This year, we are starting the academic year virtually the first week and continuing towards a ‘blended’ methodology of practical face- to- face group work and discussions combined with live streamed and in-class lectures. Our class of 2020/2021 will come to join us from all around the world, including from Brazil, India, Lebanon, Korea, Turkey, Pakistan, Canada, Greece, the UK, the US, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain and Kenya. As our curriculum continues to evolve, here is what is in store for the upcoming academic year.

New visiting professors

We are delighted to announce that David Sanderson is joining our team of visiting professors. David Sanderson holds the inaugural Judith Neilson Chair at the University of New South Wales, to develop research and teaching in urban poverty, vulnerability and resilience. With over 25 years’ experience working in crises across the world, he engages with aid agencies and others about how we can improve humanitarian response and build resilience. Much of his focuses in particular on poorer people living in fast-growing towns and cities, and how measures can be improved to reduce the impact of disasters, climate change and other crises. This often includes working to improve the quality of humanitarian aid, which has been slow to address the urban challenge. Part of this includes focusing on how designers can work with others to better understand and respond to communities at risk.

David Sanderson will join Marta Peña (IFRC), Dr Ebru Gencer (CUDRR+R), Andreas Schiffer (FLASH), Gonzalo Sanchez Terran (Jesuit Refugee Services) and Veronica Sánchez (n’UNDO, UK-MED and EMT-WHO) for our three-week Humanitarian Shelter and Settlement in Emergency workshop. His class titled Good practice in urban humanitarian response reviews good practice in the relief and recovery operations of humanitarian agencies in response to crises occurring in towns and cities, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. Crises include disasters triggered by natural hazards, conflict, displacement and urban violence. The course presents tools, understandings and approaches relating to urban recovery, drawing from a recently completed wide-ranging good practice review. It combines the presentation and discussion of tools, models, understandings and case study examples, with the opportunity to explore the application of lessons through group work design.

For Module 3 of our course, Planning as a Tool for Upgrading, our longtime collaborator Nabeel Hamdi will be joined by Diego Vega and Kristjana Adalgeirsdottir from the Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG Institute) at Hanken School of Economics in Finland to look into various key aspects of logistics in humanitarian settings in order to equip students with practical tools required in the sector.

This years list of guest professors is completed by Gaja Maestri, Gonzalo Lizarralde, Isabelle Anguelovski, Torange Khonsari and Alejandro de Castro. 

Returning Alumni

Former student Nerea Amorós (class of 2010-2011) completed her PhD with UCL (Bartlett School of Architecture), investigating the extent to which encamped refugee children aged 3 to 6 are learning from the built environment they live in. She is the founder and lead architect of Creative Assemblages based in Uganda and will talk to our students about Urban Refugees and the African Continent as part of  their Introduction to Emergency and Development course.

Her workshop focuses on understanding the multiple and complex roles of the built environment on refugee assistance. Using the case of the African context and specifically using cases from East Africa, it will introduce students to the historical complexities of refugee assistance, from policy development to its implementation. It will explore the evolution of refugee camps into long-term urban-like spaces, and the current shifting focus to provide refugee assistance in urban areas. Our students will explore the different actors involved and their underlying motives, the pros and cons of refugee camps and assistance in urban areas, and the role of built environment professionals in refugee assistance.

Socio-Spatial Workshop for Integrated Urban Upgrading

This two-week workshop in UIC Barcelona intends to study the spatial inequalities, and lack of social cohesion in a broad and local scale in order to contribute to the discussion of alternative strategies for mitigation and integrative measures towards a more sustainable and resilient urban development path. This year, our workshop will be following the Emergency courses, therefore we want to apply the concepts learned of urban integration, preparedness and coping strategies at an urban scale exploring tools and strategies for an emergency crisis such as the COVID pandemic . How can our socio-spatial methodology help us analyze, diagnose and propose public spaces post-Covid in our city? 

Field trip

Our International Regeneration Workshop, the field trip, intends to incorporate topics which offer students the opportunity to apply different tools and strategies in accordance to diverse approach and contexts, but with the common objective of having the students recognize and value the main arguments that are in the foundation of contemporary urban regenerating and growth projects as well as

identifying their emblematic references. After travelling to Peru last year, the upcoming field trip will lead us to Sweden for a joint workshop with our partner university, Chalmers University of Technology. More to come soon!


Images Field Trip Peru: Courtesy of Universidad de Piura

Check out this video of our new visiting professor David Sanderson talking about rapid urbanisation and urban resilience. Global city growth is around 1.5 million people per week. Climate change is worsening, naturally-triggered disasters are on the increase, and the poorest are those worst affected.

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