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Cerdá, Ildefonso (1815–76). Spanish Catalan architect. Born in Centellas, Barcelona, he studied civil engineering in Madrid (1835–41), and worked as an engineer for the State (1841–9). From 1849 he devoted himself to the theory of urbanization, and planned the expansion of Barcelona on a grid-iron plan (1859) intersected by two diagonal avenues, each block of the grid-iron having chamfered sides. Originally each block (c.100 metres square) was to be built up on two sides only, leaving a central green space, but as a result of increased land-values the remaining areas have been developed. Cerdá influenced Arturo Soria y Mata in his philosophy of ruralizing the city and urbanizing the countryside, and of integrating both, as in Soria y Mata's Linear City. He was the first to attempt to apply scientific principles to urban and rural planning, and was the author of the important Teoría general de la urbanización (1867). His work at Barcelona was the model for other Spanish city enlargements, including Madrid and Bilbao.
Soria y Puig (1979)