The “Bachillera” and the struggle against gentrification in Seville

"Camino del Almez" in the Bachillera neighborhood (Seville)

Just as in Barcelona, gentrification arrived to Seville in the eighties, when the city began to prepare for Expo ’92. But the struggles and mobilization against real estate speculation didn’t begin until the decade of 2000. The Bachillera, a neighborhood of self-constructed houses in Macarena district, historically was in the outskirts of the city, but with the Expo entered in a “new central area”. Residents own the houses, but the lands belongs to the Sevillan Charity Association, who wanted to demolish the entire neighborhood. The initial demolition plan was blocked through the collaboration of neighbors and activists/technicians, that managed to get involved in a rehabilitation project for the neighborhood. Neighborhood assemblies were held, then participative workshops, door-to-door enquiries, a consensual diagnosis of the neighborhood, and even a 15 days occupation in the headquarters of the Sevillan Charity Association.

Ten years after the first meeting of residents and technicians (in 2000), the inhabitants – that managed to enter in the direction of Sevillan Charity Association to stop its speculative plans – keep negotiating on the future of the “Bachillera” with the city administration, helped by technicians (some of which even moved on to live in the neighborhood!). On january 24 a new assembly took place, to discuss the pleads to the new project; the struggle continues, but gentrification can return through different ways: there are some companies willing to buy houses that were saved through the struggles, and some residents are interested to sell them.

La Bachillera (Seville)