Generative Urban Commons in Barcelona

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GeCo Living Lab:

Ateneu Popular de Nou Barris - Barcelona, Spain

"The Ateneu Popular de Nou Barris represents one of these historical cases. Founded in 1979 in a context of dictatorship, the Ateneu was an old factory occupied by citizens from the neighborhood claiming for social and cultural spaces in their area –one of the poorest of Barcelona. From then on, the Ateneu consolidated its own agenda and profile, and then it entered into a “legal agreement” with the City Council, being recognized as a citizens-managed centre from the very beginning of the 1980s." (

Can Batlló - Barcelona, Spain

"The second example is Can batlló, an old huge factory placed in the South part of the City –another poor and historically neglected area. Can Batlló used to be a huge factory facility compound by multiple factory buildings, urban plots, small workshops, etc. which was in place until the beginning of 2000. The story is quite similar to Ateneu Popular de Nou Barris, since the civic management was achieved through the claim from the citizens in the neighborhood. The community of citizens managing Can Batlló got a legal agreement (cessió d’ús) from the City Council in 2011, and although the ownership remains public (municipal), management and control pertains to the community, becoming then one of the most important aspects of urban commons in Barcelona and elsewhere." (