University of Oregon

Urban Design in Barcelona

Program Overview

Investigate how bottom-up urban design strategies provide a framework for the participation of workers and residents to create an integrated community in Barcelona’s 22@ information activities district. Visit and diagram three urban typologies at the scale of the urban room, district, and neighborhood, including: (1) maritime metropolis; (2) modernisme; and (3) contemporary pluralism, along with a comparative study of similar typologies in Granada, Andalucía.  Explore how cultural events, food culture and urban fabric provide an emergent connectivity between post-industrial blocks in the 22@ district and contribute results to the 22@ planning department to improve district planning guidelines. In-situ work looks at existing and newly acquired datasets using architectural scaled software Rhino Grasshopper, associated plugins, and custom scripts. These new design methods are supported by interaction with interdisciplinary local experts in planning, urban ecology, architecture, robotic engineering, transit and landscape architecture. 

See student work from previous years at the Urban Design in Barcelona blog.

Academic Details

You will enroll in three upper-division architecture courses related to urban design and taught by Professor Philip Speranza.

Working with Barcelona 22@ planning department guidelines, the research explored in this program will attempt to model 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.

For UO students, the credits earned can be used to fulfill general undergraduate electives, or, for students majoring in architecture, interior architecture, and landscape architecture, as well as professional elective requirements. Students from allied fields may be able to request major credit from their major departments. Prior to departure, students will commence their studies by completing an orientation program. Students who are not in residence on the Eugene campus will be able to participate remotely in the orientation program.

Faculty and Staff

Professor Philip Speranza is the director of the urban design program. He will be joined by Barcelona architect Valentina Asinari di San Marzano, other local design professionals, and possibly other visiting University of Oregon faculty members.

Housing Description

In Barcelona, you will live in two- or three-bedroom apartments that include double rooms, a living room and a kitchen. In Granada, you will stay in a hotel with double occupancy rooms.

You will be encouraged to take advantage of the fixed-price meals available between morning and afternoon sessions, although you may elect to pack a lunch or explore public food markets. Preparing evening and weekend meals collectively is also recommended. A weekly meal will be prepared by the program director and a final banquet/presentation will be hosted at the thirteenth century Oli 4 Barrio Gótico house.

Additional Requirements

Experience with media-based design software

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.