Study Space Barcelona Tackles Affordable Housing and Homelessness

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The Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth tackled the issue of affordable housing and homelessness during the seventh Study Space in Barcelona, Spain. The program is a weeklong intensive workshop for scholars, government representatives and private sector professionals.

Participants explored Barcelona and discussed affordable housing and homelessness in the city whose homeless population has increased by 32 percent since 2008. The program also offered site visits to a social housing development and a nongovernmental organization meeting for residents facing foreclosure and eviction.

Participants, including professors, legal practitioners and urban planners, attended lectures paired with site visits, ranging from the impact of the financial and housing crisis on the domestic economy to Barcelona’s leadership in international “smart city” movement to housing discrimination.

Despite the dramatic escalation of homelessness, Barcelona has managed to stabilize the effects of the financial and housing crisis by fostering partnerships among the city, NGOs and charities. Such a response allowed the rapid expansion of emergency and supportive housing units, making Barcelona an excellent case study for the Study Space program.

Participants from Brazil, Canada (Quebec), Great Britain, Poland, France, Spain and the United States will share insights and reflections from their experience in scholarly articles to be published in the Revista de Derecho Urbanistico, an internationally disseminated journal, in spring 2015.

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