Jessica Wurwarg | Urban Planning and Policy Specialist

I arrived in Olot to be a Faber Urban Planning resident in an unusual arrangement, with a strong interest in food’s relationship to cities and my two and a half year old daughter in tow, really not sure what to expect. What I discovered was an extremely intelligent, creative, warm, welcoming, curious crew of people who in some way identified as urban planners. A strong spirit of collaboration abounded, even if just for feedback on a presentation or for ordering a meal at dinner. The residency offered freedom to explore our own research and as well as our environment in beautiful Catalonia, but also offered some structure to allow us to bond and interact with each other. 

My daughter attended a local Montessori school, and though it was just for a short time, we felt we were part of the life of the city and part of the community.  Daily trips to the playground and public market offered a glimpse into the good quality of life of this small city, and offered a delicious taste of regional cuisine—including quite a wide variety of cheeses. I hosted a cheese and wine tasting event for fellow residents and invited guests and through this learned a lot about the tastes and flavors and history of the region. 

From my vantage point now, in my Manhattan office, looking out at the Friday evening commuter traffic creeping along on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, I long for the crisp clean air and mountain view and dynamic company (and delicious cheese!) I discovered at Faber.