The 2016 l|c|a:BCN program has provided design support for the City of Barcelona’s 22@ information activities district planning office since 2010 and recently with Salvador Rueda and the Agency of Ecological Urbanism of Barcelona to develop a multidisciplinary approach to understand a systems approach to city connectivity at the smallest scale of human interaction.  The program supports the application of human scaled urban design and smart city technologies.

This 2015 session will contribute to the University of Oregon research tool to measure social interaction and social at the scale of building addresses, individual blocks and neighborhoods. Barcelona’s ongoing pedestrian model for 3 x 3 super block areas, or superillas, will be used by the class. Measurement of social interaction will include indicators of:  1) public and private social interaction including existing 22@ guidelines for social space, social housing, social services and business scales; 2) demographic indicators as rent, income, and cultural background and 3) infrastructure indicators such as transit, information technology and topographic accessibility.

Working with and adding to Barcelona 22@ planning department guidelines, the research explored in this course will attempt to model a block-by-block planning guidelines as a systematic way to support city planning from the bottom up over time by various inhabitants including workers, residents and tourists.  Work will be shared with the Ajuntament de Barcelona planning offices as a way to support urban sustainability.


The program will not only expose students to new places and skills but also provide them with design challenges for critical thinking. A final design project will provide an opportunity to bridge urban analysis and urban design. The design-based learning begins not with media skills but with each students individual purpose to solve a problem for the people of Barcelona to understand social interaction and cohesion. The program provides two specific learning opportunities: 1) to gain new perspectives on the built environment and social relationships for application in Oregon, the United States and worldwide; and 2) to develop an integrated workflow between related urban design, urban computation and design communication course work.

The program approach moves between historical understand, technology and design. Course overview, neighborhood visits and urban data collection exercises begin the course. Urban design understanding is built in parallel but not integrated with urban computing methods in Grasshopper GIS, data collection and visualization. Final projects are done in groups of two to three students developing individual purposes and computing methods that serve that purpose. A final group activity is contribution of new urban data collection methods for a comprehensive social interaction and cohesion tool to be presented to the cities of Barcelona and Portland.