Competition 2016: Shortlisted in the category Research

Geographies of Innovation

300.000 Km/s, 2015
Area Planning Knowledge Medium Information Visualization Cartography, urban data analysis Type Research Contract

"The research ?Geographies of Innovation? aims to define what form innovation takes in urban areas, exploring spatial relations between innovative initiatives to identify success stories and potential knowledge transfer. The research examines specifically the necessary urban conditions to promote innovation, the relations established between innovative initiatives, the urban morphology of Barcelona's ecosystem and the transference of knowledge between different areas of the city.

As evidenced from the analysis and visualization, one of the strengths of Barcelona's model is the apparently uniform distribution of innovation facilities throughout the city. Urban and environmental conditions (compactness, good communication, cheap rentals, diversity of local services, etc.) have a decisive impact on the location of innovative initiatives giving rise to contrasting economic models.

Another significant finding of the research -emerging from the possibility to cross several public datasets from the Open Data Service of Barcelona City Council, the General Directorate for Cadastre, Google Places and Flickr with a database of the top 700 innovative initiatives in the city- is that environmental and morphological factors configure three different spatial models: line, network and centre.

Finally, the most relevant conclusion of the research is the fact that a diverse and compact urban fabric enables a positive transference of innovation and knowledge to different parts of the city. The data and analysis in this research are intended to help drive evidence-based decisions on which companies and industries should invest in Barcelona ?and other similar cities- and how planning and policy-making can augment this process. It looks at the research landscape underlying the urban landscape, highlighting opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and economic development."



  • Santamaria-Varas, Mar 300.000 Km/s
  • Martinez-Diez, Pablo 300.000 Km/s

Project Partner

The research 'Geographies of Innovation' has been developed by 300.000 Km/s for the Barcelona City Council, under the direction of Vicente Guallart (former chief architect).