Tomorrow students will be making their first site visit to Ciutat Meridiana, a peripheral neighborhood of Barcelona and the subject of their first workshop in the masters course. The focus will be on “recycling” the existing urban and architectural barriers, as well as addressing the social challenges emerging in a neighborhood with the highest eviction rate in all of Spain.
With a population of 11,000, the neighborhood is characterized by an impossible orography of steep terrains that were aggressively built up during the real estate bubble, attracting a high percentage of immigrant families who took the place of an earlier generation that moved to newer, more forgiving and better-communicated neighborhoods. Unable to pay mortgages on homes that are now worth one quarter of what they bought them for, homeowners are being evicted left and right, amounting typically to several per week. Virtually every building has one or more apartments for sale. In response and support of the community, the platform PAH (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca)–in english “platform for those affected by mortgage”–fights to stop unjust evictions and to defend the fundamental right to housing.
In the workshop, which adopts a regenerative approach in order to identify intervention topics for the physical and social enhancement of the Ciutat Meridiana neighborhood, students will develop comprehensive strategies and specific projects through a hands-on, community-based methodology, where identity, culture and spatial strategies compliment each other.
Stay tuned to the workshop’s progress here on the blog and on our FB page.