La Catalana

2009 ~ 2012

In 1969 the municipal housing board of Barcelona bought, in Sant Adrià del Besós, the land where La Catalana district would be built. This was carried out with the objective of eradicating the different neighborhood shacks that had been put up in many spots around the city of Barcelona in previous years, as a result of the huge influx of immigrants to Catalonia.
We’re dealing with neighborhood, which sprang up spontaneously as a result of the rehousting of different groups of people, including the gypsy community, most of them from Andalucia, but also from Murcia, Extremadura and Aragón who lived in the older settlements or farmhouses and had been expropriated to raise this new neighborhood. Most of these people suffer from sociocultural and economic difficulties; the sale and consumption of drugs and violence are part of the daily life of the place. The initial allotment of facilities and services was quickly exceeded by the needs of the newcomers, prevailing in young families with kids. Despite the investment made during the 80’s and 90’s to try to resolve these issues, and the lack of coordination and the difficulty of a long term investment commitments prevented an effective change in the social situation of La Catalana.
In 2008 the municipality board agreed to the demolition of La Catalana in order to build new buildings, offices and malls. The population was transferred to new council blocks. However the severity of the recession of the previous years got in the way of the process, leaving the families in limbo. Their houses were in the process of being demolished and the new ones were yet to be built.