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Course Description
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Architecture: Barcelona City Planning and Architecture
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Art, Architecture, Art History, Urban Planning 300 English 3 45 N/A


This course examines how Barcelona evolved since its foundation by the Romans to
the present day. By comparing Barcelona to others European cases (Paris, London,
Berlin, Venice, Amsterdam and Rome) this course will give a wide understanding of
Urbanism and Art, focusing on Architecture and Decoration of some Major European
Cities. At the end of this course students will be able to deal with some important
European Art Styles and identify what sort of building they are watching. At the same
time, students will visit some places in Barcelona and the surrounding area in order to
experience Barcelona’s past and present.


1. Introduction to City Planning

1st week
Intro and Syllabus. Some ideas on Urbanism. The birth of the City in
Mesopotamia, India and China.

2nd week
Some ideas on Urbanism. How to organise people. Cities and commerce.

2. Ancient and Medieval Barcelona

3rd week
Barcino and the Romans, 20 BCE-410 CE. Rome, a city based society.
Barcelona and the Visigoths, 410-1492 CE. Visigoths and Muslims, when Barcelona
was a secondary city

4th week
Barcelona as a Capital of the Catalan Counties. A Pyrenean Society. Barcelona
as a Mediterranean City. Gothic, Power and the Catalan Mediterranean

5th week
America, the Mediterranean and the Decline of the traditional trade. The New
Economy of the Atlantic Cities. London and Amsterdam. Venice, Genoa and
Course: Barcelona. City, Planning and Architecture

3. The New Barcelona

6th week
Mid term
Reading: Allen J. Scott, Global city-regions and the New World System

7th week
Reading: Eduardo Aibar, Constructuing a city: the Cerdà Plan for the Extension
of Barcelona
Reading: Haizam Amirah Fernández, The Barcelona Process

8th week
Reading: Guy Julier, Barcelona’s design, Catalonia’s political Economy and the
New Spain, 1980-6
Reading: José Enrique Ruiz Domenech, The Urban Origins of Barcelona

9th week
Barcelona and the Catalan Industrialism, 1800-1939. Is Barcelona an Industrial
City?. Barcelona and the Catalan Rebirth, 1800-1939. Culture, Language and

10th week
Modernisme and l’Eixample. The Growth of Barcelona: Gracia and other

11th week
Modernisme and l’Eixample. Gaudí, Puig I Cadafalch and Sagnier: Seny I
Rauxa. The Civil War and Francisco Franco. Surviving under fire. Cities and
War: Barcelona, Paris, Leningrad and Sarajevo

12th week – HAND IN PAPERS
The New Barcelona. Barcelona and the Olympics. Mediterranean cities today:
Naples and Istanbul

13th week
Barcelona today. New Architecture, new Urbanism. Immigration, Gentrification
and Identity

14th week
Final Exam. Closing session


Mandatory readings:
Eduardo Aibar, Constructuing a city: the Cerdà Plan for the Extension of Barcelona


The final grade of each student is determined considering the following weights:
Mid Term Exam (30%), Papers (50%), Final Exam (20%).

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