More about Barcelona’s Vila Olímpica

15/09/2016 admin 0
The Vila Olímpica is the biggest planned intervention of Barcelona in the 20th century. Its construction required the demolition of the old buildings and the eviction of its residents, as in the hygienist urban planning of the 19th century. However, some exiled memories survived the destruction, and come back to life whenever one of the evicted returns in his/her former neighborhood.

Crossing the capital of culture: summer in Marseille

26/08/2016 admin 0
What happened with the Euromediterranée, an ambitious project that costed over 3,5 billion euros, and that transformed 480 hectars? Can we get rid of it by simply calling it gentrification? A commentary by two Italian planners, R. Marchini & A. Sotgia.

Same old story in Milan: The destruction of Isola

07/08/2016 admin 0
In crossing the Isola neighborhood in Milan, whoever knows Barcelona suffers a kind of déja vu. The same buildings, the same companies, the same destruction as in Poblenou in 2004. Nouvel is replaced by Boeri, and the Universal Forum of Cultures with the Expo 2015.

The Idroscalo, a self-grown neighborhood on the coast of Rome

02/05/2016 admin 0
Few people know that Rome has a coastal line. Where the Tiber river meets the sea, lies the last self-built neighborhood of the Italian capital: Idroscalo, where Pasolini died, and where 500 families have been fighting during half a century against the threat of urban renewal.

Repensar Bonpastor: finally, the book!

25/04/2016 admin 0
It is a pleasure to announce that finally we managed to publish the book Repensar Bonpastor: Tejiendo historias de Barcelona desde el umbral de las casas baratas, a collective work that is the product and testimony of the Competition of ideas for the neighborhood of Bon Pastor, on which we had been working for many years.

City Life Vida Urbana: How evicted turn into activists

23/03/2016 admin 0
Boston has today the highest income divide of the US: evictions invariably hit latinos or afroamerican neighborhoods. City Life / Vida Urbana since the 1970s keeps building a network of mutual aid among those who suffer the consequences of these housing policies, also through the use of theater, rituals, symbols.

Group photo in Montjuic

09/03/2016 admin 0
Pierpaolo Pasolini, Juan Goytisolo and Salvador Clotas in front of Barcelona's old slum of Can Tunis, that were demolished in 2004. A photo taken in 1968, from a post on Oriol Nel·lo's blog about "language, popular culture, and the revolutionary subject" (in catalan).
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Call for papers: The culture of the urban peripheries

03/11/2015 admin 0

Before november 8th (sunday) you can still send your papers to the call for The culture of the urban peripheries: Historical memory, urban struggles and social change on the fringes of the neoliberal city. It is an interdisciplinary conference that will be held on december 1oth and 11th, 2015 at the University of Barcelona. The panels will deal with the following issues: Central culture and peripheral cultures; Heritage and touristization; The elitary subjugation of ‘popular culture’; Social conflicts as a source of  unity.

Life in the ruins of old Nanjing

30/10/2015 admin 0
The anthropologist Ye LIN invites us to look at the demolition of a neighborhood in Nanjing - very near to the spot in where the Youth Olympic Games were held in 2014. Ye studies the impact on the residents of the whole process, also highlighting how our idea of "community" influences the way we judge this kind of interventions.

The discreet urbanism of the bourgeoisie

05/10/2015 admin 0
As José Mansilla writes, in focusing on the rising, the growth and evolution of the middle class we understand how the so-called "progressive" urbanism in Barcelona took this turn to real estate speculation and privatizations. Will this process continue, or will we have the chance to see some change?
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Around the world, around the world: INURA, EASA, AAG, IPSA

09/09/2015 admin 0

At the beginning of September in Athens there was the 25th congress of INURA, International Network of Urban Research in Action , about “Transformative urban politics”.

In Noviembre in Lubljana there will be the Congress of the Applied Anthropology Network of the EASA – European Association of Social Anthropologists, under the promising title of “Why the world needs anthropologists – burning issues of our hot planet”.

And to go even further, at the end of March in San Francisco there will be the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, where a panel will be on “Narrating displacement: lived experiences of urban social and spatial exclusions”. The call for papers will finish on October 15th.

While October 7th is the deadline to present communications at the panel “Contemporary struggles and revolt in Mediterranean cities” at the IPSA congress (International Political Science Association) – to be hold in July in Istanbul.

So, no excuses! Let’s work and present papers as much as we can, since we have to change this old academic paradigm: and the times are favorable.…

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Where is the new urban frontier?

24/07/2015 admin 0

An international conference on Global capitalism and urban regeneration, as an homage to the great marxist geographer Neil Smith, that left us some years ago. Where do they hold it? At the MACBA, the Museum of contemporary art built in the Raval in the beginning of the 1990s. Like Columbia in Harlem, like La Sapienza in San Lorenzo, like the Centre Pompidou in Les Halles, and like many other cultural institution in neighborhoods “in regeneration”, the MACBA represented the beginning of the new urban colonization in the heart of Barcelona. As to say: when space says more than words, when the container quarrels with the contents. But at the same time, calling for the need to transcend the pain and remember the history at the same time. As Miquel Martí i Pol says: vam girar full temps ha, i alguns s’entesten / en llegir encara la mateixa plana (1980) [we turned the page some time ago, and there’s people who keep reading the same old page].

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On with more dichotomies!

11/07/2015 admin 0

A brief note on a recent debate within the field of radical geography, which opposed Simon Springer, anarchist, and David Harvey, marxist. Each one defends his own position: Simon maintains that radical geography must be anarchist; David answers it’s not true, that it should be (or can be) marxist; Simon replies that Harvey didn’t get the point. The debate is interesting, up to a point, and shows how there are mortgages of the past for which not even the PAH will get forgiveness. Anyway, it highlights that critical geography is in an interesting moment, and that some debates that were important are reproducing themselves in the studies of space. We hope that the shifting grounds of the present will help to make possible what nobody managed to do in the past.

Taking the occasion, we point out that the Seventh Congress in Critical Geography will be held in Ramallah, Palestine, from July 25th to 30th (2015), under the title of “Precarious radicalism in shifting grounds: towards a politics of possibility”.

  • Simon Springer “Why a radical geography must be anarchist”, Dialogues in Human Geography, 2014, 4:249-270. (here for members, or on academia)
  • David Harvey “Listen Anarchist”, 2015 (on his blog)
  • Simon Springer “The limits to Marx: David Harvey and the condition of postfraternity” (on academia)
  • Katherine Gibson “Thinking around what a radical geography ‘must be'”, forthcoming in Dialogues in Human Geography (on communityeconomies)
  • Webpage of Ramallah’s International Congress on Critical Geography (ICCG)!