Non è un quartiere per ricchi. Come il Raval di Barcellona ha fronteggiato la speculazione e affrontato l’espulsione dei suoi abitanti. Una storia esemplare (Llibre complert)

No sè com he trobat un versió en PDF de l’edició Italiana del nostre “Matar al Chino”

Aquí el podeu descarregar

(PDF) Non è un quartiere per ricchi. Comme el Raval di Barcellona ha fronteggiato la especulazione e afrontato l’espulsione de il suoi habitanti. Una storia esemplare | Miquel Fernández – Academia.edu

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Arqueología del futuro en el barrio El Raval de Barcelona. A propósito de tres inercias del urbanismo tecnocrático y sus efectos indeseables

Miquel Fernández | Maribel Cadenas. Publicado en Revista ACE, febrero de 2021

Este artículo es el resultado de nuestro esfuerzo analítico para comprender cómo se han pensado y practicado intervenciones urbanísticas, extremadamente drásticas, contra el barrio El Raval de Barcelona en períodos formalmente democráticos. Lo que consideramos original de nuestra propuesta analítica es la identificación de una suerte de doxa tecnocrática que habría impregnado el urbanismo –también el barcelonés- desde sus inicios, y que acabará caracterizando el aclamado tanto como discutido “Modelo Barcelona”. La metodología utilizada proviene de la antropología histórica y de la sociología urbana. Nuestro prisma teórico entrecruza perspectivas historiográficas como la biopolítica, sociológicas como la crítica a la ingeniería social y urbanísticas como la reconfiguración del espacio público. Se sostiene aquí que el urbanismo racionalista habría abordado el complejo arte de vivir en sociedad desde fórmulas cartesianas, cómplices en gran medida de la reificación característica de disciplinas positivistas. Consideramos que esta forma de concebir el urbanismo se ha nutrido de presupuestos conceptuales epistemológicamente inconsistentes, simplificadores y, a menudo, autoritarios. La última parte del artículo identifica tres de las inercias sociales que vendrían generadas o impulsadas por la tecnocracia –no solo urbanística: La tendencia obsesiva hacia la normalización y sus perversos efectos; las contradicciones entre las “soluciones” y los “problemas sociales” que se quieren gestionar y, finalmente, la inclinación a considerar la calle como una suerte de campo de batalla y, por tanto, el hogar como un refugio

Conclusiones. La posibilidad de una esperanza

“Si según muestra la razón analítica el mundo no es más que una máquina que funciona autónomamente, si el ser humano no es esencialmente diferente del resto de las estructuras moleculares y el cosmos entero no es más que un juego sin sentido entre combinaciones de átomos, ¿sobre qué podría basarse un orden moral? ¿sobre qué base los individuos aislados entre sí por sus luchas de supervivencia y sus egoísmos pueden llevar a cabo su articulación social, esa solidaridad que hace de ellos una comunidad? Uno de los problemas importantes del pensamiento político del siglo XIX […], es el de la brecha abierta entre los ciudadanos y el Estado que deja al descubierto la falta de legitimidad propia de las sociedades modernas. El problema es encontrar el modo para que de nuevo una comunidad pueda funcionar como una asociación solidaria de ciudadanos cuyo común acuerdo no solo se debe el factor externo y coactivo del control represivo del Estado.” (Sánchez Meca, 2013 pp. 177)

Los recientes cambios en la calle d’En Robador no dejan de asombrarnos. En 2014 se favoreció la instalación de terrazas de bares, básicamente en la plaza Salvador Seguí, y se inauguró un “gastrobar”, La Robadora, que se anunciaba de la siguiente manera: “El próximo jueves 13 de noviembre a las 19.30 h se abrirán las puertas del Gastrobar LA ROBADORA ubicado en medio de El Raval. Nos encontramos en una de las calles más underground, secretas, frecuentadas y diversas de la ciudad. Un verdadero referente histórico de la Barcelona más canalla: Robadors”. [trad. del catalán] También en 2014 nos resultó muy elocuente la situación que vivimos frente al desaparecido Bar Alegría, un tradicional local de alterne reconvertido en galería de arte y agencia inmobiliaria, cuando detenidos frente al local, brotó del interior de la inmobiliaria un hombre interpelándonos con acento italiano y de edad madura. Nos preguntaba si estábamos interesados en vivir allí; les dijimos que sí, pero que –haciendo un papel de agente doble o espía- nos preguntábamos cómo íbamos a vivir allí cuando, en el mismo momento que manteníamos nuestra conversación, la calle estaba en plena ebullición de un viernes tarde, repleta de prostitutas, dealers y consumidores de drogas. Su respuesta nos dejó estupefactos: “esta calle, Robadors, va a ser la nueva mina de oro de Barcelona”. Seis años después, aún con la crisis provocada por la pandemia del COVID19, una vez reabiertos los bares y restaurantes, la calle d’En Robador y alrededores, mantienen la vitalidad de siempre. A diferencia de gran parte del distrito de Ciutat Vella que, con la caída del turismo, parece haberse vaciado. Se han abierto nuevos locales de telefonía, de alimentación y un nuevo restaurante tipo fast-food. Llegados a ese punto, sostenemos que, desde esta forma de concebir el urbanismo, se ha abordado el alambicado arte de vivir en sociedad mediante fórmulas cartesianas, a veces maniqueas y, a menudo, elitistas. Sirva para comprender lo que decimos, la velada crítica que Manuel Vázquez Montalbán vertió sobre los planes del GATCPAC: “Ni siquiera puede ofrecerse el referente real de la ciudad socialista, lo que pudo haber sido y no fue, porque finalmente también se vio condicionada por ideologizaciones de la élite, por la desigualdad de uso al servicio de la élite y por la estética de la élite del poder.” (1993a, p. 110) Hemos advertido, después de años de investigación, que estos urbanismos no sólo avanzaban y señalaban cómo debían ser las ciudades del futuro en “un plano literalmente ideal” sino que ellas mismas eran producto preferente y herramienta fundamental de unas formulaciones del poder principalmente impulsadas por la fiebre del lucro y de la distinción. Hemos mostrado que las grandes dificultades que señala acertadamente Montalbán han persistido en los planes e intervenciones del periodo postfranquista. En ambos casos, nos encontramos de nuevo con la tecnocracia como la gruesa soga negra que une la ciudad lecobursiana entendida como “máquina de habitar”, la ciudad taylorista y la Smart City. Lo que vemos aquí es la remodelación del discurso del poder que tiene su máxima potencia y eficacia precisamente en su capacidad para hacerse invisible. Para ello emplea los juegos de palabras de la supuesta neutralidad de la ciencia, de forma que el último de estos intentos de hacer pasar gatos neoliberales por liebres progresistas, la acríticamente aplaudida por alcaldes de prácticamente todo el espectro político, Smart City, ha refundando la camaleónica habilidad de la tecnocracia para tratar de impedirnos ver la cara más fría y despótica del poder: desacreditar, humillar y enajenar la soberanía popular de su facultad de deliberar y determinar el curso de la ciudad. Y todo esto hacerlo en nombre del gobierno, ya no de los técnicos o ingenieros, sino de la tecnología y los ingenios. A nuestro entender, la crítica al urbanismo tecnocrático aquí expuesta, así como su función de propulsor de las tres inercias glosadas, han acabado determinando su tarea y ha condicionado –y a veces invertido- su voluntad de “mejorar, sanear, rehabilitar o recuperar” El Raval. Estamos plenamente convencidos de que identificar y negociar estas inercias, permitirían redirigir la práctica urbanística hacia el proyecto Ilustrado, o en palabras más modestas, consolidar ciudades más solidarias, autónomas e igualitarias, aunque quizás, no tan “Smart”.

Publicat a ACE, Architecture, City and Evironement, Año 15, núm. 45 (Feb. 2021)

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos (insistència necessària)

“Le ha placido a la naturaleza hacernos llegar a la felicidad sólo por las penas”

de Sade, M. (2009). La filosofía en el tocador. Miami, Argentina: El Cid Editor. 


Com es pot imaginar, Sade està parlant de coses molt concretes però mentre ho llegia, m’ha semblant un principi de saviesa que cal tenir sempre present. De fet, per freud el malestar en la cultura, tenia també a veure amb això, amb no voler acceptar la pena i des d’un punt de vista, diríem nietzschià, de la seva epistemologia sempre en tensió entre Thànatos i Eros: com podem gaudir de la felicitat si no sabem què és la tristor?, així l’amargura de tots aquell*s que ja ho tenen tot sense tenir res….De fet, això és molt més clar, si pensem en què, efectivament, “la societat” semblaria restar sedada per aquest consumisme frenètic, consumisme, a més, que no fa més que augmentar el deute que tenim amb bancs i centres comercials, assegurances o hipoteques i fins i tot per comprar telèfons mòbils o TV’s panoràmiques o viatges “d’experiències”.

En un altre ordre de coses i que lliga més amb la Il·lustració de Goya i el seu crit desesperat “El sueño de la razón produce monstruos” …

Segons M. Foucault, “no es casualidad que el sadismo, como fenómeno individual que lleva el nombre de un hombre, haya nacido del confinamiento y en el confinamiento, y que toda la obra de Sade esté dominada por las imágenes de la fortaleza, de la celda, del subterráneo, del convento, de la isla inaccesible, que son los lugares naturales de la sinrazón2. (p.37 HLII cast).

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“Un’analisi antropologica del quartiere, che non disdegna né la ricostruzione storica né l’apporto sociologico”

Una nova ressenya internacional del “Matar al Chino”. Aquesta vegada de la versió italiana “Non è un quartiere per ricchi”. Publicada a Rivista di Studi Politici per Alessandro Barile.

Ma l’altra grande lezione è che, nel promuovere politiche di privatizzazione dello spazio come queste appena raccontate, i ceti amministrativi e imprenditoriali si servono di una strumentazione retorica apparentemente “progressiva”, ma in cui lemmi e concetti cambiano di segno (pensiamo alla “lotta al degrado”), traslitterano di significato (ad esempio il “decoro urbano”), ribaltando il valore originario per farsi linguaggi di dominazione (ancora, pensiamo al concetto di “sicurezza sociale”), appannaggio di nuove classi proprietarie che colonizzano luoghi di città vittime della nuova trasformazione urbana del XXI secolo. Lungo questa traccia si stabilirà l’efficacia esplicativa della scienza urbana del domani.

Es pot descarregar des d’aqui: Barile, A. (2019). Non è un quartiere per ricchi. Rivista di Studi Politici, 86(4), 212-216.

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Lewis Mumford, a Visionary Social Critic, Dies at 94

28 January 1990

The New York Times

Humanizar la máquina | Babelia | EL PAÍS

Lewis Mumford, a philosopher, literary critic, historian, city planner, cultural and political commentator, essayist and perspicacious writer on the subject of architecture, died on Friday at his home in Amenia, N.Y. He was 94 years old. 

Lewis Mumford, a philosopher, literary critic, historian, city planner, cultural and political commentator, essayist and perspicacious writer on the subject of architecture, died on Friday at his home in Amenia, N.Y. He was 94 years old. 

Mr. Mumford‘s grandson, James Morss, said Mr. Mumford had been frail. In a February 1989 interview Mr. Mumford‘s wife, Sophia, said that her husband’s mind was slipping and that he could no longer write. Even so, she said, ”he still has his essential characteristics.” He died in his sleep Friday afternoon. In addition to his writing pursuits, Mr. Mumford actively fought the development of large-scale public works that he considered poorly planned, and was an adamant foe of Robert Moses’s development of vast expressways. 

Mr. Mumford‘s lifetime contributions to American culture were recognized in July 1986 when he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Reagan. 

”If I have any field of specialization at all, it is the all-inclusive one of the social philosopher,” Mr. Mumford once said. It was an apt description, for there was scarcely any aspect of modern society that he left unexamined. Science, technology, urban living, city planning, education, politics, literature, militarism – all these subjects and more Mr. Mumford expounded in a long life of teaching, lecturing and writing here and abroad. 

Ada Louise Huxtable, a former architecture critic and member of the editorial board of The New York Times, recently called Mr. Mumforda scholar of cosmic cultural reach and conspicuous public conscience, a distinguished critic of life, arts and letters, an unequaled observer of cities and civilizations.” 

Emphasizing that his writing was highly personal and without pretense as objective scholarship, Ms. Huxtable noted that ”the values Mr. Mumford espoused, the foundation of his reputation as one of the most original minds and influential writers of our time, simply no longer exist.” In a critical review of the Lewis Mumford biography, ”Lewis Mumford: A Life,” (Weidenseld & Nicolson, 1989) she concludes: ”What he never learned was that society did not share his view of the good life of simplicity, self-sufficiency and community; an attachment to abstinence, higher ideals and the greater good are not the basic American dream.” 

Feared the ‘Megamachine’ 

Part scholar, part prophet, part poet, Mr. Mumford saw Western – and American – civilization as increasingly dominated by a machine technocracy and mentality that oppressed and dehumanized all within its reach. The megamachine, as he termed it, engendered a bogus existence – material, intellectual and spiritual – that reduced human endeavor to a series of ciphers. 

In his perspective, the megamachine was opening the gates to catastrophe, should man succumb to the myths surrounding it and worship its emanations. 

Because Mr. Mumford tended to be a moralist in the tradition of Emerson and Whitman, he was accused of seeing science as evil and machinery as the Devil’s handiwork. But in an interview some years ago he took pains to insist that he was no neo-Luddite who would destroy machinery in the hope of bringing back a pre-industrial society. 

”It is not the apparatus of the machine that’s wrong, but the organized cult of machinery that is really evil,” he said. ”It is a monster that can transform man into a passive, purposeless animal. It can run away with him.” 

Science without conscience, he said, quoting Rabelais, ”is the ruin of the soul.” 

Rather than permit ”megatechnics” to take over, Mr. Mumford wanted them brought under rational control, and humanized. 

Mr. Mumford said he feared that ”a dominant minority” – those who had mastered science and technology and wielded power as a result – could eventually create a ”uniform, all-enveloping superplanetary structure, designed for automatic operation.” In these circumstances, man will ”have not only conquered nature, but detached himself as far as possible from organic habitat.” 

To counter this possibility Mr. Mumford advocated both a de-emphasis of reliance on technology and a large degree of urban planning. He was one of the first modern city planners, and made his early reputation in this field. 

He foresaw the effects of the highway on Manhattan 20 years before these were generally recognized, saying in 1943: 

”The New York express highways would be admirable if they were related to anything except the desire, on the part of the more prosperous, to get out of New York as fast as possible; actually, their function is to increase the planless decentralization of the metropolis and thereby pile up such a load of decaying properties in the center as to hasten the final exodus.” 

Wrote of the Cityscape 

Mr. Mumford wrote about the cityscape of New York and other cities around the world for many publications, but he was most famous for his ”Sky Line” column in the New Yorker. From the 1930’s to the 1950’s, he reviewed skyscrapers, housing projects and urban renewal plans. He was an early opponent of congestion and overbuilding in Manhattan, and wrote in 1955 that midtown had become so dense that architecture would soon cease to matter. 

Brendan Gill, who revived Mr. Mumford‘s ”Sky Line” at The New Yorker three years ago, said yesterday: ”He struck me as an authentically noble man because of his unselfish determination to better the condition of life for the rest of us, far beyond the limits of architecture.” Mr. Gill has been asked to deliver the first of the Lewis Mumford lectures at the New School of Social Research in February. 

For his prescience as well as for his analysis of the ills of Western society, Mr. Mumford had many admirers. ”He is the writer of fresh possibilities, of green fields and blue skies, of the clarion call to halt the current madness and pull the world out of the fire,” wrote Joseph Epstein, the social critic

Some other readers of Mr. Mumford‘s more than 30 books were less enthusiastic. Jonathan Raban, an English writer, said he believed the philosopher had rejiggered history to suit his purposes. ”Scientists, philosophers and engineers whiz by as if they had only lived to fill a paragraph or a page in Mumford‘s tragedy,” he said. ”Their writings are trimmed and shaped, and they find themselves, like guests being hustled across a drawing room floor, in the strangest company.” 

The philosopher believed his critics did not assess properly the evidence under their noses. ”The most conspicuous, scientific and technological achievements of our age – nuclear bombs, rockets, computers – are all direct products of war,” he countered, ”and serve military and political ends that would shrivel under rational examination and candid moral appraisal.” 

”The old-fashioned megamachine (made up of harnessed thousands, building the pyramids) was based on punishment,” he said. ”Now the great improvement is that you control people by persuasion, by giving them a standard of consumption that no people has ever had before. Then, if they’re discontented, if their life seems a little hollow, you give them drugs and pornography.” 

Roots in the 19th Century 

Mr. Mumford‘s principal intellectual and moral roots were in 19th-century America – Emerson, Melville, Thoreau and Whitman – and in Sir Patrick Geddes, the Scottish turn-of-the-century polymath and town planner. These self-help self-realization thinkers all emphasized the virtues of humanism. 

The notions of self-transcendence and self-reliance expounded by Emerson and Whitman were exemplified by Mr. Mumford, who, at various times in his life, was a playwright, novelist, historian, educator, planner, radio technician and magazine writer. 

He was a tall good-looking man, with deep-set eyes and a brush mustache. He tended to be a tense person whose work ethic required strict devotion. 

Years ago, he and his wife cut down on their social life, and his work in his later years was rarely interrupted for pure play. When he broke away for an hour to drink coffee or to work in the vegetable patch near his home, the 60 minutes were planned to relieve accumulated tension and to reinvigorate him for more work. 

The illegitimate son of a businessman, and raised by his mother, who was housekeeper in the home of a relative, Lewis Mumford was born in Flushing, Queens, on Oct. 19, 1895. The family shortly moved to the West Side of Manhattan. ”I started public school in 1901, and I was an excellent pupil in the futile academic sense until I entered Stuyvesant High School, where my interests widened and my marks worsened,” he recalled. Experimenting with radio, he expected to become an electrical engineer, but dreams of writing deterred him. 

After high school, he spent five years at evening sessions at City College. Although Mr. Mumford accumulated the credits for a bachelor’s degree, illness prevented him from completing college. Instead, he took graduate courses at Columbia and at the New School. 

After World War I, in which Mr. Mumford became a naval radio technician 2d class, he was an associate editor of Dial magazine for a year. His essays on housing and urban matters had attracted attention, and he spent part of a year in London as acting editor of The Sociological Review. 

Returning, he met Van Wyck Brooks (a volume of their letters was published in 1970); contributed to ”Civilization in the United States,” a seminal American studies book; published ”The Story of Utopias,” his first book, and wrote freelance for magazines like The New Republic and The American Mercury. These activities led to his teaching a course on American architecture at the New School, perhaps the first class of its kind, as was a later course at Columbia on the machine age. 

Lived What He Taught 

In 1923 Mr. Mumford became a co-founder of the Regional Planning Association of America. Then he served on the staff of the New York Housing and Regional Planning Commission, and edited, in 1925, the regional planning edition of Survey Graphic. 

He lived what he taught, moving that year to Sunnyside Gardens, a utopian housing complex in Queens where homes were grouped closely together to provide large common central gardens. It was the first experimental community sponsored by the Regional Planning Association. Mr. Mumford and his family lived there for 11 years. 

In the early 30’s he began to write a weekly art column for The New Yorker (for $75 an article) and his monthly city architectural critique for the magazine ($65 an article). This was the backbone of his income for a decade. At the same time he published the first of four volumes in what became known as the ”Renewal of Life” series. It was ”Technics and Civilization” that challenged the belief that the Industrial Revolution began with the steam engine and argued that medieval technology was less backward than was popularly supposed. 

The other books in the series were ”The Culture of Cities,” ”The Condition of Man” and ”The Conduct of Life.” The last was issued in 1951, 17 years after the first, and the four volumes established Mr. Mumford as an innovative thinker of the first rank. The books also brought him into academic life as a visiting professor at institutions like Dartmouth, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania. 

”The Culture of Cities,” published in 1938, traced the history of cities in the modern world and set forth proposals for their improvement. It made the author’s international reputation and put him on the cover of Time magazine. But the book was a slow seller, perhaps because urban dwellers then were less occupied with problems of decay. 

After publication of ”The Conduct of Life,” which expounds his humanist philosophy, Mr. Mumford returned to a consideration of urban problems, which resulted in 1961 in ”The City in History,” his humanistic compounding of his philosophy, criticism and polemical augury. 

Geoffrey Brunn, in his review, found that the book contained ”three Mumfords who succeed one another on the rostrum.” 

The ‘3 Mumfords’ 

”Of these triple personalities,” he continued, ”the most sober and consistent is Mumford the historian. But there is a second Mumford, less rational and more passionate, who is inflamed with the ire and forebodings of an Old Testament prophet. The third person of the complex trinity that is Mumford is the artist and architect of words, a romantic poet in modern dress, a prose Shelley.” 

From urban matters, the philosopher turned his gaze to what he saw as the central myth of our times, the myth of the machine. This was the overall title for his two-volume elucidation of modern civilization. ”Technics and Human Development” was the first book, in 1967, and it was followed by ”The Pentagon of Power” four years later. 

Both are directed to a single end, Mr. Mumford said, ”that of supplying sufficient historic insight into the causes of the technological crisis of modern civilization, and into the human aberrations that have led to the miscarriages that took place during the last half-century, and are now taking place with demonic compulsiveness.” 

Mr. Mumford lived simply in an old country house in Amenia. Its insides were crammed with books, and his study was spartan and functional: a desk, a typewriter, a strong light, a ream of yellow paper. 

He was convinced that man’s only hope lay in a return to human feelings and sensitivities and to the moral values of an earlier age. 

”The test of maturity, for nations as well as individuals, is not the increase in power,” he remarked toward the close of his life, ”but the increase of self-understanding, self-control, self-direction and self-transcendance. For in a mature society, man himself, and not his machines or his organizations, is the chief work of art.” 

His grandson, Mr. Morss, said Mr. Mumford, who in the last three years used a walker, spent his days with his wife. 

In addition to her, survivors are his daughter, Alison Mumford Morss, of Amenia, and two grandchildren, James, of New York City, and Elizabeth, of Troy, N.Y. 

There will be no funeral. A memorial service will be announced. 

Photo: Lewis Mumford in 1970 with the leterary critic Van Wyck Brooks. 

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