Vallcarca is a neighbourhood in the district of Gràcia which has been affected over the last 50 years by various urban-development plans that have had an impact on its morphology. Compulsory purchases and demolitions of buildings from the old quarter as a result of these urban planning projects, the departure of local residents and elimination of local commerce, empty plots of land due to the effects of the crisis etc. The neighbourhood has deteriorated over the years and the aim now is to remedy that situation with a new Amendment to the General Metropolitan Plan (MPGM) around C/ Farigola, C/ Cambrils, C/ Calendau, C/ Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Av. Vallcarca and the Vallcarca bridge, consisting of an area of 15,400 m2.

The last few years saw several local residents’ organisations promoting participatory meetings in November 2014, El barri que volem [The neighbourhood we want], organised jointly with Barcelona City Council and with some hundred local residents taking part. One of the conclusions reached from the meetings was the creation of the Vallcarca Urban Planning Work Group, made up of local-resident and administrative representatives, to tackle the neighbourhood's various problems.

An international competition for ideas over this space was held in 2016, and the winning project was the architect Carles Enrich's “Arrels” [Roots]. The project was debated by local residents and associations during the Participatory Meetings held in 2017, to improve the project with contributions from the players involved. The MPGM will start to be implemented in March 2018.

In addition, the project to be implemented in Vallcarca includes other zones that will be dealt with and debated separately.

Participatory structure and players involved

The main citizen participatory body is the Vallcarca Urban Planning Work Group, made up of neighbourhood associations and organisations. Among other things, the work group was commissioned with managing the debates at the participatory meetings held between September and December 2017.

Local residents belonging to or working with the following organisations took part: Vallcarca Local Residents’ Platform, Vallcarca Assembly, Ruderal Association for promoting cooperative housing in Vallcarca, Vallcarca Observatory, Coordinadora AFAs, Architects without Borders, Gràcia Nord Local Residents’ Association and ProVallcarca Local Residents’ Association, along with several municipal experts, the Col·lectiu Volta Arquitectes and Carles Enrich, the architect who drafted the winning “Arrels” project. Various neighbourhood organisations and related entities were also contacted and invited to collaborate.

Once these meetings ended, the body tasked with monitoring the implementation of the MPGM will be the Vallcarca Urban Planning Work Group.