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Barcelona (/bɑːrsəˈlnə/, Catalan: [bəɾsəˈlonə], Spanish: [barθeˈlona]) is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in the Kingdom of Spain, as well as the country’s second most populous municipality, with a population of 1.6 million within city limits. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.7 million people, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan.[3] It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; it is leading Spain in both employment rate and GDP per capita change. In 2009 the city was ranked Europe’s third and one of the world’s most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe’s fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, and the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona is a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe’s principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles above 40 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe


so much going on in barcelona..  yet not adding page until this day.. listening again to Francesca Bria

dec 2016 – smart city expo – Roundtable Session – A New Deal on Data: What role for Cities?




10 min – tech – how can we design together techs that have public return.. that embed social goods.. that take into account we are designing together with citizens..

mech simple enoughhosting-life-bits via self-talk as data

27 min – @gemmagaldon: barcelona 3 yrs ago.. putting fablab in poor neighborhood.. neighbors stormed bldg.. wanted foodbank.. fundamentally broken in tech society and policy makers.. can cities react to that.. when tech co’s are beginning to seem too big to fail..

30 min – on the system functioning only for the few.. if you can’t show this will work at planetary level.. not a very appealing vision..

problem deep enough: a & a

32 min – basis for more inclusive econ.. econ that’s not based on commodification/financialization of data.. but also serves to develop a more collab econ…what is left for cities.. when you have complex problems.. you need to work at a diff layer..

35 min – orchestrate better systems .. with a level playing field..

in germany: information self-determination..  if no transparency.. i can’t regulate.. ie: i don’t know how this effects the pricing..

go deeper.. with that info self-determination.. ie:  self-talk as data

43 min – q: our capacity to reinvent how we use data.. what we use it for.. could be located.. ie: not in google..    a: we need a hybrid architecture approach when it comes to infrastructure/architecture.. alt’s that imply distributive.. citizen governed.. so we can experiment with new models..

ps in the open  so we can io dance


same conf (smart city expo) via David Bollier:

barcelona‘s brave struggle to advance commmons

But the deeper point remains:  How to integrate commons-based systems with the *complex realities of city governments and markets as they exist today?  Or must commons occupy a different sphere entirely?

*realities..? as in givens..?

I confess that I do not have a fully satisfying answer to these question

the city as a commons – dec 2016




tragedy of commons – only looking at resources.. not systems.. elinor comes and clears it up

enclosures of the city.. overbuilt/overmarketized/unfair.. turning wealth into commodities..

20 % of human genome patented.. causing problems.. same with environment.. causes of enclosure

the common generates value .. it’s not a tragedy

14 min – how do we reinvent city as commons..

short plan

15 min – city as living social system of interdependent creative agents..  individual agency as real source of power.. if a city could tap into that.. energies.. that otherwise couldn’t pay for..

but this requires other ways of govt/managing..

hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data

cultivating a culture of citizen led innovation..

20 min – platform coop

not common ing

21 min  -alt currency

not common ing

22 min – m pesa – as alt to transacting when currency not available..

not common ing

why city as commons.. more energies.. makes things more affordable.. city as incubators

energy\ness..yes.. but only if we disengage from money ness.. measuring transactions..

26 min – q: do we get rid of copyright  a: creative commons depends on it so no..

why creative commons..? to me.. that’s not common ing..




fab lab documentary

michel fb share

“An astonishing transformation is taking place in Barcelona’s former industrial district of Poblenou. The district was once rundown, just like so many other former industrial neighbourhoods in Western cities once manufacturing moved overseas. Today the neighbourhood has become a poster child for urban renewal through a bottom-up approach, creating an epicentre of technology and creativity — leading the Catalan paper Publico and other media to describe it as a mini Silicon Valley for sustainable industry.”

“The citizen gets to decide what data they want to donate, and on what terms. Data is not centralised in the hands of very few players”

Original Tweet:

maybe better deciding what data to gather in first place.. ie: self-talk as data


Made Again Documentary — The ‘Silicon Valley of sustainability’ in Barcelona | P2P Foundation…


shock doctrine

Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) tweeted at 4:34 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

I have, and we all should be amplifying today. Nothing can justify this state violence. #CatalanReferendum (

Zoe Gardner (@ZoeJardiniere) tweeted at 4:36 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

Outrageous brutality! Anyone who wasn’t for independence before will be now. What utterly counter-productive violent thuggery. For shame. (

DiEM25 (@DiEM_25) tweeted at 4:48 AM on Sun, Oct 01, 2017:
At DiEM25 we reiterate our view on Catalonia’s democratic right to decide on its future through a peaceful + legally-binding referendum 2/2

Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) tweeted at 4:57 AM on Sun, Oct 01, 2017:
Democracy, or whatever is left of it in Europe. #CatalanReferendum

Digital Maverick (@digitalmaverick) tweeted at 5:36 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

This is truly terrifying. And to think it is happening in beautiful Barcelona. (

The Guardian (@guardian) tweeted at 5:44 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

Riot police attack protesters as violence breaks out in Barcelona – video

Jenn Garcia (@92jenn) tweeted at 5:45 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

@guardian We are not protesters, we are voters! We deserve to have a referendum as Scotland had. Come on the guardian, you can do better than this (

Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) tweeted at 5:48 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

Dozens were injured in clashes between police and protesters as Catalonians tried to vote in the referendum (

This is totally unacceptable. Global shame on the Spanish government.

Original Tweet:


Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) tweeted at 4:46 AM – 2 Oct 2017 :

Students prepare to march thru Barcelona in support of independence, lips taped to symbolise reaction of Spanish state (

Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) tweeted at 4:55 AM – 2 Oct 2017 :

Demo begins in silence… (

Catalan independence referendum: Region votes overwhelmingly for secession from Spain

Results announced hours after Spanish Prime Minister says ‘there was no referendum’

with 90 per cent of over two million votes counted saying “yes”, the regional government has said.


What just happened: 1) Massive general strike in Catalonia 2) No declaration of independence 3) King implicitly threatens military coup

Original Tweet:


Pablo Iglesias (@Pablo_Iglesias_) tweeted at 5:21 AM – 6 Oct 2017 :

En España y Catalunya está en juego el futuro de la democracia en Europa.  de @katjakipping y @NFratoianni (

The future of democracy in Europe is at stake in Spain and Catalonia


podemosPablo Iglesias


from accidental anarchist

noam: anarchism is a pretty big sweep.. but basic conception is that humans have a fundamental need/right for free/creative work/life under their own control.. meaning any kind of hierarchy (boss/worker.. slave.. ) any kind of hierarchy .. is going to have to justify itself.. and if it can’t.. ought to be dismantled and replaced by a more free cooperative participatory society.. probably peak of modern anarchism was *spain in the 1930s


*david‘s father – why he knew it was possible

27 min – first heard about anarchism by my fav author.. george orwell’s homage to catalonia: barcelona was something startling and overwhelming

orwell: it was the first time i’d ever been in a town where the workers were in the saddle.. a surge of possibility.. of equality and freedom.. human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in a capitalist machine

31 min – but in 1937 stalin decided this was something he could not allow.. genuine people’s revolution.. to succeed.. where communists attacked the anarchists.. the anarchist revolution brought to an end.. and it happened.. at telephone exchange

32 min – although fascist rule ended in 1975.. today’s spain still has widespread deprivation.. high unemployment and ineq..  then an occupy farmland.. happened led by juan.. govt eventually gave us the land.. we didn’t want ownership of it .. we wanted use of it

elizabeth pozo guerrero – explaining the buildings going up for people to live in.. don’t have to pay for if help build.. i think this system should be everywhere

juan: in reality.. if you change life in one single place.. you are changing the world.. that’s why i believe that a revolutionary act in any given place is a revolutionary act all over the world.. even in capitalism.. able to show that another world/reality is possible.. and dreams can flourish even where there’s no utopia.. and i believe that if we persist.. these dreams will triumph



Feargus O’Sullivan (@FeargusOSull) tweeted at 2:35 AM – 18 Apr 2018 :

Barcelona is forcing banks to turn empty repossessed homes into affordable housing. (


WIRED UK (@WiredUK) tweeted at 2:30 AM – 18 May 2018 :
In 2015 Ada Colau, an activist with no experience in government, became mayor of Barcelona. She called for a democratic revolution, and for the last two years city hall has been designing the technological tools to make it happen (


via fb share to p2p group (by Jonlo Prim)

As the name makes clear, Barcelona en Comú is focussed on the commons. Colau speaks of the importance of public space often and articulately.


“Public space is the place, par excellence, for democracy: this space that belongs to all of us,” she told me. “Therefore, this is also the space of the most vulnerable people, which is what democratic systems should prioritize: the people who have fewer opportunities. If you have little private space, you have more public space and public services—libraries, beaches, parks. It is the space to meet with others, but also it’s a space where you can be who you want to be—this is the space for freedom. And, therefore, it is a space where you can build up the city with others. So, from that point of view, the more public space there is, and the better its quality, the better the quality of the democracy.”


Colau’s government has pushed experiments in community management of space and resources, such as handing over public buildings to local communities. Barcelona is launching a publicly held energy company that will supply energy to municipal buildings…

article from aug 2018

The Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau’s ruling coalition has its roots in an anti-austerity movement that’s often referred to as Spain’s precursor to Occupy Wall Street.

Barcelona is the heart of a new global political phenomenon known as municipalism.

Municipalism is hard to define, intentionally so. Municipalist activists aim to break the bounds of traditional party politics and challenge institutional politics as they currently exist, making the language of party and institutional politics a priori insufficient for describing them.

For the activists, entering institutional politics was something like a measure of last resort. “We have tried everything,” Gala Pin told me. Pin began her work as an activist as a member of an anarchist collective that squatted in a disused building in Barcelona and then, after the 2008 housing crash, she worked as an anti-eviction activist. “We have tried civil disobedience. We have tried negotiating with banks. Nothing works. We have to join institutions in order to change the way we make policy.”


lots of mentions in Richard Sennett‘s building & dwelling.. adding this one .. specific to cerdian superblocks:


in the everyday world, variation is more often driven by the need to sell new products than by homo faber’s desire for quality..  ie: computer updates.. actually degrade in successive iteration..  it’s mindless change in this commercial form which the urbanist gordon cullen fought against.. and why he chose *long term uses of space as establishing guidelines for design..

like Ed

let’s go *long/deep term.. ie: deep enough for 7bn now and ongoingly

but this reasonable critique of type forming runs up against the conservatism familiar to anyone in academia.. the fear of doing something diff swathed in bilge about lack of precedents.. let well enough alone, etc..

exactly.. supposed to’s are killing us.. in all the ways


barcelona type forms its grid.. taking back the streets.. has an econ undertow.. due to threat posed by mass tourism.. tourist economies in general do not generate much in the way of non tourist spin offs..  from the mayor to ordinary barcelonan there has thus arisen a strong desire to use public space differently..  treating the cerdian block as a type form rather than a fixed form can enable this.. .. sometimes sold as jane jacobs comes to barcelona – but misleadingly.. there’s nothing bottom up about his plane..  in order for the superblocks to work.. they have to be coordinated on a large scale.. ie: in order to make the transport system work.. the hope is that over time, by scaling up, the superilles will recover greens pace; though not spoken aloud, the plans aim at creating new barcelonan public space separated form the tourist maelstrom around public monuments..


in the built up environ, scaling up runs contrary to the belief tha small places have more character than big ones.. a belief grounded on fact that crude sameness sand neutral character mark most large scale building today.. in some cases, as in the barcelona superilles, bigger is better quality..


Joan Subirats


suggested cities ness