Colònia Castells

The process launched by the Les Corts district for renewing the Colònia Castells project was used as a pilot test for creating a new municipal action model for urban-planning transformation processes with such features, having effects on families and their housing.

The municipal government decided to start a full diagnostic process, despite the fact that the Colònia Castells transformation was already halfway through the implementation of the plan, because it had detected that there was a need for information flows and to increase the decision spaces’ representation, as well as enabling all the local residents affected to feel more involved in the entire transformation.

Hence the commissioning of a full diagnosis, conducted from a more “human” and “humanising” perspective, but with the aim of collecting data that could show the social and residential situation of the families affected, especially those that were still waiting for a solution to their problems in this area. It was through this preliminary work, before the new decisions were taken, that the municipal government aimed to put people at the centre of this urban-planning process.

The diagnosis shows, among other things, that the older population was the profile most affected: the average age was 69.

The diagnosis, which the field work conducted in November and December 2015, also revealed that the Colònia Castells transformation saw how families living in poorer housing were the ones that stayed for the last stage of the transformation (formerly the third stage), whereas families living in housing in better conditions were the ones about to be relocated (in the former second stage).

This provided the grounds for the proposal to change the stages and which was finally supported through a directly representational vote from local residents in the area affected.