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The beautiful city of Barcelona is widely recognized for its city blocks that are neatly laid out over a simple grid of streets. Square pattern of each 113m x 113m replicates itself throughout the city, only occasionally disrupted by diagonal boulevards that cut across. The city blocks are also orientated 45 degrees toward East-West with a rather uniform height that are friendly to human scale and making sure daylight reaches all sides and the streets. Corners are then chamfered to make every intersection more open, versatile, and breathable – creating some sort of a plaza that celebrates public life on street. From a glance, one could easily read the city as a chessboard, with the famous Sagrada Familia positioned like a chess piece that command the city skyline, and the various avenues that connect city nodes seemingly suggesting chess pieces’ movement across the board. Perhaps more than that, it is a city planned like a game of chess, one that thinks 10 moves ahead. It is the Bar-chess-lona. It emphasizes on the criticality of systematic thinking behind city planning.

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