Advertisement

URBAN DESIGN International

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 113–130 | Cite as

Open-ended urbanisms: Space-making processes in the protest encampment of the Indignados movement in Barcelona

  • Silvano De la Llata
Original Article

Abstract

This article studies the spontaneous and organic processes involved in the physical planning of protest encampments. Drawing from ethnographic work in the context of the Indignados Movement in Barcelona, it analyzes the spatial evolution and transformation of the Plaza Catalunya encampment in 2011. The encampments evolved in parallel to the conversations and questions that originated them online and off-line. Thus, it particularly examines the notions of open planning (that is, open-source and open-ended decision-making processes) and urban laboratories that the fieldwork indicates were tested in the space of the encampment. The objective is to understand how urban space can be planned through non-hierarchical space-making processes and without a homogeneous overarching structure. This article situates in a larger discussion about alternative space-making processes such as insurgent, tactical planning, as well as in the recent conversations about open-source cities.

Keywords

public space insurgent planning protest encampments social movements open-source cities urban design 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by The Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas (UAT), Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), The Clarence S. Stein Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies, The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies (through the Tinker and International Research Travel Grants) and Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders. The author thanks John Forester for comments that greatly improved the manuscript. Special thanks to the participants of the Indignados Movement in Barcelona.

References

  1. Alexander, C. (1979) The Timeless Way of Building. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, B., Bae, J., Gomes, R., Harvey, S. and Michaels, A. (2013) Planning for Protest. Exhibition and associated project of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon, Portugal.Google Scholar
  3. Bayat, A. (2010) Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bey, H. (2003) T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism. 2nd edn Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.Google Scholar
  5. Castells, M. and Hernandez, M. (2012) Redes de indignacion y esperanza: Los movimientos sociales en la Era de Internet. Madrid, Spain: Alianza.Google Scholar
  6. Chatterton, P. (2005) Making autonomous geographies: Argentina’s popular uprising and the ‘Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados’ (Unemployed Workers Movement). Geoforum 36 (5): 545–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chomsky, N. (2012) Occupy. Brooklyn, NY: Zuccotti Park Press.Google Scholar
  8. Coren, M. (2011) MIT’s free urban planning software will help build the cities of the future, fast company, http://www.fastcompany.com/1778514/mits-free-urban-planning-software-will-help-build-cities-future, accessed 7 September 2011.
  9. Crawford, M., Speaks, M. and Mehrotra, R. (2005) Everyday Urbanism: Margaret Crawford vs. Michael Speaks. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture.Google Scholar
  10. De, S.M.L. (2006) Social movements as ‘critical urban planning’ agents. City 10 (3): 327–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De la Llata, S. (2014) ‘Protest Encampments as Urban Laboratories. The 15 M Barcelona Encampment: A Space of Resistance and Creativity’ in Planners Network (Association) (2003). Progressive planning: The Magazine of Planners Network No. 199, Spring 2014: 32–35, New York: Planners Network.Google Scholar
  12. Emerson, R.M., Fretz, R.I. and Shaw, L.L. (2011) Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, 2nd edn. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Forester, J. (1999) The Deliberative Practitioner: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  14. Franck, K.A. and Stevens, Q. (2007) Loose Space: Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Friedmann, J. (2011) Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Fuster Morell, M. (2012) The free culture and 15 M movements in Spain: Composition, social networks and synergies. Social Movement Studies 11 (3–4): 386–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hailey, C. (2009) Camps: A Guide to 21st-Century Space. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Halvorsen, S. (2012) Beyond the network? Occupy London and the global movement. Social Movement Studies 11 (3–4): 427–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hardt, M. and Negri, A. (2012) Declaration. New York: Distributed by Argo-Navis Author Services.Google Scholar
  20. Harvey, D. (2012) Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  21. Hessel, S. (2010) Indignez-vous. France: Indigène.Google Scholar
  22. Holston, J. (eds.) (1999) Spaces of insurgent citizenship. Cities and Citizenship. pp. 155–173, Duke University Press, Durham.Google Scholar
  23. Hou, J. (2010) Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Inam, A. (2010) Navigating ambiguity: Comedy improvisation as a tool for Urban design pedagogy and practice. Journal for Education in the Built Environment 5 (1): 7–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Irazábal, C. (2008) Ordinary Places, Extraordinary Events: Citizenship, Democracy and Public Space in Latin America. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Juris, J. (2012) Reflections on #occupy everywhere: Social media, public space, and emerging logics of aggregation. American Ethnologist 39 (2): 259–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1966) The Savage Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Marom, N. (2013) Activising space: The spatial politics of the 2011 protest movement in Israel. Urban Studies 50 (13): 2826–2841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Massey, J. and Snyder, B. (2012) Occupying wall street: Places and spaces of political action, places, the design observer group, http://places.designobserver.com/feature/occupy-wall-street-places-and-spaces-of-political-action/35938/, accessed 17 September 2012.
  30. Merchant, B. (2011) Software lets citizens help design cities they live in, The Utopianist, http://utopianist.com/2011/01/betaville-open-source-software-lets-citizens-help-design-their-cities/, accessed 31 January 2011.
  31. Mertes, T. and Bello, W.F. (2004) A Movement of Movements: Is Another World Really Possible? London: Verso.Google Scholar
  32. Miraftab, F. (2009) Insurgent planning: Situating radical planning in the global South. Planning Theory 8 (1): 32–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mondelo, V. (2011) La dureza policial multiplica la indignación en Barcelona. El Mundo (Barcelona), http://www.elmundo.es, accessed 28 May 2011.
  34. Niaros, V. (2012) P2P Lab. Revitalizing urban public space using open source technologies, http://p2plab.gr/en/archives/44, accessed September 2013.Google Scholar
  35. Niman, M. (2011) The Shanti Sena ‘peace center’ and the non-policing of an anarchist temporary autonomous zone: Rainbow family peacekeeping strategies. Contemporary Justice Review 14 (1): 65–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Open Source Cities. A global collection about the best ideas on the future of cities, http://opensourcecities.tumblr.com/, accessed August 2013.
  37. Pickerill, J. and Krinsky, J. (2012) Why does occupy matter? Social Movement Studies 11 (3–4): 279–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Polis. (2010) Open Source Cities. Polis the Blog, http://www.thepolisblog.org/2009/02/open-source-cities.html, accessed 20 February 2010.
  39. Public space. (2012) Acampada en Puerta del Sol, Special Category, http://www.publicspace.org, accessed August 2013.
  40. Purcell, M. (2013) The Down-Deep Delight of Democracy. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rebelaos.net. (2012) Rebelaos! y germinemos la semilla de la revolución integral. Creative Commons.Google Scholar
  42. Rice, L. (2013) Occupied space. Architectural Design 83 (6): 70–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rowe, C. and Koetter, F. (1978) Collage City. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  44. Schein, R. (2012) Whose occupation? Homelessness and the politics of park encampments. Social Movement Studies 11 (3–4): 335–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schön, D.A. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  46. Shiffman, R., Bell, R., Brown, L.J. and Elizabeth, L. (eds.) (2012) Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space. New Village Press.Google Scholar
  47. Sitrin, M. and Azellini, D. (2012) Occupying Language (Occupied Media Pamphlet Series). New York: Zuccotti Park Press.Google Scholar
  48. Stevens, Q. (2007) The Ludic City: Exploring the Potential of Public Spaces. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Tato, B. and Vallejo, J.L. (2012) Open source urban planning for augmented citizens. Temes de disseny 28: 22–33.Google Scholar
  50. Taylor, A. and Gessen, K. (2011) Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  51. Taylor, B. (2014) ‘The Winter of our discount tents’: Occupy London and the improvised dwelling as protest. In: D. Maudlin and M. Vellinga (eds.) Consuming Architecture: On the Occupation, Appropriation and Interpretation of Buildings. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  52. Vanguardia, L.a. (2011) La Acampada Barcelona gana adeptos, La Vanguardia, http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20110518/54156645645/la-acampada-de-barcelona-gana-adeptos.html, accessed 8 May 2011.
  53. Ward, C. (2000) Anarchy and architecture: A personal record. In: J. Hughes and S. Sadler (eds.) Non-Plan: Essays on Freedom and Participation in Modern Architecture and Urbanism. Oxford: Architectural Press.Google Scholar
  54. Zizek, S. (2012) The Year of Dreaming Dangerously. London: Verso.Google Scholar

Interviews (translated from Spanish and Catalan to English by the author)

  1. Proposal of an Indignant Garden at the plaza presented to the General Assembly at Plaza Catalunya’s Encampment (2011), http://hortdignebcn.wordpress.com/documents/proposta-dhort-indignat-a-la-placa, 22 May, Barcelona.Google Scholar
  2. Interview with people from the Garden (2011), Hort Indignat, Reportage released in http://blip.tv, 20 May, Barcelona.
  3. Interview with people from the Garden on the 15O Demonstration at Arc de Triomf Monument (2011), released by http://blip.tv, 15 October, Barcelona.
  4. Interview with people from the Infrastructures Commission (2011), acampadadebarcelona,org, Reportage released by 15Mbcn.tv., 25 May Barcelona.
  5. Interview with people from the Kitchen Commission (2011), acampadadebarcelona,org, Reportage released by 15Mbcn.tv., released by http://comissiocuina.wordpress.com/2011/05.
  6. Interviews at the Pre-election Encampment (2011), Interview at Plaza Catalunya, 15 November, Barcelona.Google Scholar
  7. Interviews at the 12M15M Encampment (2012), Interview at Plaza Catalunya, 14 May Barcelona.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvano De la Llata
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyPlanning and The Environment, Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations