The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has been glad to participate in the 2022 Acadia Conference with “Computer-aided Ecological Connectivity, for Urban Design within Climate Change Adaptation” a paper submitted by Mathilde Marengo, IAAC Head of Studies and Iacopo Neri, Computational urban design expert and IAAC Faculty.

The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) is an international network of digital design researchers and professionals that facilitates the critical investigations into the role of computation in architecture, planning, and building science, encouraging innovation in design creativity, sustainability, and education.

The ACADIA conference, which has been held this year at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design in Philadelphia last October 27th and 28th, featured peer-reviewed, juried, and curated content, as well as keynotes and panel discussions. Among them, IAAC participated with the work of Mathilde Marengo and Iacopo Neri through a video presentation. This year theme, “Hybrids & Haecceities”, seeks novel approaches to design and research that dissolve binary conditions and inherent hierarchies in order to embrace new modes of practice.


Today, cities represent one of the main threats to fine ecological balances. One of the issues that arise from this condition is landscape fragmentation.


But how can nature and ecology have an operative voice in urban design and planning?


“Computer-aided ecological connectivity, for urban design within climate change adaptation” develop a methodology, fostering widely accessible environmental and urban datasets, to enable designers to design cities together with nature as an active partner, responding to the issues provoked by landscape fragmentation by enhancing ecological connectivity, towards climate change adaptation.

Taking Barcelona as case study, the paper discusses an experimental computer-aided methodology for design and planning processes that detects and amplifies potential and beneficial connections between urban and forest areas, fostering environmental data, in order to design cities engaging with nature as an active partner in the process. The proposed data-driven methodology uses computational logics exploited in environmental studies to foresee ecological patterns for design and validation purposes.