one occasion, I took a short trip on a steamboat. I have never forgotten how surprised I was, then too, to see a steam engine – which I had previously observed as part of a special machine, elevated and attached to a stationary floor, providing power to a litany of other machines also standing immobile in one place – freed from the need for stability. Neither the engine, nor the objects it was meant to operate, nor even the medium in which all these objects were moving, were immobile: the engine, the mechanism, the objects, and even the medium all moved at once, creating a system for locomotion that was more powerful, safer, faster and more convenient than any that had previously been known. Some time later, in 1844, a few years after graduating from the School of Civil Engineering, when I had taken up the pursuit of reflection, after completing some studies in social philosophy, I took a trip to the south of France where I first witnessed the practical applications of steam power in terrestrial locomotion. I was taken aback yet a third time, which brought back the memories of the previous two occasions. By then, I understood steam power and how it worked, both in theory and in practice. I had seen the effects of its propulsive power on a ship, and I was also familiar with locomotive engines and how they worked on trains, although only from a theoretical standpoint and thanks to the efforts of my dutiful instructors. As such, nothing about the concept could have surprised me then. The feeling I experienced in that moment, therefore, had to have another cause derived from a different source. What surprised me then, although I had imagined it many times, was the sight of those long trains where, sometimes in addition to large quantities of freight, scores of people of all sexes, ages and statuses could travel all together – seemingly an entire town on the move, rapidly transported from one place to another. After the natural surprise elicited by this grand spectacle, new to me at the time, my thoughts turned to the highest considerations of a social order, particularly after

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noting the difficulties faced by these droves of unexpected guests upon entering through the narrow gates, scattering across the cramped streets, and seeking shelter in the paltry homes common in older settlements. The observations which I had the opportunity to make over and again during those travels called to mind my two previous impressions, caused by the same agent in its different applications, and led me to reflect back on the days of my childhood, when society seemed motionless. Then, as I compared one period with the other, customs with customs, and elements with elements, I realized that the applications of steam power for travel had signaled the end of an era for humanity and the beginning of another. It became clear to me, then, that we are in the throes of a true transition – a period that may vary in its duration, depending on the characteristics of the struggle that is underway between the past with its traditions, the present with its interests, and the future with its noble aspirations and its new beginnings. There can be no doubt about the outcome of this struggle, I thought to myself. The coming era with its new elements, whose uses and predominance are spreading every day into new applications, will eventually usher in a new, robust and fertile civilization, which will radically transform how humanity lives and works – along with the industrial order, and the economy, and the political and social spheres – and it will eventually take possession of the entirety of the globe. I could see it coming on full titl, this new civilization knocking at our door. Its first incursions were already being felt in big cities which, due to the nature and circumstances of the battle that had begun, would necessarily serve as the field of operations for this titanic struggle between two civilizations fighting for global domination. And I was convinced, of course, after taking a cursory glance at those large population centers, that because of their organization, the product of bygone, largely passive civilizations, they would present difficulties and obstacles and hindrances to this new arrival, which requires and demands more space, greater comfort, and greater freedom for the unhindered exercise of the unusual movement and feverish activity that characterize it – obstacles and hindrances that this newcomer will not abide, that it will destroy before succumbing to a quietism that is incompatible with its constituent and essential elements. I assumed that others must have felt similarly to the way I did in those moments, and that some of them might have made the effort to engage in a philosophical study of the entire scope of the transformative influence that those great new elements of action and life, now accessible to the individual, would exercise at the heart of human society – especially in the large cities that recent civilization has placed at the center of social


life – and that, by publishing their conclusions, they would have advised governments to rapidly prepare the population for the new order of things that was slowly but evidently emerging. And so I examined the catalogs of all the national and foreign libraries, intending to put together a compendium of all the books that had been written on the matter. To my surprise, however, I found that nothing, absolutely nothing, had been written on this question of such a profound magnitude and importance. Right then I had the initial idea of devoting to this matter all of the time that my position as a government engineer would allow me to dedicate to it, in order to gather data and acquire knowledge that might shed some light on this incredibly important issue. That first step, the scope of which I did not grasp in those initial moments of excitement, and which I have never regretted, was what decided the fate of the rest of my life. My initial research on the demands of this new civilization, whose distinctive features are movement and communication, and comparing those demands with what could be offered to satisfy them by our old cities, where everything is narrow and cramped, gave me a glimpse of new, immense, expanded horizons, a whole new world for science, toward which I resolved to set my course at any cost. The discoveries I made each day during that voyage of scientific exploration sparked my curiosity, encouraged me, and infused me with new strength to carry on in spite of the obstacles I often encountered. Recognizing, however, that the colossal undertaking I had begun, assuming it did not in fact exceed the capabilities of a single individual, at least demanded the dedication of all my time, all my faculties – and therefore pursuing it was incompatible with any other serious occupation – I decided (in 1849) to make a sacrifice in pursuit of the idea of urbanization. I came this resolution, which I would not describe as heroic but which I might be permitted to call earnest, guided mainly by the emergence not of a new element, because I am referring to electricity, which was already well known, but a new application for this powerful element which, in the hands of the new civilization and given the potential for a wealth of other applications still unknown today, was sure to act as a catalyst and thus hasten the course of the transformation that was so forcefully initiated by the applications of steam power. I will confess, candidly, that the sacrifice which seemed the hardest during that crisis in my life, and which really affected me the most, was the loss of my career that I had worked so hard to build and which held so much promise for me. And yet I sacrificed it without hesitation, in order to be left entirely unburdened and independent, without

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any hindrance to stand in my way, without any consideration that might run counter to my purpose, without any obstacle to hamper my pursuit, now unstoppable, of the study of urbanization. And so it is that, since that time, my entire fortune, my influence, all my waking hours, all my comforts, all my affections have gone to support the realization of my idea – and even my reputation in society, since my behavior and my devotion have earned me the harshest rebukes from censorship both public and private, which is what has most embittered my existence over the past 10 years. I will not delve into all these sacrifices, since it is enough to mention them in passing for them to be understood, and they have always seemed small compared to the magnitude of the highly humanitarian aim to which I aspire; I deem them all well made (I would have made more had I been able), and I feel completely satisfied by the generous reception and effective protection which the senior advisory bodies and H.M.’s government have offered at all times to my humble work. And today when, by virtue of a provision approved by the Courts and sanctioned by H.M., this work becomes part of the public domain, the public will be called upon to issue its supreme and final verdict, which I await, not only with resignation, but with a certain impatience, since it will decide whether 20 consecutive years of sleepless nights have succeeded in producing something that, in the area of practical applications, may be useful to humanity, since that has been and is the ultimate goal of all my aspirations.


PREFACE

It is an obvious and glaring fact that human society has been subject for some time to a dull and profound unrest, the effects of which should be a general disturbance in the established order – one of those cataclysms through which Providence allows humanity to take a small pause on its path to improvement, in order to return subsequently to its majestic advance with increased vigor and renewed energy. No one would dare deny this, which everyone recognizes. And yet, we have to repeat it insistently so that governments and the people do not forget it amid the ordinary hustle and bustle of life – so that they keep it at the top of their minds in order to prevent its effects, if possible, or to direct future actions and execute them successfully if those effects cannot be avoided. All thinkers from the different philosophical schools and sects who aspire to exert an influence in the scientific world have devoted themselves with more or less effort to searching for the origin of this ailment and to proposing the remedies that each in his conviction has believed to be the easiest to apply, with the most effective repercussions, and the most opportune. The truth is, however, that amid so many and such contradictory opinions, and although debates continue every day with increasing ardor, this social malady persists and is increasingly expanding, growing in extension and intensity every day. The reason lies in the fact that no one has discovered the true original and fundamental cause of the profound malaise that is besetting modern societies. Otherwise, if the true cause had been discovered, it is only natural and logical that the proper, effective, and heroic remedy would have been employed to eradicate the evil at its root. When I began my studies of our cities I never presumed that pursuing such a task would lead me to the possibility of shedding some light on this question, the most crucial and transcendental of questions that has ever been proposed to be resolved by science and governments. When I set out to observe the characteristics of human society and how it works when it is enclosed in large urban centers, in trying to understand the organism of those agglomerations – which seem simple, since the fact that we are familiar with them prevents us from perceiving their complexity – I found that it was concealed beneath a veil of mystery that had to be lifted. To understand and explain this organism, I was forced to engage in a profound analysis, a veritable anatomical dissection of each and

Preface

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This project has been in development for a long time, because we believed that it was worth translating the General Theory of Urbanization into English in its entirety to disseminate this pioneering work on the science of cities by Ildefons Cerdà, following on his desire to share what he had learned at a time when he was also promoting the physical development of Barcelona’s Eixample. Many people and institutions have collaborated to make this possible.

First of all, we would like to recognize the support we received from the outset for the project from the Diputació de Barcelona, which Cerdà presided over from 1873 to 1874. We also owe our thanks to the Generalitat de Catalunya, through Incasol, which is doing important work centered on the New Urban Agenda, and which promotes the sustainable development of our territory. In addition, the CCCB, a benchmark in the debate on the contemporary city, helped to structure the presentation of the project.

We would also like to thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for their collaboration on the project and their efforts to promote collaborative networks between cities around the world with the aim of promoting urban progress.

We would also like to thank Joan Busquets, a city planner and professor at the UPC and Harvard GSD, who spearheaded the publication of several of Cerdà’s texts by the Barcelona City Council in the 1990s, for his vision on Cerdà’s work. Our thanks also go to Joan Roca, director of the Museum of the History of Barcelona for providing his historical viewpoint, to the geographer Francesc Muñoz, who studied the statistical data from the second volume of the Theory some years ago, and to Fernando Marzá, director of the Archive at the Architect’s Association (CoAC) and co-curator of the 2009 exhibition Cerdà, 150 Years of Modernity. I would also like to thank Matteo Robiglio, a professor at the Politecnico di Torino, who helped with the research on pioneers in the urban phenomenon. I would also like to recognize the work done by all those who preceded us in researching Ildefons Cerdà, from the first re-edition of the Theory 50 years ago, led by Fabián Estapé, to the engineers, historians, geographers, sociologists and architects who have contributed to disseminating and interpreting his work in recent decades.

I would like to thank the students and professors from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and the Higher School of Economics who have helped, in the context of different educational and research programs, in studying the historical context of the work and in bringing Cerdà into the present.

I would like to thank the translator Angela Kay Bunning for working tirelessly to translate the complicated 19th-century Spanish language into contemporary English, and Anne Ludlow and Graham Thomson for their collaboration in this immense task. The work in translating the statistical data from the second volume into interactive graphs done by Pablo Martínez and Mar Santamaría and their team at 300,000 km/s, architects who are experts in data visualization, has also been fundamental. The website urbanization.org provides access to this work, as well as future projects related to the science of making cities. The design and publication of the first volume was done by the team at Actar Publishers, led by Ramon Prat, with whom we have developed a number of editorial projects. I would also like to thank the members of the Board of Directors at IAAC for their support and Laia Pifarré for coordinating all the operations to make this project possible.

Acknowledgements

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General Theory of Urbanization


Original title Teoría General de la Urbanización Ildefonso Cerdá, 1867 Author Ildefonso Cerdá

Edited by IAAC – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Pujades 102, Baixos 08005 Barcelona www.iaac.net In association with Diputació de Barcelona Generalitat de Catalunya. Incasol CCCB With the collaboration of Bloomberg Philanthropies Co-editor Actar Curator edition Vicente Guallart Master Research IAAC Marta Milà Project Coordinator Laia Pifarré Essay Vicente Guallart Translations Angela Kay Bunning With the collaboration of: Anne Ludlow Graham Thomson Data visualization Pablo Martínez Mar Santamaría André Resende, 300,000 km/s Urbanization.org coordination: Honorata Grzesikowska Graphic Design & Digital Production Actar All rights reserved © of the edition, Actar Publishers, 2018 © of the texts, their authors © of the graphics, their authors

Printed and Bound in Spain ISBN 978-1-945150-90-6 PCN 2017961843 A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., USA. Distribution Actar D Inc. New York 440 Park Ave. South, 17th Fl New York, NY 10016 T +1 212 966 2207 F +1 212 966 2214 salesnewyork@actar-d.com Barcelona Roca i Batlle 2 08023 Barcelona T +34 933 282 183 eurosales@actar-d.com This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in other ways, and storage in data banks. For any kind of use, permission from the copyright owners must be obtained.


In 1867, with the Industrial Revolution well underway, the engineer Ildefons Cerdà, author of the Plan for the Reform and Extension of Barcelona, published his General Theory of Urbanization. It was the first book in history in which the process of designing and building cities was systematically analyzed and defined as a science. In it, Cerdà coined the term urbanization, defined as “the set of principles, doctrines and rules that should be applied so that buildings and their conglomerations, as opposed to constricting, distorting and corrupting the physical, moral and intellectual faculties of social humans, can help promote their development and vitality thereby improving individual wellbeing, the sum total of which constitutes public prosperity.”   Today, in the midst of the digital revolution, at a time when the urbanization of the planet is still in full swing and we are facing new collective challenges, we are presenting the first full English translation of the Theory and publishing its statistical analyses in graphs and interactive maps on the open data platform urbanization.org. Vicente Guallart, editor

General Theory ofUrban ization 1867 Ildefons Cerdà

General Theory of Urbanization 1867 Ildefons Cerdà

GENERAL THEORY OF URBANIZATION 1867. Ildefons Cerdà  

First translation into English on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publication of the General Theory of Urbanization by Ildefons...

GENERAL THEORY OF URBANIZATION 1867. Ildefons Cerdà  

First translation into English on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publication of the General Theory of Urbanization by Ildefons...

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