OMINA Cities Seminar

Transportation is the biggest air pollutant in the world’s urban centers. In some cases, this type of air pollution has become so harmful that it’s healthier to stay indoors than to ride a bicycle down the road for one hour. It is time to reassess mobility in urban areas and find means to reduce the emissions produced by transportation.


During three days in November 2018, we held the OMINA Cities Seminar in San José, Costa Rica. Our keynote speaker, the Spanish urban ecologist Salvador Rueda, has developed a comprehensive system of urban mobility and public space to counteract pollution and the energy demand of modern cities. His proposals are already in place in cities such as Barcelona, Quito, and Buenos Aires, with impressive social and environmental results.


More than 250 attendees per day – and many others virtually – took part in this amazing learning experience that concluded with a compelling call to action: architects, urban planners, property developers, government representatives, social entrepreneurs, teachers and concerned citizens all signed their adherence to the principles of ecosystemic urbanism, committing their professional practice to the principles of sustainability and inclusion.


Salvador Rueda studied Biological Sciences and Psychology and has a degree in Environmental Engineering and Energy Management. He presides the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona, Spain, since its foundation in 2000, and he has been a member of the European Union Experts Committee on Urban Environment (DGXI). Rueda has developed projects in the following areas: strategic and urban planning; town planning; urban green; mobility; public space; urban metabolism (energy, water, air pollution, noise and waste); and social cohesion. Rueda has recently coordinated the Urban Mobility Plan of Barcelona, Spain; ​​the Urban Regeneration Plan of the Historic Center of Quito, Ecuador; the Design Manual of Public Space for Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Urban Plan for the extension of Greater Moscow, Russia; and the Evaluation of the Urban Master Plan for a neighborhood in Toulouse, France. His work has been published by the most prestigious international media, universities, and research institutes.


Rueda develops urban projects that conceive of the city as an ecosystem in which we must act holistically. In his opinion, it is the lack of adequate organization and management that stops us from progressing into a more sustainable society. Rueda has developed the concept of “Superblocks” as an integral solution that unites urbanism and mobility planning. The concept’s objective is to reclaim the streets for the people by, among other things, limiting the presence of private vehicles in the public space.

Watch the Seminar

Day One

Opening Speech

Andrea Somma, OMINA Foundation CEO & Founder

Enrique Conde León

Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Spain in Costa Rica

Superblocks: Urban Mobility and Public Space Model

Salvador Rueda, Director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona

Eduardo Brenes

Viceminister of Public Works and Transport, Costa Rica

In conversation

Salvador Rueda & Tomás Martínez, Executive President of the National Institute of Housing and Urbanism, Costa Rica

Day Two

Day Two Welcoming

Andrea Somma, OMINA Foundation CEO & Founder

Alvaro Cedeño Molinari

Costa Rican Ambassador at the World Trade Organization

The Challenges & Uncertainties of the 21st Century: Sustainability in the Information Era

Salvador Rueda, Director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona

Patricio Morera

Viceminister of Housing and Human Settlements, Costa Rica

In Conversation

Salvador Rueda & Tatiana Peralta Quirós, Advisor on Urban Mobility and Technology for the Costa Rican First Lady’s Office

Day Three

Celeste Lopez

Viceminister of Environment & Energy, Costa Rica

Andrea San Gil

Adviser on Urban Mobility and Sustainability for the Costa Rican First Lady’s Office

Day Three Welcoming

Andrea Somma, OMINA Foundation CEO & Founder

La Carta de Barcelona: Charter for the Ecosystemic Planning of Cities & Metropolises

Salvador Rueda, Director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona

Call to Action

Signing of La Carta de Barcelona by the attendees of OMINA Cities Seminar

Adhere to the principles of La Carta de Barcelona: Charter for designing new urban developments and regenerating existing ones!


Be part of the community, find the adhesion form here.

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