‘Blue bubbles’ to rejuvenate Catalan spring

Posted on: 27 March 2018 | By: Emma Squire

A series of exciting new developments is set to transform a historic modernist spring in Catalonia.

With the help of local stakeholders and students from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, BlueHealth researchers have developed a series of interventions to try and encourage use of the area leading to the spring at Can Moritz.

The study site chosen by the BlueHealth team is the ‘esplanade’, a space which local residents identified as in need of regeneration. Coinciding with the local council’s restoration of the site, the intervention will make use of existing natural materials in the area and create a path of ‘blue bubbles’ winding from the parking area to a newly installed bridge.

Generated as part of discussions with local residents, the bubbles will be made from logs painted in different shades of luminescent blue; encouraging children and adults to interact with different activities along the way.


A black and white map of the Can Mortiz area with blue path highlighted

A map of the area showing the trail of ‘blue bubbles’.

Local trees and bushes will also be planted throughout the site, including 20 almond trees to reflect the original foliage which grew in the area before urbanisation. Other areas will be cleared and picnic tables and bins also installed.

The BlueHealth team from ISGlobal and the Estonian University of Life Sciences will be assessing how ‘improving’ this blue space can affect people’s health and well-being. Impacts will be assessed using a series of questionnaires and observations both before and after completion of the intervention.

Dr Mireia Gascon, an environmental epidemiologist and the researcher leading the study, hopes their plans will bring local residents together and encourage them to use the space:

“It’s really exciting to see the space being rejuvenated after so long, and we hope it will lead to real improvements in the way local people value the area. Rubí residents are invited to come along and take part in the development and celebrate Earth Day on 22 April 2018. With the support of the local NGO Rubí d’Arrel, a range of activities will be available for all ages and abilities. Help us make this blue space beautiful again for generations to come!”

Read more about the Can Moritz project.


An architectural plan showing the distribution of plants along the Can Moritz site

A design plan showing new planting ideas