2176719218_9489d5d21c_oThe Menéndez Pelayo International University Consortium of Barcelona has organized within of his Autumn Courses a course of great interest,Rethinking urban policies 30 years later (24.26 November 2010), directed by Josep M. Montaner (Professor of Architectural Theory. Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) – Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) and Joan Subirats (Professor of Political Science. Autonomous University of Barcelona), and coordinated by Xavier Boneta and Maria Herrero, from the Department of Studies and Prospective of the Barcelona Provincial Council.

The program is quite complete and is divided into a few blocks:

  • Block 1. Economic models, urban models
  • Block 2. Cities in transit, cities in transition
  • Block 3. Vulnerabilities, (in)security / en
  • Block 4. Policies and politics

Within these blocks, some sessions are of particular interest to me;Eric Tello will address the topic of What does progress mean in cities today?, a question of high interest. After 30 years of democratic city councils, it is time to ask some questions about the urban economic development model and whether the local institutionalization system has achieved a balanced model of development and to what extent theurban economies< /a> are promoting comprehensive social development. Alan Harding, Director of the Institute for Political and Economic Governance (IPEG) at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), is also in charge of analyzing these issues to rethink competitiveness, cohesion and governance in urban agglomerations. In these 30 years the scale of the main Spanish capitals has varied substantially and the metropolitan agglomerations are a new agent when it comes to understanding urban policies. For his part, Joan Subirats will moderate a panel debate on the new urban segregation zones, in which Francesc Muñoz, Andreu Domingo and Zaida Muxí. It will also make a moment for the future trends of cities in the European Union, a recurring theme in this blog, which will be in charge of Moritz Lennert, from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

The coordinators and directors contacted me a few months ago to invite me to participate in the course. 30 years? I have hardly consciously followed the last ten years and surely other participants will have more perspective than I do. It will be my turn to participate in a round table on New urban paradigms: infrastructures, technology and urban habitat, moderated by Josep Maria Montaner and that I will share with Isabel Salamaña (councilor Girona City Council) and Salvador Rueda, from Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona. It will be a small intervention focused on presenting the impact of technology on design and urban life, so it will again be a good opportunity to organize ideas that sometimes appear too messy on the blog and on delicious.

In addition, the organization of the course wanted to dedicate the first afternoon of the course to experiment with a new format to review the New urban imaginaries. It will be a session in which we will project various audiovisual pieces organized around the thematic blocks of the course that will serve as an excuse to analyze how the generalization of the new social media and the ease of access and dissemination of content in video format is making new stories emerge. and narratives around the city. The preparation of this session is being quite intense in the selection of videos among so many that exist (when the entire previous list is organized I will share it here because there is a fairly extensive list, although it is always incomplete) and the topics of debate so that the session can be agile, deep and participatory.

Phototaken from Flickr by *****MOXXO//*****