Residents, associations, shops, businesses and administrations are all celebrating 10 years of joint efforts. Over the last decade, between them they have identified issues in the neighbourhood, looked for solutions and undertaken projects to improve the situation, such as the ‘Barceloneta, proa a la mar’ initiative to boost employment and local development.
The Barceloneta Community Plan is 10 years old. It is the result of the work of a network of local residents, associations, shops, services and administrations which combine to improve quality of life in the neighbourhood. As explained by one of the community’s workers, Anna Lite, “it’s a way of jointly detecting issues in the neighbourhood, but also of all teaming up to find solutions to those problems”.
The plan has seen projects such as the ‘Barceloneta, proa a la mar’ rolled out, promoting training, employment and socio-economic development in the neighbourhood. Other initiatives include the ‘Entrenosaltres’ project on prevention, orientation and support for addicts and their families, and the ‘Bon veí, bon profit’ initiative, a community network responding the food needs of families in precarious situations.
Stronger, more creative and more decisive together
Luis Monzón, chair of the Barceloneta Alerta association, explains that “people in the neighbourhood know they can get together, develop and make proposals on any doubts which arise”. In fact, he asserts: “We’re quite nonconformist, and always want more. We never rest on our laurels as there are always issues to resolve”. Even so, the overall balance of the past decade is positive, particularly in terms of joint capacity.
For Maria Josep López, chair of the Barceloneta Residents’Association, “the community plan has meant a lot as we’ve prospered greatly on different projects, always eyeing things which are good for the neighbourhood”. She goes on to explain “the moment we got together we saw that together we could achieve much more, we worked harder and in particular there were many more ideas. That all helped the neighbourhood unite again to move things forward and means City Council listens to us”.
Gala Pin, Councillor for Participation and Districts and Councillor for Ciutat Vella, coincided in commenting on the participatory character and resource pooling of the community plan: “It’s the residents who decide how things should be done, how and what should be addressed. I think this is a perspective we need to recuperate and from which we have a lot to learn as an administration”.