Neighbors, an endangered species in Barceloneta
Sergi Yanes (University of Barcelona)
Gerard Horta (Universitat de Barcelona)
Paper short abstract:
The Barceloneta has witnessed in recent years of an unstoppable economic and urban development that have the tourism industry as the main actor of change. Barceloneta's neighbors have adopted mechanisms of fight that situates them at the epicenter of the Barcelona neighborhood struggle against tourism.
Paper long abstract:
The expansion of the tourism industry in la Barceloneta, has caused conflicts of interests between neighborhood residents, the City Council and the companies / services dedicated to tourism. The rising price of housing, the modification of public space and social relationships, have undermined the social networks of a traditional working-class neighborhood. Many residents, especially elders, have fled their homes because they can not pay the new rent or live in the abandoned situation of many buildings that construction companies, voluntarily, want to empty, projecting to create apartments of touristic use. Different groups, activists and neighborhood associations, have begun a process of recovering memory and dignity of the neighborhood that has joined the demands of the neighborhood associations of the territory. Beyond denying the tourism industry, these collectives require that the mark of economic and social model that prevails in Barcelona, not eliminate the possibility of living in the neighborhood. While the City Council tries to convince of the goodness of tourism, the propaganda machinery for the promotion of tourism, continues to treat the neighborhood as a picturesque, at the same time modern and cosmopolitan place to sunbathe, eat, drink and party. Many neighbors warn that it is necessary to generate a real and creative debate about the future of the place in which prevails the right to live in la Barceloneta above the interests of those who seek to live from la Barceloneta. Meanwhile, thousands of carefree tourists swim in the sea and photograph the folklorism of one of the fashionless district of Barcelona.
Shaping lives and places within social movements