A joint urban planning and urban design studio exploring the creation and revitalization of urban public spaces in one of the world's most beautiful and walkable cities
For the second year of the Barcelona studio, sixteen urban planning and urban design students participated in a 24-day intensive studio course focused on the revitalization of public space.
The studio consisted of two phases. In the first phase, students learned foundational knowledge and developed skills to understand and analyze the many dimensions of urban planning and design of the public realm. In the second phase of the studio, students were tasked with creating a vision plan and conceptual design for revitalizing a major public space, the Parc del Centre, in the dynamic Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona.
Summer 2019 | Final Report
During the first Barcelona Studio in the summer of 2018, seventeen students took in an intensive 25-day program studying "Streets as Public Spaces". In the U.S. and much of the western world, downtown streets are prioritized for the automobile, not people. However, downtown streets can become destinations worth visiting, not just through-ways to and from the workplace. Streets traditionally had three main functions: as routes for mobility, as public gathering spaces, and as building frontages, but these functions became separated through the course of the 20th century. This studio focuses on bringing these functions back together through an interdisciplinary urban design perspective which uses the city of Barcelona as its primary classroom.
Due to various political, cultural, and economic reasons, Barcelona has managed to preserve the harmony among the three functions in their streets, resulting in an urban fabric that is the envy of the world. Today, Barcelona is viewed as an international model for using innovative practices that integrate urban design, architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and historic preservation to create an exceptional public realm.
In the first phase of the studio, students learned about the urban design of public spaces generally, including broad principles of urban design, and then used this knowledge to conduct public space assessments of various site in Barcelona. The second phase of the Barcelona studio gave students the opportunity to use the public space analysis and design concepts and methodologies gained in the first phase on a real site in Barcelona—the historic Can Ricart site in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona. Working in teams, the students prepared three urban design visions which reimagine the public realm in the Can Ricart site and surrounding blocks.
You may view the course syllabus and the final report below.
Final Report | Summer 2018
Students explore cultural resources in Barcelona’s El Born district
Students have the chance to take in the culture and summer festivals of Barcelona
Students observing and studying in Barcelona’s Plaça dels Angels
Students take a guided walking tour of the historic Catalonian city of Girona
The studio offers students the chance to learn about and analyze the design of public spaces
Urban planning and urban design students collaborate and have fun while taking a deep dive into the design concepts of urban public spaces