Imagine a city where you can freely roam the streets without the fear of getting hit by a car?

In Barcelona, they seem to have found the solution with Superblocks. Superblocks (superilles in Catalan), a concept developed by Salvador Rueda, director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona.

What is a Superblock?

According to Rueda, a Superblock is defined by a grid of nine blocks where the main mobility happens on the roads around the outside the Superblock, and the roads within the Superblock are for local transit only. The one-way system inside the Superblock makes it impossible to cut through to the other side of the Superblock. That gives neighbours access to their garages and parking spaces but keeps the Superblock clear of through traffic.

Pretty cool, right?

The superblocks aim to address the following purposes:

  • More sustainable mobility
  • Revitalization of public spaces
  • Promotion of biodiversity and urban green
  • Promotion of urban social fabric and social cohesion
  • Promoting self-sufficiency in the use of resources
  • Integration of governance processes

Superblock might just be the key to reclaim public space that people lost over the last century. Hopefully we can make it happen in Australia too.