Contemporary Urban Design in Barcelona Seminar

Contemporary Urban Design in Barcelona Seminar (ARCH 410/510, 4 credits)

Measuring Neighborhood Social Interaction, 2015

This course teaches the urban design idea of the importance of social interaction and cohesion at the human scale of cities. Fundamental contemporary principles are taught including self-sufficiency of city blocks and superblocks, and urban ecology of cities as organisms of interrelated systems. Contextualization of Barcelona urban design is done through studies of neighborhood morphologies in Barcelona, Girona and Granada. Urban design teaching is done through:

  • Urban Theory: Class lectures, reading discussions and course weblog based research. Urban theorists include Ildefons Cerda, Manuel Sola Morales, Jane Jacobs, Jan Gehl, Karen Franck, Carlo Ratti, Vicente Guallart and Salvador Rueda. Readings and discussions may occur before program departure.
  • Neighborhood Morphology: visits across three urban morphologies in Barcelona: 1) maritime metropolis of the gothic core, previously autonomous villages and hillside structure in Girona; 2) modernisme Cerda’s Eixample grid; and 3) contemporary planning since 1975 including the 1992 Olympic waterfront development. In Granada additional comparative morphology is studied: 4) Albaicin fragmented urban form, historic center, contemporary edge and the hillside Alhambra complex. In all morphology studies student observe, discuss, read about and measure urban history, technology and design – closely aligned with media methods of research, observation, measurement and analysis.
  • Urban Design Project: A two to three person group urban analysis and design project based on identified problems to include social interaction in urban design proposals.