Observing cities as an ecological system has allowed researchers to understand the dynamic qualities which social interactions provides in maintaining function and health of cities. Initial research by Salvador Rueda has discovered that evaluating these interactions is most optimal through a ground up approach conducted at the pedestrian level. Through this bottom up approach, urban design and planning are able to understand how social interactions connects people to the infrastructure of the built environment.
Urban designers can utilize the Social Cohesion Tool to identify elements of urban; Infrastructure, Demographics, and Use. Within these categories both quantitative and qualitative measurements are recorded and visually arranged into secondary categories, which as a whole creates indicators of needs and or the quality of life in the city. As opposed to census or other large scale geospatial data, which homogenizes the entirety of the city as one. This approach allows designers to notice individuality of those that live in each neighborhood and create new spaces which are congruent to the residential needs.
Initial research has identified that both the superilla and Gracia neighborhoods have a pedestrian centrist preference. An increase in width of sidewalks with added buffers is seen as desirable in both neighborhoods. Currently the Superilla has more access to alternative modes of transportation and the Gracia neighborhood may benefit from additional access as well.