Barcelona, Spain

The University of Barcelona Team has applied different methods from the proposals of the work packages two (System Dynamics) and three (Participatory Methods) in the Barcelona case studies: Fabra i Coats Recint, and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. Those works lead to the design of the different tools proposed in the Evaluation and Recommendations. The results of these researches are not available at the moment;  they will be disseminated through publications later.


Recint Fabra i Coats

Fabra i Coats Recint is located in the Sant Andreu de Palomar neighbourhood of Barcelona. Sant Andreu de Palomar, a village until the end of the 19th century, became part of Barcelona in 1897 and is now a vibrant district of the city. The old thread and textile factory Fabra i Coats is an iconic building with deep roots in the neighborhood's history. Our inquiries focused on how the site's mutation was incorporated into the neighborhood's heritage discourses, which were promoted on the one hand by the authorities and on the other by local associations.We sought to explore perceptions of change and sustainable preservation strategies.

Nowadays, Fabra I Coats Recint continues its osmotic process of transformation, and from a Deep Cities perspective, it plays a hinge role. It is a timeless space where the memories of its industrial past coexist with a dynamic associative grass-roots present. Fabra i Coats its the headquartes of several community groups. In addition, the recint will soon witness the arrival of a museum of labor curated by the former factory employees that will perpetuate their stories for the future. Both the authorities and its stakeholders are interested in keeping the site as well maintained as possible and are promoting the improvement and restoration of many of its spaces. However, there are also some competing narratives, particularly between residents and event organizers. Through this case study, we were able to collect data not only from the Sant Andreu neighbourhood but also to find useful information to compare with other cases in Edinburgh, Florence, and Oslo.


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Read the Deep Cities blog post about this case study


L’Hospitalet city centre  

L’Hospitalet de Llobregat is a town in the eastern part of Greater Barcelona. Walking through the streets of its urban area you can see traces of its past preserved in many buildings. Through this case study, we explore wich is the role of heritage in the dynamics of urban commodification. The image of L’Hospitalet as a hospitable city that is ensuring that at least some of its industrial past is being preserved may, in fact, be obscuring the effects of social expulsion.

The social base of the town has changed in the last two to three decades, with many of the newcomers now having been born in other countries. L’Hospitalet, continues to be the first port of call for those attracted to Barcelona but who cannot afford to live in the big city. However, keeping heritage alive may be promoting a conversion of the city into a factory for the production of urban capital gains. Can this process be reversed? The Deep Cities approach is a contribution to identifying the tangible and intangible values of industrial architecture that deserve to be preserved in order to promote sustainable urban solutions capable of reversing the socio-spatial effects generated by the commodification of heritage.


Read the Deep Cities blog post about this case study

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