From “Plan de la Ribera” to “22@”: the transformation of the shore of Barcelona

“It’s just like giving a knife to a 2-years-old child: they don’t know what they’re doing. That means, that we’ll have beautiful buildings, but we have to look where they built them. There were things there, before”.Jaume Pagès, former worker of Can Ricart

Between 2005 and 2006 we had been working on the neighborhood of Poblenou, under two different points of view. Historically, we tried to reconstruct the processes of resistance of residents of Poblenou that, in the sixties and seventies, were struck by the ambitious “Plan de la Ribera”, with which the francoist mayor Porcioles tried to turn the northern shore of the city in a residential and leisure area. Ethnographically, we studied the contemporary processes through how residents and workers of the neighborhood reacted to  the not-less-ambitious “Plan 22@”, with which the socialist mayor Joan Clos, between 2000 and 2004, tried to turn the biggest part of Poblenou in a residential and leisure area. The work was too great for our forces, and finally we had to abandon the idea of studying the whole neighborhood of Poblenou (200 hectars). But we made a series of interviews with former activists and inhabitants about the “Plan de la Ribera”, and many interviews about a particular case of “22@”, the factories of Can Ricart.