Party walls are those anonymous walls that divide properties and play no role in a building's outer appearance but which, as a result of planning alterations, remain publicly exposed in a permanent provisional state. When that happens it breaks up the landscape, fractures the urban fabric, creating serious building and habitability problems for local residents.
With the goal of integrating Barcelona's urban discontinuities into the surrounding urban fabric, the Urban Landscape Institute promotes the recovery of party walls through architectural integration projects designed to give meaning to them, to provide cultural and social identities to places where these have been lost.
The Party Wall Recovery Programme has succeeded in improving and highlighting those areas where it has been implemented, as it integrates small, forgotten or undervalued landscapes into their respective contexts. Every action aims to interpret that context, integrating walls rather than drawing attention to them.
Since the programme has been in operation, we have been able to see how the intervention strategies proposed (a good quality, durable, respectful, architectural project that integrates into the whole) have influenced those who intervene in the urban landscape. It is noticeable that more and more project designers are applying these kinds of strategies to their interventions, that more and more promoters are becoming aware of the importance of integrating forgotten party walls into the context of the city.
The recovery programme is financed by various incentives provided by both public funding and private sponsorship, as well as resources generated by compensation for intensive landscape use.
The regulatory instruments governing the programme are the Architectural Heritage Catalogue and the Byelaw on Urban Landscape Use, which proposes collaboration agreements as a tool for managing public-private cooperation in landscape improvements.