Courses / From 2011 Spring - Where to EAT in BCN Blog (Natalia - Liz - Ali - Jake)

Where to EAT in BCN

1.1. What is the action

For our project, we revised and executed "Where to eat in BCN." We created a website that utilized different market places throughout Barcelona that included vegetarian and vegan restaurants, organic restaurants, and sustainable marketplaces. This initiative includes a website that we created and that will be updated in semesters in the future.

The initial idea (and the original idea we used) was to design a blog using Tumblr, but then the previous student decided to use a blog. We decided to change this and create a website because we felt that it was more concrete and would provide more accurate information. While the previous student decided to use a blog on the IES Sustainablility website, we decided to just post the website link on the IES website. We like the idea of students being able to post suggestions, so we decided to create a suggestion box on the website where anyone can make suggestions, but the controller of the website is the only one who has a say in what is actually posted on the website. Ultimately the controller would have to be a faculty member of IES who explains how to update the website to a new student or takes care of the updates themselves.

Ideally, a link to this website will be provided in the IES arrival booklet for students to access early on in the semester as well as a link on the IES website. When first arriving in Barcelona, students may feel overwhelmed and not know the best places to eat, shop, or market. This website will give students a place to learn from other students about positive experiences they have had at local markets and restaurants. This website will be open to other students to foster the sharing and exchanging of ideas about where to eat in Barcelona through the suggestions box.

Each semester a fellow IES student with a passion for food or dining out will continue the website. With each new semester, the list of restaurants and local markets will continue to grow. Originally, the maker of the blog thought that it was hard for me to find an organic market that sold soymilk and veggie burgers when she first got to Barcelona, so she created this idea to make it easier for future students to find such places.

1.2 SWOT Analysis


• encourages local markets
• easy access to students
• grants familiarity in an unfamiliar city
• boosts local economy
• tells students prices, quality of food, type of food, neighborhood, location
• vegetarian/vegan/organic cuisine
• provided in English- benefit for IES students
• past knowledge= stronger valuable opinions
• does not rely on weather
• no cost

• relies on student participation every semester- if no student takes control of the website, it could fall behind and not have up-to
• the amount of restaurants posted is limited to the number posted by the website controller- whoever is in charge of the website needs to constantly be adding and updating the information


• Information about different eateries
• Dining options with family/friends
• Ability to communicate with IES students and local community
• Cooperates with other students actions
• Ability to express opinions about food
• At-home recipe options as a future category on the website
• Get to know Barcelona as a city better

• There needs to be a student who takes control of this initiative every semeser
• Potential online distractions may cause people to forget about visiting this site
• Google - search engines give people recommendations a lot quicker than reading through this student-run website
• Students may have different eating preferences
• Lack of updated/correct information about restaurants.

1.3 Feedback loops

Access to Website-> Increase in Local Market Revenue-> Increase in Barcelona Economy ( Reinforcing Loop)

Access to Website-> Increased interaction with local residents-> Increased connectivity to Barcelona as a city -> Positive expirience -> Word-of-Mouth helps share the expirience -> More students being aware of the website -> Access to website (Reinforcing Loop)

Posting on Suggestion Box -> Diversity of Ideas about food in Barcelona-> Fostering more community -> Seeing the impact on the website and recieving feedback from those, who used it -> Increased interest in developing the information by students -> Posting on Suggestion box ( Reinforcing Loop)

1.4. Advertising

In order to let people know about the website it is crutial that the link to the website is provide in the IES hand-book, given out to all the students in the program. This will be the most effective and less costly and time-consuming option to get students to use the website.
The other option is to post advertisement in IES student Facebook groups, which are easily accessible and include most of the students in the program.
It is also possible to work with the other group, who are in charge of creating IES Enviromentally Friendly Welcome Kit to include our website promotion.

2. Why this action makes things more sustainable

The current IES booklet provides a list of ten restaurants and three markets. When studying abroad, this list is not comprehensive enough and does not cater to specific dietary needs. By moving this wealth of information about markets and local restaurants to a more sustainable domain, such as the Internet, it will eliminate the waste from printing the pages in the booklet. Instead of using five printed pages to discuss food in the booklet, this website would allow a surplus of information that is eco-friendly and easily accessible. This action is improving the sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona in many ways.

1. Eco Effectiveness: Limits the amount of paper (waste) used in the IES Booklets
2. Allows for knowledge to be sustained throughout the semesters. This website will always be accessible to future students. As long as students continue to post on the blog, the knowledge of information will be sustained to the consecutive semesters.
3. Fosters the Local Market- by encouraging students to eat locally, organically and support local markets, we are increasing the amount of small local businesses. This is turn will keep the wealth within Barcelona and allow it to thrive.
4. Long term effects: Students in future semesters will have access to the website and will be able to easily find good places to get their groceries or go to dinner.
5. Fosters group connectivity and creates community- students can build off each others ideas and make plans to go to these local markets together through the suggestion box.
6. Changes in attitudes: In the U.S. eating locally is not always a possibility because local fruit and vegetable markets are not as prevalent as they are in Barcelona. By encouraging students to buy from their local fruit and vegetable markets, we are changing mentalities about how we buy our products at home.

2.1. Potential Costs

Our action will not cost the students a fee because we plan on using a website to access the information for the student to find the business locations, a description, and directions. The amount of time that is needed by a student per a semester they need to invest into the implementation would be very minimal after the website is up and running. The initial time needed to gather and organize the information will be taken care of by our group, which would be the most time needed. After the website is running, the only time needed would be maintenance of the website and updating the website with new locations of businesses. The only money needed to keep the action in place would be the domain name of the website, which is already being provided by IES (sc.seds4c.org)

3. How will you implement it

The website was implemented by using the sc.seeds4c.org. In order to make this website accessible to IES abroad students, the initial creater coordinated with Olga Sanchez and Betsey Tufano to send out a mass email to all IES Barcelona abroad students. This email will be sent out for all future IES groups too. The link to the website will also on the IES Barcelona Abroad Page, added it to Gabby Nardi´s video, and Mary and Vanessa’s sustainable living Facebook page in order to reach the largest IES audience possible. Link can be provided by the controller, who is a stuff member also.

The first step in this process was creating the website itself and determining what sources and types of information would be available. We decided to include vegan/vegetarian restaurants, organic restaurants, and vegan/vegetarian/organic markets. The second step of this implementation process was advertising and making sure that the website itself was in the eyes of the public and that everyone had at least received some form of communication about the blog whether it be via email, word of mouth, or Facebook. The third part of this implementation process is integrating it into the IES orientation at the beginning of the semester. We are currently working to include a link to this blog on the website or within the Orientation handbook, or even within the weekly planners. We are also making a facebook and twitter page that the website controller will update constantly. The fourth part of implementation is closely linked to the third step. This is ensuring that the website is a useful tool for the upcoming semesters of IES Abroad Barcelona. At the beginning of the semester, hopefully a student from the Sustainability course will want to take over the administration position of the website. Due to the fact website allows for a very sustainable and eco-friendly forum for information, we will eliminate any type of advertisements that use waste such as paper flyers or handouts.

Previous Actions:

The sources for the restaurants were documented on the IES blog page. In coordination with Olga Sanchez and Betsey Tufano, emails were sent to all IES Barcelona abroad students. The email was sent on March 22nd and the link to the IES Barcelona Abroad Page and the Sustainability Website Page, was added to Gabby Nardi´s video, and Mary and Vanessa’s sustainable living Facebook page in order to reach the largest IES audience possible.

Current Actions:

Our group decided that a blog page was not as effective as a website to provide the most information about the designated market places. We included not just restaurants for vegan, vegetarian, and organic meats, but also stores where these food items can be purchased in the city of Barcelona. These facilities were collected and then implemented by creating a google map for each location. You can also see the name of each market, the type of products, its address, phone number, email or website, and any other valuable resources that market has to offer.

3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

Websites do not litter, they do not waste paper, nor do they release toxic emissions. Websites do not create waste, instead they create a surplus of information that may at times be repetitive and useless to readers that want direct, clear information about where to eat and market in Barcelona. There is no waste within this design. It is possible that not all resources will be utilized. The information of this website will be recycled by word of mouth and within the internet.

3.2. Questions for the unified survey

We did not do the survey, since the initial action designers have already done the interviewing, which was necessary in order to get an understanding if this web-site will be successful. Also, we believe that survey was not essential, given the time constraints and the amount of work we were required to do.

3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey from initial action design

According to the questions provided to the survey, the action would be a very successful endeavor at IES. 95 percent of survey participants answered that they would use an online website provided by IES to find out about good places to eat and shop. 50 percent of students were interested in organic foods and 35 percent were interested in cheap eating-places. Therefore, I combined these two efforts into my blog by making sure I offered suggestions for cheap organic restaurants, cheap markets and restaurants as well as more high-scale organic markets.

We found that most students would rather visit a separate website so that is what we decided to implement. Most students were more confident in trusting a website that could not be constantly changed. This way there is a main resource and you have the option to participate through a suggestion forum. Students who were interested in eating vegetarian, vegan, or organically, expressed that they would be more likely to visit a website in order to receive recommendations for healthy eating and locations where this action is most effectively achieved.

3.4. Incentives

Within the website we will include certain nutritional facts that will promote viewers to want to eat with a healthier more sustainable life style. Previously, the blog was an outlet for students to receive Eco Euros. Furthermore, the individual who volunteered to continue to upkeep and maintain WheretoEATinBCN received a sum of Eco-Euros. We decided that the idea of an Eco-Euro may become too complex, so our incentive would be personal health and environmental sustainability. We would advertise the market places in this way and use personal motives as incentive to continue to eat vegan, vegetarian, or organically.

3.5. Relationship with other incentives being implemented

We have discussed the possibility of including the link to our website into IES Enviromentally Friendly Welcome Kit, which was implemented by Sean, Anthony and Jose. This will tequire printing the information, so that students van keep it at home. One of the options was to provide students with magnets or stickers, so students do not lose the link and can easily remember about the website.

3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

Every student studying abroad in Barcelona should be encouraged to develop a love and passion for food because food and markets are such a part of local culture. Markets and food are a part of social life. Therefore, finding a student who is willing to maintain this website will not be a difficult task. Just as we choose to continue actions, I believe a member of the Sustainability course will likely continue this action. We have ensured that IES provided students with the link to the new website so that the information from the previous blog has continued to grow and be added to. Websites are by nature sustainable and maintained as long as we let them stay online without pressing the delete button. Therefore, as long as the student interest and desire to post and access new information about food in Barcelona, the action will be sustainable for semesters to come. With the contributions from the suggestion forum, more and more people will be involved and new market places will be added and edited to continue with our action.

4 Time Sheet

To implement this action, we completed the following this semster:

Ali Research sustainable markets in Barcelona
Liz Research vegetarian/vegan eateries in Barcelona
Jake Research organic eateries in Barcelona
Natalia Compile research into blog of sustainable eating places in Barcelona
EveryoneRead previous blogs and decide which initiative to executeEdit previous initiative and make changes so it can be executed effectivelyKeep up with website, constantly updating information and adding eateries to the website we createdUpdate website, work with IES to make sure the website information will be posted in next semester’s intro booklet and the created initiative will be continued throughout future semesters.

Future students who wish to take over this initiative need to work to continue to research and add to the website. They need to look at the suggestion box and constantly update the website to reflect the most up-to-date information. They should follow the following schedule:

Website ControllerRead our current website and see if there are any changes they would like to make. Research eateries in Barcelona and get familiar with Barcelona and the available places to eat in it. Make sure website is well advertised around IES and that students who are first arriving in Barcelona know about it Make any changes they feel are necessary to the website. Encourage other students to use suggestion box Maintain website and add more restaurants. Look at suggestion box for ideas where to post aboutLeave instructions for future groups to maintain/add to website
StudentsPost in suggestion box ideas of places to eatPost in suggestion box ideas of places to eatPost in suggestion box ideas of places to eatPost in suggestion box ideas of places to eat

To test our action, we made the website and saw the feeback it got. We decided to create a website because it was more easily controlled than a blog. We have showed this website to a lot of our friends, and they all think it is a great idea. We have already had friends tell us they used the website and ate at some of the places we suggested and loved it. We are confident that the website was the best method of presentation and that this initiative will be successful in future semesters.

5. Document format

We chose a website in the format of a FLOSS map, which is free and accessible by everyone to ensure that website and a map are sustainable in the future. Open Street Map is an alternative to Google map Closed Source Sowtfare. The map shows all the locations of the market places. After you can view the places with categories of; restaurants, markets and shops, market places, meat and poultry, and baby products. This format was chosen to cater to specific needs within the field and also around which areas and locations are the most accessible.

 Our website is at the following link


We used the internet to find all of these places to eat.  We used specific restaurant websites as well as search engines, such as Happy Cow ( http://www.happycow.net )

7. Annexes

We are using a Creative Commons license for our website. We created the website through sc.seeds4c.org, which is an IES Go Green website. This websites is already using the Creative Commons license, so it is the copyright license we will have on our webpage. We decided to use Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share-Alike License, so that the website sustaines after we leave the program.

This license is beneficial to our webpage because it is easily accessable to make changes to. Our webpage is constantly going to be updated and revised, so its important that the platform we used had this ability. The Creative Commons license allows us to retain the copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of our work. We are making this website for other people to use and distribute, so we feel that this copyright was most beneficial to our project.

7.2. What did we learn and what we did to implement action

Between the first deadline and the second deadline, we made some significant changes to the execution of the design. In the beginning stages of the report, we were unsure about what exactly we had to do. Our professor helped give us an idea of what platform to use and helped us execute it within that platform. The initial idea was a blog, but we decided to change it to a website. We also made some changes in what we submitted as the final copy of Part 1. We originally thought we just had to execute the idea, but after meeting with X de. Pedro, we realized we had to write the report fixing the current action too.

We would like to acknowledge X. de Pedro for his help in this project. We did not use any external source for this project except for online resources. X. de Pedro helped us both with the technical aspects of the website and helped us understand the report when we ran into some confusion around the due date.

7.3. Students involved in this action

As a group, we decided to divide the work and then combine it to make the website. Liz researched vegetarian/vegan restaurants, Jake researched organic eateries, Ali researched sustainable (vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc) markets, and Natalia combined all the info and made the web page.

We ran into some slight confusion as to what was due for the part 1 of this project, but after we clarified with X. de Pedro, we split up the report as well. Using the template and the previous initiative as an outline, Liz completed Section 3.1 and 3.4, Jake completed 3.2, and Ali completed 3.3. Natalia,Liz, Ali, and Jake together finished the rest of the sections, edited the document, and completed the report.

7.4 Sample Facebook message and E-mail

Dear fellow students,

We are happy to announce that there is now a guide to sustainable and enjoyable eating in Barcelona. It includes vegetarian, organic and vegan markets and restaurants in all of the areas of Barcelona. Just go to http://iesgogreen.seeds4c.org/Where+to+eat+in+Barcelona and see for yourself!

In case you did not find anything, tell us about it, and we will be happy to include it in our guide.

Enjoy Brcelona with us!

Sustainability team

For the subdomain we suggest using easy name, such as

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:22:03