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Physical and social rehabilitation of the historical centre of Valls through civil intercooperation
AWARD
Organisation : La Titaranya SCCL , Spain

Long-term strategy for the physical and social rehabilitation of a highly degraded neighbourhood, with direct governance from civic organisations and citizens.

The action will generate social housing, premises for organisations, public space, a climate shelter, heritage recovery, an energy community and a local, organic food store.

The action will generate local technical teams who are capable of executing the project and multiplying it, in addition to offering training and experience in: legal management and services specialised in social economy organisations, citizen participation, the coordination of construction work, management of public and private aid, and architects specialised in rehabilitation, construction with environmental criteria and feminist urban planning.

Agendas addressed
BiodiversitySustainable agricultureClean energy
Public spaceBuilding and renovatingFrom Farm to Fork
Sustainable industry
Pathways followed
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Nurture a sharing economy
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Create and close local value chains
  • Apply innovative financing approaches
  • Pursue a shift towards a circular economy
  • Guarantee equal access to information & digital services
  • Support open data standards
Context
Groundbreaking ceremony in 2021 https://www.tac12.tv/valls/arxiu-valls/item/18133-les-obres-a-ca-rob

The official diagnosis for the old quarter of Valls (located in Catalonia; population 24.000) identifies serious deficits in different areas, such as a lack of housing and high rates of sub-standard housing and poverty, a lack of social cohesion, public space, economic, commercial and cultural activities, poor urban development, widespread degradation and an economic environment that is not feasible for the private sector. Our transformative action deals with these deficits in a comprehensive way through the creation of social housing, new public spaces and social premises; by attracting companies, stores and social and cultural entities, planning action in the most degraded area of the city, and mobilising public and private investment. This action will create conditions for the generation of social and economic opportunities for neighbourhood residents, thus ensuring that residents and local organisations become the  protagonists.

In Action
Demolition of first property and recovery of heritage elements https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XZHT

Actors and governance:

  • Ownership: The “Dinamo Foundation”, “Coop57” (cooperative finance entity) and “Aleta” (local socio-cultural organisation), have purchased 5 properties with 3400m2 of buildable space in the most degraded area of Valls. The properties include protected heritage elements, an inner courtyard and an old passageway.

  • The co-housing and consumer cooperative “Titaranya” has received a 75-year surface right to the properties to develop subsidised housing and premises for social economy organisations and companies. It will also develop sustainable energy generation, telephone and internet services for its members and, in the future, cleaning services, home care, etc. 

  • Four cultural entities, six local work cooperatives and a labor union became members of “ Titaranya” to access the shared premises and community spaces.

  • Coop57 finances the operation.

  • The consumer cooperative “Bajoca” will open a store selling agro-ecological products, in alliance with local producers.

Professional teams:

  • The cooperative “L'Economat” coordinates the project's promotion and fundraising, in addition to locating the premises for “Titaranya." The action is also supported by the regional public service of the Catalan Network of Cooperative Athenaeums, which is a national programme fostered by the Catalan government for the promotion of employment and social entrepreneurship with the aim of fostering direct impact on the neighborhood and associated professional network. 

  • The cooperative “Eixam” leads the architectural portion of the project and the construction, focusing on the rehabilitation of heritage and distressed buildings, participatory processes and sustainable construction.

  • The cooperative “MilMans” specialises in the fiscal and labor management of social economy entities.

  • The tourism services cooperative “CaminsKm0” will manage and protect heritage resources, with the support of the Museum of Rural Life

  • The cooperative “Punt d’Accés” will develop communication services and infrastructure.

  • The audiovisual cooperative Produccions Saurines will create a community cinema and collaborate with the Arabic Film Festival 

  • The four cultural entities will launch community development activities focused on culture, sports, classes, and intercultural activities with new public and private funding, such as the Carulla Foundation.

The project consists of two phases: the first phase has a investment budget of €1,933,078.87 and started in 2019 and will finish in July 2023. The second phase has a investment of €2M and will begin in 2024 with the construction of 15 dwellings, four premises and 250m2 of public space.

Financing Phase One:

  • Grants, subsidies and donations have been provided by the Generalitat de Catalunya (local government), City Council, Provincial Council, and private entities: 1,063,078.81€.

  • Contributions from the social capital of La Titaranya: 200.000,00€.

  • Coop57 loan: 670.000,00€.

  • Other activities: 6.079,67€.

Impact
Impact

1. Socio-cultural transformation

1.1 Decreasing physical and social degradation:

  • Rehabilitation of 3,400m2

  • Access to subsidised social housing for 44 people

1.2 Community empowerment

  • The assembly statutes guarantee that all persons and entity members of "La Titaranya" participate in the decision and management of spaces, programmess, investments, etc.

  • Offers to propose and develop new programmes, activities, etc.

  • There will be an offer to the local government to agree on the maintenance and management of the 600m2 of outdoor space in order to convert it into public use according to legal purposes.

  • Social innovation: definition and creation of "Community Land" with "Coop57", a system of access to private land to take it out of the market and promote its community management.

 

2. Socio-economic transformation

2.1 Environmental impacts

  • Creation of the first sustainable energy community in Valls and promotion as a regional model. 

  • Sustainable construction and materials with the use of passive energy systems in buildings.

  • Creation of a climate shelter for inhabitants with access to vegetation, water and air-conditioned spaces.

  • Increasing the sale of organic and local products and the cultivation area, with democratic control over prices and distribution policies.

2.2 Economic impacts

  • High capacity to attract private-public financing (€4M in total) for projects with civic governance.

  • Ethical financing with associated guarantees between entities and individuals.

  • Creation of at least ten direct employment positions among the cooperatives and entities, and more in indirect positions.

  • Training and advice on entrepreneurship and employment for 1,000 people per year (Cooperative Athenaeum).

  • Connection rural villages - regional capital.

 

3. Technological transformation

  • Installation of an open, free and neutral telecommunications network based on a common model, through the Guifi.net Foundation, in buildings.

  • Systematisation of participatory and social processes, learning and action tools, as an open source for replication.

Results
Community participation in the definition of the project in 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAt

The transformative action will improve the neighbourhood for inhabitants, companies, social and cultural entities, public services for entrepreneurship and occupation, and investment opportunities. 

First phase (2019-2023)

  • Participation of eight cooperatives, six  NGOs, and 100 people.

  • Development of seven social housing units, a community space, an office for two cooperatives, an agro-ecological store, and a new public space of 450m2.

  • Climate shelter for residents with a wooded courtyard, outdoor showers and air-conditioning.

  • Public advertisement space for the Catalan Network of Cooperative Athenaeums' social entrepreneurship and occupation programme. 

  • Investment of €1.933.078,87.

  • Estimated accumulated value at the end of the concession (year 2098): €1,337,593.88. These funds will be reinvested in La Titaranya from 2052 onwards.

  • Professional teams specialised in local development, architecture, social economy management, tourism, culture.

  • Reduction of the physical and social degradation of the neighbourhood.

  • Organisation of at least 20 cultural and social activities per year.

  • Generation of socio-community activities.

  • Creation of an energy-smart community and photovoltaic electricity generation.

  • Reduction of environmental impact through the use of passive energy saving methods and sustainable construction materials.

Second Phase (after 2024)

  • 15 social subsidised housing units, four social premises and a new 150m2 of usable public space.

  • Creation of a co-working space and entrepreneurial space for two cooperatives.

  • Participation of ten cooperatives, eight NGOs, and 200 people.

  • Creation of a worker cooperative that will manage a bar/restaurant.

  • Investment of €2MEUR.

  • Estimated accumulated values at the end of the concession (year 2102): €1.337.593,88. These funds will have to be reinvested in La Titaranya from the year 2056 onwards.

  • Carrying out at least 20 cultural and social activities per year.

  • Reduction of the physical and social degradation of the neighbourhood.

  • Reduction of environmental impact with the use of passive energy saving methods, renewable energies and sustainable construction materials.

 

Impact

1. Socio-cultural transformation

1.1 Decreasing physical and social degradation:

  • Rehabilitation of 3,400m2

  • Access to subsidised social housing for 44 people

1.2 Community empowerment

  • The assembly statutes guarantee that all persons and entity members of "La Titaranya" participate in the decision and management of spaces, programmess, investments, etc.

  • Offers to propose and develop new programmes, activities, etc.

  • There will be an offer to the local government to agree on the maintenance and management of the 600m2 of outdoor space in order to convert it into public use according to legal purposes.

  • Social innovation: definition and creation of "Community Land" with "Coop57", a system of access to private land to take it out of the market and promote its community management.

 

2. Socio-economic transformation

2.1 Environmental impacts

  • Creation of the first sustainable energy community in Valls and promotion as a regional model. 

  • Sustainable construction and materials with the use of passive energy systems in buildings.

  • Creation of a climate shelter for inhabitants with access to vegetation, water and air-conditioned spaces.

  • Increasing the sale of organic and local products and the cultivation area, with democratic control over prices and distribution policies.

2.2 Economic impacts

  • High capacity to attract private-public financing (€4M in total) for projects with civic governance.

  • Ethical financing with associated guarantees between entities and individuals.

  • Creation of at least ten direct employment positions among the cooperatives and entities, and more in indirect positions.

  • Training and advice on entrepreneurship and employment for 1,000 people per year (Cooperative Athenaeum).

  • Connection rural villages - regional capital.

 

3. Technological transformation

  • Installation of an open, free and neutral telecommunications network based on a common model, through the Guifi.net Foundation, in buildings.

  • Systematisation of participatory and social processes, learning and action tools, as an open source for replication.

Challenges and lessons learned
Cultural activities https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW3vPFoQL-Q&t=68s

Since 2016 there has been a local network, boosted by eight cooperatives and with the engagement of more than five local NGOs, that implements intercooperation as one of the central values of cooperativism. The network has created a solidarity economy ecosystem with local and regional impact. This has been the key factor in guaranteeing neighbourhood participation and multi-stakeholder consensus for the project. It has also helped ensure that the material and social conditions are capable of sustaining the project's wide scope and its proposal for a comprehensive transformation. The ambition of this project has been made possible by partnerships with expert national NGOs.

Estatutes of La Titaranya
Economic plan
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Contact

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

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79098 Freiburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19

E-mail: info@sustainablecities.eu
Website: www.sustainablecities.eu

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