Josep Bohigas holds a degree in Architecture from the ETSAB (UPC). He studied the AAD Master’s program from Columbia University and the Official Master’s program in Communication and Design from Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).
He is an associate professor at the ETSAB, co-director of the Master’s degree in Lighting Design at the UPC Foundation, and a guest lecturer at various universities around the world.
He was co-director of the BOPBAA Architecture studio from 1991 to 2015, winning various architectural competitions and building several projects including the extension to the Thyssen Museum in Madrid, a Housing block in the Forum area in Barcelona and the El Molino theatre in Barcelona. He has received several awards for professional recognition in Architecture and Design, including three FAD awards (1998, 2000, 2007) and three City of Barcelona awards (2007, 2014, 2016).
Throughout these years of teaching and working professionally, he has as well, directed and curated many cultural activism programmes, including Barraca Barcelona 2003, APTM 2005, EME3 2009, Arquitectes de Capçalera 2014, Monument at MACBA, Piso Piloto 2015 at CCCB, which have examined and highlighted new solutions to the housing problem and other urban challenges.
Since January 2016, he is the general manager of the urban development agency Barcelona Regional, and since 2019, he is the general manager of the Agencia d’Ecologia Urbana.
In Barcelona Regional we are often asked how the city of the future will look like… and I always answer the same thing: stick your head out of the window , and the city of the future will be basically the same that you are seeing. It will have to be reprogrammed, recycled, and rehabilitated, of course… but it will not be an ideal city designed out of scratch. The city that we are thinking and executing in Barcelona emerges from the optimistic possibilities of what exists. In my talk, I hope I will be able to explain some of the radical strategies that we are trying to implement. From the Superblocks plan, that recycles the XIX century expansion of Cerdà, to a new deal with the territory (sea, mountain and rivers) that surrounds the city.
The Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization is a New York based, not-for-profit organization formed to promote a better understanding of the role of sustainable urbanization and resilient design in the planning of our cities. Our purpose is to advocate for responsible and enlightened planning and design. We connect the global thought leaders concerned with urbanization in order to exchange ideas. Our focus is on replicable ideas and concepts, best practices, and speculative proposals.”
In her introduction over a decade ago to the CSU book Planning Sustainable Cities: Global Report on Human Settlements 2009, Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, then Under Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, wrote “that future urban planning must take place within an understanding of the factors shaping 21st century cities” including climate change, demographic challenges, economic challenges, social and spatial inequalities and “increasing awareness of social and economic rights among ordinary people.”
Fast forward to the present day, and we are still confronted with the impact and circumstance of carbon emissions, multicultural composition of cities, uncertain future growth and unexpected financial crises, urban sprawl and peri-urbanization and efforts to achieve increasing democratization of decision-making and racial justice. Many cities on all continents are confronting endemic problems and achieving success in improving the quality of life and of the physical and social environment.
In addition, we are confronted with a global pandemic, which has further exacerbated the fiscal and logistical constraints we are facing together. As UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif noted in her remarks on World Habitat Day this year: “We need to join forces to respond to the current crisis, share solutions, and create cities of the future for everyone.” In regard to the COVID-19 emergency she stated: “Urban areas account for 95 per cent of all confirmed cases and have been at the epicenter of this pandemic. We have seen hospitals overflowing, jobs disappearing, schools closed, and movement restricted. But we can and we will recover and use our experiences to build back better and greener.”
To do so, a monthly series of CSU urban profiles by leading figures in ten cities worldwide will catalyze discussions leading to replicable actions. The CSU virtual talks, called “Green Cities” is scheduled for the first Thursday of the month through 2021. The lectures will take place by Zoom at noon Eastern.
UN Habitat New York Office
AIA New York Chapter
AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee
Habitat Professional Forum
NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY