Joan Busquets

Martin Bucksbaum Professor in Practice of Urban Planning and Design

Joan Busquets is the first Martin Bucksbaum Professor in Practice of Urban Planning and Design at the GSD. Prior to joining the GSD faculty, Busquets was Professor of Town Planning and Urban Design in the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona from 1979 until 2002.

A world-renowned urban planner, urban designer, and architect, Busquets served as Head of Urban Planning for the Barcelona City Council during the formative years, from 1983 to 1989, and in the preparations for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, including the New Downtowns for the City program and the improvement process for existing neighborhoods. In 1969, he was a founding member of the Laboratorio de Urbanismo in Barcelona (LUB) and undertook a long-term study of squatter settlements in Barcelona and other Southern European cities, for which he received the Spanish National Award for Town Planning in 1981, winning the award again in 1985 for his masterplan for Lerida’s old town. His urban rehabilitation strategy for Toledo, Spain and the publication Toledo y su futuro was awarded a national prize and the Premio Europeo Gubbio 2000. Awarded in 2011 with the International Erasmus prize (The Netherlands) and in 2012 with Grand Prix Spécial de l'Urbanisme, Paris (France). The Catalonian National prize for Architecture and Open Space in 2012 and elected Full Member of the Académie d'Architecture de France in 2016.

Busquets has participated in strategic urban planning and design — most involving public-private partnerships — for the cities of Den Haag, Lisbon, Marseille, Rotterdam, Singapore, and Sao Paulo. His Team had completed projects for the modern center of Trento, and Alghero in Italy; the transformation of Vilanova; harbor front in Coruña and for housing in the Maquinista development of Barcelona, in Spain. Also, the Civic Center for Nesselande in Rotterdam, the Railway transformation in Delft and the Housing renewal in Western Amsterdam in The Netherlands. The city center in Viseu and the Chiado block, downtown Lisbon in Portugal. The retrofitting of old town of Toulouse and the outskirts of Rouen in France.

Busquets has published many articles and books, including Barcelona: The Urban Evolution of a compact city (2005 and 2014), La urbanización marginal (1999), The Old Town of Barcelona: A Past with a Future (2003), Cities X Lines: A New Lens for the Urbanistic Project (2007).  Special issues or books on his work: Joan Busquets -City in layers – Erasmus prize (2011); World Architecture Magazine 272 WA – Designing Urban Architecture: Joan Busquets+BAU/BLAU (2013). Academic research publications: Bringing the Harvard Yards to the River (2004), Aleppo: Rehabilitation of the Old City (2005),  New Orleans: Strategies for a City in Soft Land (2005), Shenzhen Designing the non-stop transformation city (2010), Innovative Boulevards in Lisbon (2013), Hangzhou Underlays: Grids from Canal to Maxi-Block (Redesigning Gridded Cities) (2017), Manhattan Framework: Rectangular Grid for Ordering an Island (Redesigning Gridded Cities) (2017), Chicago Boundless: Two Grids Between Lake and River (Redesigning Gridded Cities) (2017), Barcelona Collage: Manifold Grids and the Place of Cerda (Redesigning Gridded Cities) (2017). Publications on professional work:  Six projects for Downtown's Den Haag (2004), A Coruña: A Maritime City in the Port(2006),  Cidade Antiga e Novo Projecto Urbano/Old City and a New Urban Artifact (2007), Spoorzone Delft-Railway Zone Public Space Design (2010), Niewe centrum, Nesselande, Roterdam (2011), Dunkerke projet de réaménagent du centre-ville (2012), Toulouse – Identité et partage du centre-ville (2014).

He has participated as a visiting professor in London, Urbino, Rotterdam, Rome, Lausanne, Geneva, and at the GSD, as well as on numerous juries for international competitions.

Professionally based in Barcelona since the 1980s, His firm BAU B. Arquitectura i Urbanisme SLP was founded in 1992 and has designed and executed urban and architectural projects in Europe. His firm BLAU B. Landscape Arquitectura y Urbanismo SL was founded in 2008 in Barcelona/Shanghai and has designed and executed few large-scale projects in Latin America and China. Busquets received his degree in architecture (1969) and his doctoral degree (1975) by the Architecture School of Barcelona ETSAB – UPC.

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