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Urban Policies: Housing, Neighbourhoods and Transport

Code: 104257 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503710 Geography, Environmental Management and Spatial Planning OB 3 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Oriol Nel·lo Colom

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

The course will be taught in Catalan. The written assignments can be delivered in Catalan, Spanish and English.


Maria Isabel Arcos Garrido
Carles Donat Muņoz


There are no specific prerequisites for taking this course.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The objective of the course is to introduce the student to urban policies in three different fields: housing, neighborhoods and mobility.


  • Apply the basic regional, environmental and urban legal regulations for regional and environmental planning.
  • Apply tools for the management of regions, the environment and urban policies in regional and environmental planning.
  • Draw up action and intervention plans in the territory which respond to sociodemographic and environmental problems.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Work cooperatively in multidisciplinary teams.

Learning Outcomes

  1. List the main direct and indirect political housing policies.
  2. Recognise the limits and impacts associated with the current mobility model.
  3. Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  4. Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  5. Understand the basic regulations for questions of mobility, housing and development.
  6. Understand the instruments and methodologies necessary for managing mobility.
  7. Work cooperatively in multidisciplinary teams.


The course will consist of three parts, each of which will consist of four topics. The blocks will contain theoretical and practical sessions. The contents are detailed below.

A. Housing policies (prof. Carlos Donat)

1. Difficulties of access and permanence in housing: dynamics and challenges
- The housing problem from a historical perspective
- Accessibility to housing, the contemporary problem
- Housing, social cohesion and space.

Practice 1: The effort to access rental housing in the area of Barcelona.

2. Housing policy from a comparative international perspective
- Housing policies in the framework of the welfare state
- Housing policies, a uni-level and multi-level approach.
- Housing policies in Catalonia: competence framework and instruments.

Practice 2: Investment in social housing in the countries of the European Union

3. Land policy and the generation of affordable housing
- Land policy: legal framework and implications for the promotion of affordable housing.
- Affordable housing stock: concept and types.
- Policies to support the generation of affordable housing: production, transfer and purchase.

Practice 3: The production of social housing in Catalonia

4. Policies directed at specific situations: emancipation, aging, residential exclusion.
- Policies to help residential emancipation
- Housing policies during aging
- Policies to prevent residential exclusion and inclusion.

Practice 4: Policies to combat residential exclusion in the Barcelona metropolitan area

B. Neighborhood policies (Prof. Oriol Nel·lo)

1. Urban segregation and the concentration of disadvantaged social groups in urban areas
- Social inequality and urban segregation
- The study of segregation: historical evolution
- The measure of segregation: indicators and data

Practice 1. Use of statistical indicators to mesure residential segregation

2.Urban policies on segregation and its effects
- The objectives of policies against segregation: the question of the "Neighborhood Effect" and the "Right to the city"
- The actors of neighborhood policies: "top down" and "bottom up" approaches
- The instruments for neighborhood policies: norms, resources and means

Practice 2. The debate on the "Neighborhood Effect"

3. The challenges for neighborhood policies
- Cross-cutting actions and the redistributive capacity
- Involvement of the citizens and the evaluation
- Land rent, housing market and the risk of gentrification

Practice 3. The bases for a neighborhood plan

4. Neighborhood policies in Catalonia
- Historical perspective: the nineteenth-century plans for interior reform to the rehabilitation of the late 20th century
- The experience of the Catalan Neighborhood Law
- The Barcelona Neighborhood Plan

Practice 4. The objectives and actions of a neighborhood plan

C. Mobility policies (Prof. Maribel Arcos)

1. The motivations, means, impacts and costs of mobility
- Motivations for mobility
- Modes and means of transportation
- Environmental and social impacts. Mobility costs

Practice 1. The costs of mobility.

2. The challenges of mobility:
- Urban planning and mobility
- Towards a sustainable mobility model.
- Rethink the urban model.

Practice 2. Daily mobility and people.
Departure: Terrassa urban center

3. The instruments for mobility management
- International framework.
- The Mobility Law in Catalonia.
- Mobility plans.

Practice 3. The mobility indicators.

4. Experiences in mobility
- Mobility management in a metropolitan node: the UAB Campus.

Practice 4. Participation in mobility management
Departure: UAB Mobility Table


IMPORTANT NOTE: THE TEACHING METHODOLOGY INDICATED BELOW MAY EXPERIENCE ANY MODIFICATION DEPENDING ON RESTRICTIONS ON ATTENDANCE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS THAT MAY BE ESTABLISHED BY HEALTH AUTHORITIES. The activities that could not be done onsite will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools. Exercises, projects and lectures will be carried out using virtual tools such as tutorials, videos, Teams sessions, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives

The course will consist of three parts, each of which will consist of 4 theoretical sessions, 4 practicals and one evaluation session. In total, therefore, 27 sessions (12 theoretical and 12 practical and 3 evaluations). In addition, field trips are also planned.

The expected duration of the course is 12-13 weeks and will be organized around three types of work sessions:

-12 theoretical sessions (TE) of 1.30 hours each. In each of these sessions, the teacher will provide a ppt presentation and will recommend several readings related to the topic covered. The participation of students through questions and debate will be encouraged. 

-12 practical sessions (PAUL) of 1,30 hour each. 

-3 field trips (PCAM) of 3-4 hours each. These field trips will be carried out, in principle, in various locations in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. 

All three sessions will involve in their set 50 hours of face-to-face activities.

The virtual Campus will be used as a means of communication between teachers and students. On the campus, the student will find the complete agenda of the subject, the presentations of the theoretical sessions, the information about practices, teaching materials and other information.

Concerning transversal competencies, the following will be worked out and evaluated in particular:

CT1.4. Develop systemic thinking.

It will be evaluated through the practices, in which the students will show the ability to integrate the various elements concerning urban problems and its management.

CT2.8. Critically evaluate the work done.

The involvement in the debate and the critical contributions made by the students will be evaluated.

CT3.1. Work cooperatively in complex and uncertain environments, with limited resources and a multidisciplinary context, respecting the role of the various members of the team

In the practical sessions, the division of tasks and the decision-making systems that each team has adopted will be evaluated.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Field work 12 0.48 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Practical lessons 19.5 0.78 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Readings 18 0.72 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Theoretical lessons 19.5 0.78 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Type: Supervised      
Individual tutoring or tutoring in small groups 8 0.32 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Completion of the practices dossiers 30 1.2 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Preparation of written assignments 15 0.6 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7


IMPORTANT NOTE: In the event that assessment activities cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

The evaluation of the course will consist of three elements:

a) Three partial examinations on the content of the theoretical lessons. These examinations will be done at the end of each part. They represent 50% of the final mark (25% + 25%).

b) A dossier of practices that will have to be delivered at the end of each part of the course. The dossier represents 40% of the final grade.

c) Participation in field work and classroom discussions. It will represent 10% of the final mark.

To pass the subject, the student must:

a) Have passed the exams with a minimum score of 5.

b) Have submitted the dossier of practices and have obtained an average rating of these practices of not less than 5.

c) Have regularly participated in all the activities of the course (lessons TE, PAUL and PCAM). The attendance to the theoretical lessons, the practices and the field work is mandatory. In exceptional cases of absence, the justification must be given to the teaching staff.


The final grade of the subject will be the weighted average of each of the evaluation evidences: exams (50%), practices (40%) and participation (10%). It will consist of a score between 0 and 10. To pass the course you must have obtained a total minimum score of 5.


a) Exams and practices will be retrieved in the manner and in the dates that will be indicated in due time.

b) In order to opt for retrive the exam, it is necessary to have participated, in an active way, in the evaluation tests and delivered the materials of the practices.

c) In case of retrieving the exam the maximum grade that can be obtained for each of the re-evaluated tests will be 5.

Non-evaluated students:

In the event that any of the requirements indicated in b) are no fulfilled the corresponding grade will be "non-evaluable". In the event that an activity is not carried out -exam, practice or field work-, the mark obtained for this activity will be 0, it will not be revaluable, and this is the grade inclouded in the weighted average.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.


Honours will be awarded to those who obtain a mark greater than or equal to 9.5, up to 5% of those enrolled in descending order of the final grade. At the discretion of the teaching staff, they may also be granted in other cases.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Evaluation of contents 50% 4 0.16 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Field work and participation in the debates 10% 12 0.48 5, 6, 1, 4, 3, 2, 7
Practices in the classroom and preparation of the dossier 40% 12 0.48 3


The bibliography of each part of the course will be communicated in a timely manner.


No specific software is requiered for this course.