Within the framework of the World Zero Evictions Days 2009, the International Alliance of Inhabitants summons a competition of ideas for a participative and zero evictions urban renewal of the popular neighborhood of Bon Pastor in Barcelona. The contest “Repensar Bonpastor” aims at the same time to analyze new proposals for the transformation of a neighborhood and generate a debate on the possible transformation of cities, where the inhabitants are not mere customers or users, but the leading actors in the future architectures.
Nowadays, processes of transformation of the city are based on projects of urban renewal, which do not only modify the physical and functional conditions of a determinate area, but also alter the way of life and use of these spaces. Today, the socio-cultural factor, closely linked to these interventions is relegated to unreliable citizen participation experiences and superficial studies, leading to an urban planning lacking of the social and human basis which may give a real response to the needs of the citizens.
In the last years, Bon Pastor’s neighborhood has ran across a transformation process due to the “Urban Renewal Plan” adopted in 2003. This plan implies the complete demolition of 784 social houses (known as casas baratas) built by the City Council in 1929, and the relocation of all the tenants in new apartments. This urban renewal project has generated contrasted opinions, dividing the neighborhood between those who support the plan, those who strongly reject it, and those who accept it due to the lack of alternatives.
In this context, the International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI) calls for a competition of ideas for this neighborhood. The purpose of which is to provide new alternatives for Bon Pastor’s transformation, and thus open a discussion about the dominant and alternative forms of “making the city” and the urbanism that prevails nowadays.