Photo: Pere Virgili

Citizen Imagination

Barcelona Metròpolis

The job of politicians and urban planners is to detect urban pathologies and solve them. The remodelling of La Rambla is an opportunity for an exercise in administrative therapy (on a small scale) that encourages citizens to believe that they have plenty to say and something to do to improve their surroundings in a non-defensive way.

Foto: Pere Virgili

The city seemed to have lost its most genuine promenade for ever, or at least that’s what a lot of people thought. The Km_Zero team won the ideas competition to improve the Rambla with a project that sets out to catalyse collective hope in its rebirth.

Foto: Pere Virgili

Latin American countries share a strong tendency towards participation in associations, and this can be seen in the significant number of organizations created by citizens originally from the other side of the Atlantic. The presence of females is very significant: Latin American women have become key to the maintenance of the welfare of the native population.

Foto: Dani Codina

Except for the Chinese and the Italians, the volume of immigrants in Barcelona has stabilized, and many people —largely as a result of the recession and the rise in the cost of living— have decided to move to another town or to return home. Under these circumstances, other nationalities that had not been as well-represented have become more visible, like the Bengalis, the Armenians or Hondurans.

Foto: Francesc Serra / AFB

As an architect and town-planner, Puig i Cadafalch left a profound and lasting mark on Barcelona. But as a politician, despite the importance of his role as successor to Prat de la Riba at the head of the Mancomunitat of Catalonia, his work has been questioned.

Jardins als terrats de l’Eixample, d’Eva Prats.

An exhibition by the Escola d’Arquitectura (College of Architecture) has gathered the best graduation projects since 1978. This article presents a small sample of this work, as seen by its authors, practising architects who have agreed to take part in the experiment of returning to the past and contextualising it in the present.

Foto: Ajuntament de Barcelona. Urbanisme

What would the other Barcelona have been like? The one that was imagined but frustrated for financial or political reasons or because of changing fashions, the one that was put away in a drawer to wait for better times or the one of projects short-listed in competitions they didn’t win in the end. We visit it on the following lines.

Foto: Fundació Museu d'Història de la Medicina de Catalunya

Officially, science was a man’s affair in Barcelona until very recently. This can be seen, for example, in the gallery of names of illustrious academics in the Paranimf of the University of Barcelona, which only includes one woman: 17th-century philosopher Juliana Morell. However, if we look under the surface, we find that women have in fact been involved in the scientific and technical life of the city in many different ways.

Foto: Arianna Giménez

Reinventing cinemas

Gerardo Santos

From the 70´s, the historical establishments – neighbourhood cinemas and other, classier, first – run downtown cinemas – came up time and again against the challenge of survival. Throughout this struggle, and over and above the overpowering creeping commercialism, alternative circuits have been established that have allowed new experiences for cinema-lovers while preserving the best of the traditional ones.

Foto: Albert Armengol

The second debate in the series organised by Barcelona en Comú under the general title ‘Dret i defensa del Comú’ (‘The Law and Defence of the Commons’) brought together during the month of November the acclaimed activist Naomi Klein, author of a damning account of ‘shock doctrine’, and the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau.

Periodisme gris. Jaume Fabre

Grey journalism

Jordi Amat

Fabre is one the journalists who best knows his city. He wrote a splendid doctoral thesis on 1939 Barcelona and played a decisive role in safeguarding the memory of his guild. His new book, which avoids moral condemnation, returns to the post-war world of journalism.

Taxi, Carlos Zanón

Harry Crews said that talent wasn’t a bad thing in literature, but what mattered was courage. Zanón has more than enough. He speaks of parents and children and grandmothers, of Horta and Guinardó, of the bourgeoisie or of ‘the bottom of the middle class’. When he gets stuck into his neighbourhood and background, his talent spurts like a geyser.