22.06 - 17.09 Barcelona

Ideas, strategies and projects that give rise to pilot projects. They tackle the challenges raised by the stakeholders involved and which are found in particular places in Barcelona or Medellín.

Map of Opportunities

This map, a starting point for launching a debate, presents the idea of building 100,000 new public homes for rent in Barcelona. The city needs a housing stock capable of remedying the profit-seeking abuses of speculation and of guaranteeing residents’ right to a home.

This brainwave is intended to refute two widely held beliefs:

Firstly, it reminds us of two things: that compactness is not a characteristic trait of the whole of Barcelona; and that congestion is not a problem caused by the dense population but by the massive presence of private vehicles. At the junction between various areas of the urban fabric, next to major infrastructure, at the water’s edge and in the housing estates put up during the building boom of the 1960s and the first half of the 70s, there are swathes where there is too much public space that is underutilised, expensive to maintain, monotonous and lacking in identity.

And secondly, it points to the fact that freeing up land is not the only way to create new properties. Repairs, additions and the interstices can provide exciting possibilities for architectural solutions that go hand in hand with refurbishment. Adding to the housing density in this way is intended to achieve four goals:


  • To moderate the voracity of the property market by bringing down rental prices.
  • To reclaim neighbourhoods taken over by the monoculture of tourism, maintain the identity of their social fabric and enable local young people to start an independent life.
  • To green the rooftops of the new public rented accommodation in the city.
  • To revive the economic motors of the construction and refurbishment industry.


Laboratori d'Urbanisme - ETSAB - UPC


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