On Tuesday, December 18, the delegation of the Fundació Catalunya Europa to the Empordà and Girona presented the book "Barrios y crisis: crisis económica, segregación urbana y innovación social en Cataluña", edited by Ismael Blanco and Oriol Nel·lo. This book is the result of a study carried out after 2013 and for more than five years in the framework of the Institute of Government and Public Policies and the Department of Geography of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ??with the participation of different researchers in Various fields, such as political science, economics, geography or sociology, and coordinated by the same editors together with Quim Brugué and Eduard Jiménez.
The main objective of the study was to detect the territorial impact of the economic crisis that has seriously affected our society and its territorial reflection and at the same time identify innovative responses to this reality. A crisis, as highlighted by Ismael Blanco in the presentation, has had a very important socio-spatial component, aggravating an already endemic problem in our towns and cities, such as urban segregation. This fact is one of the main territorial impacts of the process of economic recession, and it was necessary to be able to analyze the phenomenon with new methodologies that explains these social consequences. But we also had to map out innovative responses that could reverse the situation. Oriol Nel·lo, on the other hand, stated that the analysis of the more than 5,000 census sections of Catalonia demonstrates a deepening of spatial segregation in Catalonia, either for the groups with the most economic capacity and for those less. A process that has, in most cases, a very important urban area component, such as Figueres and Girona. Finally, Quim Brugué emphasized the global nature of this study, but which allows to zoom to different areas of the territory, to be able to specify more and better. This is another very important component, as it largely shows the social capital of each neighborhood, of each city, which will be the key elements to be able to create a resilience strategy against the crisis in conjunction with public policies.
In both presentations, a special mention was made of the cases analyzed by the Girona counties, dealing with Figueres and Girona in a priority manner, as well as territorial processes typical of the socioeconomic situation, such as the impact of tourism and the phenomenon of the second residences on the Costa Brava or the Empordà. For both cases, as explained above, the urban area process largely explains reality. Although lower urban segregation is increasingly in neighborhoods such as the Marca del Ham, the historic center or the suburbs of the west in Figueres, or Santa Eugenia in Girona and Salt, upper segregation is explained by the abandonment of the groups with more economic capacity in other municipalities of the two urban areas. Two processes, two patterns of similar behavior that need concrete actions to reduce the duality of the city and the territory, to advance in greater social cohesion and more opportunities for society as a whole.
In both presentations, after the exhibitions by the authors, interesting discussions began with the attendees that reflected the need and importance of studies like this. Since our cities need to understand urban processes that affect them to be able to establish answers.