Citizen Assets

In the city of Barcelona there is a long tradition of municipal public property being used for community purposes, including real estate, plots of land or facilities managed by non-profit organisations. This community use is administered through a variety of participatory management models.

The Citizen Assets programme for community use and management provides the conceptual and regulatory framework adopted by Barcelona City Council to strengthen, support and promote experiences of this type. It is based on the logic that public things (municipal property) can become communal (citizen patrimony) through new forms of shared management and interaction.

This legal framework confers regulatory and administrative protection and weight on the management of what is known as "common urban assets”.

What are common urban assets?

Historically, the concept of “common assets” was used to designate and claim the shared nature of certain resources which had strong social, territorial and emotional ties to the communities that claimed and inhabited them.

The distinctive feature of these practices is shared management and governance by a certain organised group which, on the basis of direct management, undertakes to ensure the collective enjoyment and care of that location for the benefit of both current and future generations.

This reinvention of the public property management model becomes a citizen-led laboratory of democracy, providing tools, training and empowerment to the communities responsible for the management.

Citizen Assets Catalogue

The Citizen Assets programme will be structured around a catalog, which will contains a list of real estate and plots of land whose use has been assigned to non-profit organisations.

It provides citizens with access to, and knowledge of, the public assets and resources included in the programme and the terms under which the various organisations are permitted to use them.

Organisations will be able to request, according to the availability of each moment, a municipal space to develop their project.

Community Balance Sheet

The Community Balance Sheet is a tool used by organisations to assess the internal and external operation of their projects. It analyses matters such as ties to the territory, social impact and return, democratic, transparent and participation-based internal management, environmental and economic sustainability and the care of people and processes.

When organisations register with the Citizen Assets programme, they agree to be included in the Community Balance Sheet. This is done by means of a form containing questions and indicators aimed at assessing joint social responsibility for the project, local identity, democratic management and focus on the needs of the community and the environment.

More information here.

Citizen Assets Board

The programme includes a Citizen Assets Board, an internal municipal body whose mission is to ensure the coordination of any transfers of use carried out and to organise a citizen property promotion policy.

The Citizen Assets Board centralises the requests of citizens and non-profit organisations in coordination with the districts and other areas of Barcelona City Council.