This week our students paid a visit to La Mina neighborhood in Barcelona, an example of urban renewal that serves as a case study for their current project to improve living conditions in Spain’s “Eviction City”, Ciutat Meridiana.
Located along the coast in the Sant Adrià de Besòs district, a municipality in the Barcelona metropolitan area, La Mina was built in the 1970s to provide new housing for predominantly gypsy populations living in various slum neighborhoods near the area. Physical, geographical and socio-economic disparities brought about the first urban intervention during the 80’s and 90’s, proving inefficient and leading to a Consortium-driven Transformation Plan in 2000 based on urban and social regeneration.
La Mina’s urban transformation was underpinned by identity, centrality, and exchange and took shape through the construction of a new, central zipper for the neighborhood—a rambla—along which new spaces, new facilities and new housing could grow.
Though Ciutat Meridiana’s steep topography is distinctly different from that of La Mina, the coastal neighborhood serves as an excellent example of urban transformation in which physical aspects of an outdated urban configuration and socio-economic strife posed major challenges.
In their research for solutions and strategies for urban renewal in Ciutat Meridiana, students will be studying the best practices put into effect in La Mina under the guidance of professors Sandra Bestraten and Emilio Hormias, who took part in one of the neighborhood’s rehabilitation projects.
photos by student Noel Sampson