With the start of 2023, the Master in City & Technology (MaCT) is glad to announce the new upcoming courses in the programme, leaded by state-of-the-art practice offices focused on framing and solving complex urban problems.

The MaCT programme is a one or two years Master that allows people to deep into the intersection between data science and urban practice. As a continuously evolving programme, this year it welcomes inviting experts in the field to embed new innovative perspectives. This year the students have the opportunity to learn from cutting-edge professionals in the technology, as well as the urban planning sector, to better frame complex urban design challenges and build ideas for delivering innovative urban services and start-ups. Moreover, they will be capable of improving their pitching skills through Mixed-Reality tools to introduce themselves in the reality of City and Urban Science practice.

Introduction to City Science: Problem Framing to solve complex urban design challenges

 Credits: Aretian Urban Analytics and Design LLC

City Science modeling techniques have acquired a high degree of maturity in recent years. Modeling cities as complex systems enables us to better understand different urban development patterns and anticipate the impact of different urban design strategies on citizens’ quality of life. By modeling cities both aesthetically and mathematically, we can address problems in the realm of urban design, city planning, mobility systems, managing urban systems, activity zoning and placemaking, regional planning, and economic development, among others.

This course will introduce students with state-of-the-art City Science modeling techniques, through the lens of Design Thinking and Complex Systems. The course is lead by Ramon Gras, a City Scientist and Urban Designer from Barcelona, working on the urban innovation space. With a MsC in MIT & Harvard, he is co-founder of Aretian, a company that develops boutique consulting projects involving city science, urban design and economic development, as well as software development services to address city design, Real Estate, and urban development processes.

Business Innovation: Build your own Urban Tech Startup


 Credits: Daimler Future Scenarios / xoio

The challenges we are facing in cities are huge, hence we have to radically rethink our current ways of doing things. Startups develop new solutions that – if successful – can positively affect the life of millions (or even billions!) in cities all over the world. In this course the faculty show you how you can turn into an urban entrepreneur yourself – and make your own city-changing idea a reality. In this course, students define and validate a challenge-based problem they would like to turn into a scalable product or service which has the potential to transform cities for the better. Once students have articulated their idea, they will apply design thinking for people and the planet to identify potential solutions, clarify their impact and the associated stakeholder dynamics in an urban context. Students will develop their own business proposition by learning to master the Business Model Canvas.

The course is lead by Jan Bunge and Jonas Schorr. Jan is the Director at Squint/Opera, where he oversees the creative and digital excellence for many international projects. He builds long-term relationships with leading industry partners and is instrumental in furthering the studio’s presence in the built environment and green technology industries. Jonas is the co-founder of the Berlin-based consulting boutique Urban Impact Agency, which specializes in projects that accelerate the transition to sustainable cities by leveraging startup innovation.

Storytelling & the City: Delivering Ideas through powerful storytelling

 Credits: Urban Col.labs

Designing cities can be considered a form of storytelling, stories of interactions, experiences, emotions, and reactions to the urban form. Great spaces and initiatives usually have great stories and concepts behind them. However, a powerful story can also be built on a simple idea. The purpose of this course is to improve and develop storytelling skills, explore the way urban planning projects are set and pitched in a business setting, and build a professional personal brand. The students will be introduced to the process of urban design procurement and team structure, how projects and briefs get set and how consultants bid for them. All with the final aim of forming a clearer vision of their future career path and how to sell their stories and ideas for investors and decision-makers.

The course is lead by Leyla Saadi, an urbanist and storyteller who is committed to the betterment of life in cities and human settlements. Leyla has been practicing urban design and architecture internationally for nearly a decade. She recently founded Urban Col.labs, a collaboration of international experts in the fields of Urban Design, Art, and Technology. Urban Col.labs strives to merge the worlds of Urbanism, Public Art, and Data Science to create unique and creative solutions for cities and the public space.

Urban MR: Extended urban workflows with Augmented Reality


Credits: Andorra | Dynamic Urban Planning MIT Media Lab: CityCience

The Urban MR seminar focuses on introducing an understanding of Mixed Reality spectrum technologies and their building blocks, through a practical exploration of Augmented Reality (AR) framework in Unity Engine. Students will investigate different applications of AR in the creative process of urbanists – from design phase to realisation. By blending between physical and digital layers, urban planners can achieve faster-paced iterations of design, more informed usage of spaces and feedback mechanisms in order to provide designers tools to improve policy-making and citizen engagement through physical and digital interaction.

The course is lead by Daniil Koshelyuk who is a computational designer, creative coder, and architect. Daniil has been working with interactive installations, merging physical computing and computational design tools; mixed reality projects in a range of applications from product design to urban analysis; and teaching seminars and workshops in computational design, physical computing, and mixed reality.

Are you interested in developing projects like this? Don’t miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the future of cities in Barcelona, the birthplace of urbanism! Discover more about MaCT and participate to IAAC’s Scholarship Competition, now open until the 31st of January 2023!