Program Overview


Humanity is inherently social. Life in urban environments of varying scales offer diverse options for activities and behaviors. This freedom to choose between walking, public transit, ride share and biking, for example, is enhanced today with data. The accessibility of human-scaled data to urban designers such as architects, landscape architects, entrepreneurs and social scientists is our last tool to resist increasingly harmful conditions of air quality, sound pollution, light, heat and humidity, and carve out refuges in our cities for the inclusion of children, seniors, caregivers and even real estate speculators. 
The  Urban Design in Barcelona program will focus on observing, sensing, listening, collaborating and designing. The program will build on shared experiences since 2010 with Salvador Rueda and the Agency of Ecological Urbanism of Barcelona, the City of Barcelona‚Äôs 22@ information activities district planning office and offices Aldayjover Arcos and RCR Arquitectes. Contextual environments will include historic neighborhoods spaces in Barcelona, coastal cities, pyrenes mountains, and Granada and the Alhambra. Methods to understand site, data measurement, sensors, data visualization and integration with design will use Rhino Grasshopper, weather data plugins, environmental sensors and design software to speculate on urban design "master planning" focused not soley on a single plan but on qualities of human scale experience.

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


Program Scholarship:

This program will award five scholarships of $1,000 each. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must complete the program application, which includes a scholarship essay, by the program's Priority Deadline. Scholarship recipients will then be selected based on financial need, academic merit, and overall quality of their application.

If not all scholarships are awarded at the Priority Deadline, applicants who submit their program application at the final Deadline will be considered for any remaining scholarships.

Additional requirements

Experience with media-based design software.

Academic Details

You will enroll in three upper-division architecture courses related to urban design and taught by Professor Philip Speranza. For more course information, click on View All Courses.

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, 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.

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.

Faculty and Staff

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

Housing Description

Students will be housed in apartments in the same building, and may share a room with another student depending on the size of the group.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.

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.