Blended Intensive Programme

Engineering school since 1901


Designing public spaces for all: Accessibility, inclusion and gender

This BIP (Blended Intensive Programme) is a short, challenge-based course that brings together transnational teams of students that work on creative projects that combine online collaboration with a short physical mobility.

The ACCESS BIP presents students with a project based on a wicked problem: how to design public spaces (campuses and cities) for all, taking into account accessibility, inclusive design and a gender perspective.

In particular, this BIP has been designed to raise students’ awareness of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by solving wicked problems. By wicked problems we mean complex, interrelated problems that do not have a simple solution.

This project-based BIP requires multidisciplinary teams of students (Urban planning and architecture, technology, social sciences and communication) to apply their knowledge to make proposals while they apply and develop their creative, intercultural and communication skills.

The ACCESS BIP is organized by lecturers from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) (Spain), Universitatea Tehnică din Cluj-Napoca (Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania), University of Belgrade (Serbia), Vaasan yliopisto/University of Vaasa and Université de Mons (Belgium).

The ACCESS BIP will run from February to April 2023 and will involve four weeks of online collaborative work (COIL, Collaborative Online International Learning) followed by a one-week mobility at UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) at Vilanova i la Geltrú.

Teams of students will develop hands-on projects that require reflection on and responses to challenges related to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), especially:


Quality Education

4. Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Gender Equality

5. Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Reduced Inequalities

10. Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Sustainable Cities and Communities

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable


Course description

This BIP (Blended-Intensive programme) is a short challenge-based course that combines online collaboration and a short physical mobility, in which students will present the results of their projects and will include intercultural and social activities.

This BIP is worth 3 ECTS credits.



Aims and learning objectives

Students will be given a wicked problem (using a challenge-based learning methodology) to solve, based on the SDGs defined by the UNESCO 2030 Agenda: THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development .

The intended learning outcomes of this BIP are related to critical thinking, intercultural and transdisciplinary communication, problem solving and project development, and greater awareness of sustainable development as related to the following aspects: ACCESSIBILITY, INCLUSIVE DESIGN/ARCHITECTURE, GENDER STUDIES

The learning goals of this BIP are the following:

Activities and methodology

The BIP will take the form of project work, in transnational teams, based on a wicked problem. The teams will be faced with the following general question:

How can we make public spaces more accessible and inclusive, considering a gender perspective?

In order to approach the question, students will decide to focus their project on a specific university campus, city/town (or specific part of it) or another public space in a community in Europe to make a proposal for the redesign of public space for all, taking into account accessibility, inclusion and a gender perspective. The outcomes will be in the form of a digital communication product (poster/video/short description).


At the start of the BIP, transnational teams will be formed, each consisting of 4-6 students (1-2 students from each of the BIP partners: Spain, Finland, Romania, Serbia), with each student having a specific role related to their field of study. The typical team composition for this BIP is as follows:

Most of the work will be based on online collaboration (COIL/virtual exchange). Lecturers will coach each of the teams and guide students through the project. Specific video lectures will address key topics in the development of the projects.


UPC students:This BIP is open to EPSEVG students that have taken at least one technical communication course (TEEE, TCAP or HADP). Interested students should apply via Demana.

TUC-N students:This BIP is open to engineering students in undergraduate studies (senior years) and postgraduate studies who have taken their English language courses in junior year 1 or/and 2. Interested students should email the academic coordinator: Sonia Munteanu.


The BIP will take place mainly online, combining asynchronous and synchronous team work. The face-to-face activities will take place at UPC at Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona, Spain) during the week of 20-24 March.

The tentative calendar of the BIP is as follows:


Face-to-face activities will take place at the School of Engineering of Vilanova i la Geltrú, one of the schools of engineering of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).

Vilanova i la Geltrú is a pleasant coastal town, located about 50 kilometres south of Barcelona with a population of around 66,000. Its busy town centre and bustling market are worth a visit just as its old quarter, church and theatre. The beach promenade, lined with coffee shops and bars offers an ideal place to go walking or jogging and the beach itself is the starting point to practice many of the water sports available- sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, etc.


Travel and accommodation

How to get to Vilanova

From Barcelona Airport

You can reach Vilanova from the airport in two different ways, by bus or by train.

There are buses which go to Vilanova i la Geltrú. Check the timetable and prices here. You can take the train from the airport to El Prat de Llobregat, then change trains (at the same track) to Vilanova i la Geltrú. Check the timetable and prices on the Renfe website.

From Girona Airport

You need to take a bus to Barcelona Estació del Nord (single ticket €16). You can find more information on transfer options here.

Then walk to the metro station Arc de Triomf and buy a metro ticket to Passeig de Gracia. Make sure you buy your ticket at the red machine in the back on which it says ´TMB´. Take the metro in the direction Hospital de Belvitge (L1, red line) and get out at Catalunya. There you change to the metro in the direction Trinitat Nova (L3, green line), get out at Passeig de Gracia.

At Passeig de Gracia you can buy a train ticket and take the direct train to Vilanova i la Geltrú.


Social programme



This BIP (Blended-Intensive Programme) forms part of the Erasmus+ programme and has been co-funded by the European Union