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La Mina research, Barcelona

La Mina research, Barcelona

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Published by Nicholas Socrates
La Mina research, Barcelona
La Mina research, Barcelona

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Published by: Nicholas Socrates on Jul 15, 2012
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 Nicholas SocratesUrban Design: Art, City, Society.Project: La Mina, 2009BarcelonaIn the 1920s Barcelona was the fastest growing city in Europe. The population of Barcelonaexpanded by 62 per cent during that decade and adjacent blue-collar suburbs like Hospitalet andSanta Coloma doubled and tripled in population. Modernization and industrialization were proceeding at a rapid pace. Migrants from nearby regions were flooding into the city to take jobs.By the 1930s the province of Catalonia, with about 6 million residents, contained about 70% of the manufacturing capacity of Spain. Barcelona had become Spain's largest city, with 1.5 million people.The rapid expansion of the city led to a serious housing shortage and a rapid rent inflation thathad rent rising up to 150% in many areas. The severe shortage of housing also led to serious problems of overcrowding and deterioration in the kind of housing available to the workingclass. There was some public housing -- inexpensive concrete buildings -- but only 2,200 unitshad been built. The city relied overwhelmingly on the private real estate market to providehousing.When the 1992 Olympics arrived in the city it brought with it more than a few hundred runners, bikers jumpers and swimmers; millions of tourists flanked the city, certainly a monetary bonusfor tourism sectors, but hotels, parking lots, restaurants and the like needed to be built toaccommodate the millions of people that Barcelona would host. There was a problem withspace! As the city is built between the sea and the mountains, urban sprawl is not an option.Meaning housing costs would sky rocket and Barcelonites, pushed out of their own territory. Thegames indeed did spank a suburban newness to the city, but did little in solving the city's housingshortage.In 2004 Barcelona hosted a different kind of Olympics -- a five-month cultural and intellectualforum that was bent on solving the world's problems.
 
La MinaBackgroundThe neighborhood of La Mina belongs to the town of Sant Adria Besos on the outskirts of thecity of Barcelona.The creation of the districtUntil the end of the 1960's, La Mina was little more than an area of cultivated fields, livestock and La Mina, from the view from the motorway was scattered hamlets just outside the Barcelonacity limits. At the time Barcelona was experiencing very high immigration from less developedareas of Spain, particularly Andalucia. The immigrants arrived in the city with minimal resourcesleading to the growth of some of the largest shantytown constructions in the country. Shackssprung up in many peripheral parts of the city, including Montjuic, Campo de La Bota, Perona,Casa Antúez, l'Hospitalet and Hospital de St. Pau.Barcelona had been looking for a solution to this serious shantytown problem since the end of the1950's. A planned New Town in the district was approved in 1959 but not realized. It was notuntil 1968 that land was purchased by the Barcelona Council for the construction of low-renthousing in La Mina.La Mina, was built at the beginning of the seventies as a part of a slum clearance project torehouse the population from different urban slums in Barcelona.
 
 Construction began in 1969 but was quickly brought to a halt after the completion of onlyapproximately 500 apartments when the city council realized that the size of the blocks wouldnot permit the relocation of all the shantytown residents. This first development in the district issubsequently known as 'Mina Vieja' (Old Mina).A rapid remodeling of the development plan allowed for a far greater density of development onthe remaining land with the construction of 2,100 further apartments, specifically for the'chabolistas' (shanty town dwellers).2,700 houses were built with official protection under a social housing project.By 1975 there were already 15,133 people living in the neighborhood in the 1975 the figureswere:Municipal area of Sant Adria de Besos: 33, 473 people. Neighborhood of La Mina: 11, 848 people ( 2,222 families).The Surface area of the neighborhood of La Mina: 0.59 km2.The surface area of Sant Adria de Besos: 3,87 km2.

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