Fem Festa, Fem Safaretjos!

Safaretjos (lavatory in Catalan) represented the first long-term and territorial project for AC: we were invited by the municipality to test our methodology in a larger scale for two years. Safaretjos presents a double condition of periphery and centrality on the one hand it has a peripheral condition within Santa Coloma de Gramenet, but by other hand ii very close to Barcelona – on the other side of the river – and in front of the ring road. The neighbourhood is disconnected from its surroundings and has no public facilities. As a result, it is being depopulated due to the lack of opportunities, commerce is closing and the young population that progressed economically systematically left the area. On top of everything, a riverside masterplan had been approved and later on stopped due to the opposition of neighbours who, despite recognizing the area needed more housing to attract new population, felt it would have a negative impact as a result of its morphology. In the 2009, the new major Nuria Parlon accepted and agreed with neighbours claiming and stopped the master plan.


Through more than two years we developed a number of projects and strategies, focusing on topics such as borders, facilities, typological identity, elderly people, isolation, and children. The results were regularly presented under the form of “actions” which joined academic and leisure purposes, gathering academia, neighbours, local associations and the administration.

 

As a result of the successful event of the first workshop, we received from the municipality the commission to organize a community-building event. Safaretjos was the only neighbourhood of Santa Coloma which did not have its community year party. These are rooted traditions in Spain, and the absence of it is meaningful and evidenced the lack of social cohesion and feeling of identity. We proposed to recover a traditional “Foam Party” and organize it along with local associations, collectives and schools. The party was a media to, on the first place, cohesion the community through the construction of the facilities that would host it. Secondly, during the whole day a number of debates around the neighbourhood and its problems and potentialities took place between neighbours, politirtians and academics.