University of Leicester
Browse
1824-Article Text-9184-1-10-20200414.pdf (516.06 kB)

From the horizontal to the vertical: The displacement of Bon Pastor in Barcelona

Download (516.06 kB)
Version 2 2020-05-12, 13:16
Version 1 2020-05-12, 13:14
journal contribution
posted on 2020-05-12, 13:16 authored by Stefano Portelli
In the 2000s Barcelona’s City Council initiated the demolition of the working-class neighborhood of Bon Pastor as part of a ‘participatory’ urban plan aimed at integrating a deprived population into the city. However, the residents’ narratives show that tearing down the traditional one-story houses built in 1929, and relocating people into new and taller buildings nearby, disrupted the social forms crucial for the cultural, social, and political identities of residents. The physical verticalization of space dispossessed people not only of the old horizontal (one-story) houses they rented for many decades, but also of the practice of horizontal, face-to-face interactions in the streets, which mediated conflicts, prevented social and ethnic tensions, and kept out unwanted intrusions from the authorities. These techniques were rooted in the anarchist counterculture of Barcelona’s working-class neighborhoods of the 30s, when street life was considered a tool of the workers against the state, and which had been crucial in the urban resistance to Francisco Franco’s military regime. For these reasons, the demolition of Bon Pastor, although upheld through a progressive rhetoric of citizens participation which allowed most residents to remain in the neighborhood, severed the links between people and the streets, and as a result fragmented a community whose historical recalcitrance towards the state had been a defining feature since before the Spanish war.

History

Citation

Portelli, Stefano. 2020. “From the Horizontal to the Vertical”. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 19 (1), 339-51. https://142.207.145.31/index.php/acme/article/view/1824.

Published in

Acme: an international e-journal for critical geographies

Volume

19

Issue

1

Pagination

339-51

Publisher

University of British Columbia

issn

1492-9732

Acceptance date

2019-10-22

Copyright date

2020

Available date

2020-04-15

Publisher version

https://142.207.145.31/index.php/acme/article/view/1824

Spatial coverage

Barcelona

Language

en

Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications

    Categories

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC