Reimagining our cities

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City from above

How trees, forests and wood can become the backbone for sustainable and resilient cities will be discussed in Barcelona from 4-7 October, with a programme of exciting events.

For the first time in human history, globally, we have more people living in cities than in rural areas. Cities already account for more than 80% of global economic output, consume close to two-thirds of the world’s energy, and account for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cities represent our greatest challenges - but also offer the greatest opportunities for change.

On 6 October, Biocities: placing nature and people at the centre of the urban environment offers an international science-policy-practice dialogue on the transformative potential of trees, forests, wood (and other biomaterials) to rethink the built environment. The seminar  follows on from discussions co-hosted by Ursula von der Leyen in June 2022 at the Vatican City, and the launch of Toward Re-Entanglement: A Charter for the City and the Earth. Speakers at the scientific seminar include architects, urban forestry experts, health experts, landscape architects and policymakers.


From 1-9 October the "Mass is more" installation brings the innovation of mass timber construction to the Mies Van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. The project, designed by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Bauhaus Earth, shows how the use of wood and other regenerative materials can help reduce the high CO2 emissions that are associated with the construction industry. On 4 October "Mass is more" will also host the launch of MASS MADERA, a network of Spanish pioneers in industrialized solid wood construction.

The events are part of a programme of activities in 2022, including the European Forest Institute’s Annual Conference, which celebrate Barcelona as the European Forest City. This title is awarded each year by the European Forest Institute.

The initiative is supported by the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB), Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Generalitat de Catalunya and research centres - IAAC, CTFC, CREAF and the Parc de Belloch.

More information

Biocities: placing nature and people at the centre of the urban environment takes place at the Museum of Design on 6 October, from 9.30-17.00.

The event will be livestreamed: and recording will be made available later on the EFI YouTube channel.


Photo: - ikuday