Projects: Research


Living utopia. Lessons for the everyday life management.

  • Author: Roser Casanovas
  • Research type: Master Thesis. Master of Urban Planning
  • Institution: ETSAB-UPC


The main objective is to study how utopias contribute to the improvement of people’s everyday life in a new social and physical order. This thesis links current urban utopias and dystopias.  After a revision of the 19th century utopias in Europe and the USA, this research focuses on how these utopias where brought to practice. In particular, the thesis looks at those utopias that sought to improve everyday life and to those proposals from a feminine/feminist perspective. Later, this research analyzes how one of the 19th century great utopias, the garden city, became dystopia, with the North American suburbs as the example. With the goal to rehabilitate these homogenous and lacking of urbanity suburbs, this research analyzes New Urbanism strategies that can have been applied in the Catalan context, through the experience of Postsuburbia and its recent application in the region of Garraf, as an example of proposals to improve suburbs in our territory. The objective is looking at how dystopia can become utopia again.

The gender of space: urban quality of life from a feminist perspective.

  • Author: Blanca Valdivia Gutiérrez
  • Research type: Doctoral thesis
  • Institution: ETSAB-UPC


Urban planning has been developed from an androcentric perspective, establishing priorities without taking into account the diversity of people, needs and experiences. As a result of this hierarchical urban planning, the quality of life is not homogeneous among population.

The main goal is to analyze how gender influence the quality of life of urban environments.

The main hypothesis assumes that the quality of life in urban environments is different for men and women, since:

  • Gender roles structure people’s lives, affecting to different aspects of everyday life (activities and tasks, time distribution, perceptions, …)
  • The existence of an androcentric urban planning and design that makes difficult the development of care and reproductive work and the urban experience from a female sexualized body.

The city, as the physical support and the scenario of everyday life, should provide the essential material and immaterial conditions to satisfy people’s needs. However, the androcentric design of space prevents people to satisfy their everyday life needs in equal conditions.

Research on urban planning from a gender perspective illustrate that there are differences in the everyday life of women and men in a city. In order to eradicate effectively the inequalities on the right to the city, it is necessary to have specific data that assess and quantify these differences.

This thesis deeply analyzes the concept of quality of life, deconstructing and redefining it from a gender perspective. This has helped develop a conceptual model about quality of life from a gender perspective, composed by different elements and dimensions. This conceptual model has served to elaborate indicators to evaluate the quality of life of men and women in two neighborhoods of Barcelona.

More information here.

Women transgressing spaces and times. The everyday/everynight life of women nightshift workers.

  • Author: Sara Ortiz Escalante
  • Research type: Doctoral dissertation
  • Institution: University of British Columbia
  • In coordination with: Col·lectiu Punt 6, Fundació Àmbit Prevenció, Secretaria de la Dona de CC.OO del Barcelonès and Baix Llobregat, Group of Women Nightshift Workers of the Hospital of Bellvitge, Ca la Dona and Irídia


This project analyzes how urban planning affects the everyday/everynight life of women nightshift workers in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. In particular, the research focuses on how women’s safety perceptions and the mobility options condition their right to the city at night. Through the use of feminist participatory action research, 24 women nightshift workers from different sectors are co-researchers in this project.

More information here.


Urban planning for everyday life: Indicators of urban analysis and evaluation at the neighborhood scale.

  • Author: Adriana Ciocoletto
  • Research type: Doctoral Thesis
  • Institution: ETSAB-UPC


The main goal is to include everyday life in urban planning through a qualitative methodology of urban analysis and evaluation at the neighborhood scale and from a gender perspective. The research includes a critical and theoretical analysis of the current urban planning practice in Catalonia. It furthers includes the application of urban indicators in case studies with primary data obtained through three qualitative techniques: participatory observation in the uses of urban space, participatory techniques and semi-structured interviews with users and urban planners. The research recommends the use in urban planning of evaluation tools such as gender audits that analyze spatial conditions at the neighborhood scale from people’s experiences.

More information here and here.

Projectes Punt 6 2010

Everyday life management in the Catalan textile colonies. A gender approach.

  • Author: Roser Casanovas
  • Research type: Master thesis, Master of Housing Lab of the 21st century, FPC-UPC
  • Institution: ETSAB-UPC


The industrial colonies are settlement models of the industrialization in Europe, and also in Catalonia, that generated an urbanized model with a new social organization in a new physical space. These new colonies were built around the factory, and they had all the infrastructures to make them autonomous nucleus. This article is a gender approach to industrial and textile colonies, one of the more prosperous industries in Catalonia, and where female work was more numerous. The thesis analyzes how everyday life of these families worked, looking at the gender division of roles. It emphasizes the role women had in this new social development, and makes visible the double shift women assumed as factory workers and as home workers, illustrating how history has obviated that women have always worked inside and outside the home.

More information here.