Physical and social rehabilitation of the Historical Centre of Valls through civil intercooperation
Organisation : La Titaranya SCCL , Spain

Long-term strategy for the physical and social rehabilitation of a highly degraded neighborhood, with direct governance by civic organizations and citizens.

The action generates social housing, premises for organizations, public space, climate shelter, heritage recovery, energetic community and a local and organic food store.

Generation of local technical teams capable of executing the action and multiplying it, offering training and experience in legal management and services specialized in social economy organizations; citizen participation, coordination of the construction work, management of public and private aid; architects specialized in rehabilitation, construction with environmental criteria and feminist urban planning.

Agendas addressed
BiodiversityGreenfield land and natural spaceClimate change
Public spaceHousingSocial inclusion and integration
Local economies and employment
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
Groundbreaking ceremony in 2021

The official diagnosis of the Strategic Plan for the Old Quarter of Valls (Catalonia, population 24.000) identifies serious deficits in different areas such as lack of housing and high rates of substandard housing, high rates of poverty and lack of social cohesion, widespread degradation and lack of public space, lack of economic, commercial and cultural activity, poor urban development in areas with special difficulties, economic unviability for the private sector. Our transformative action deals with these deficits in a comprehensive way through the creation of social housing, creation of new public space and social premises, attraction of companies, stores and social and cultural entities, action in the most degraded area of the city, high mobilization of public and private investment. The action creates the conditions for the generation of social and economic opportunities for the neighborhood residents, with the objective that they and local organizations become the main protagonists.

In Action
Demolition of first property and recovery of heritage elements

Actors and governance:

  • Ownership: “Dinamo Foundation”, “Coop57” (cooperative finance entity), “Aleta” (local sociocultural organization), have purchased 5 properties with 3400m2 buildable, 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 subsidized housing and premises for social economy organizations and companies. It will also develop sustainable energy generation, telephony and internet services for its members, and in the future, cleaning services, home care, etc. 

  • 4 cultural entities, 6 local work cooperatives and a labor union become members of “ Titaranya” to access the shared premises and community spaces.

  • Coop57 finances the operation.

  • The consumer cooperative “Bajoca” opens a store selling agroecological and proximity products, in alliance with local producers.

Professional teams:

  • The cooperative “L'Economat” coordinates the promotion and seeks financing. Locates, in the premises of “Titaranya”, the regional public service of the Catalan Network of Cooperative Athenaeums. A national program fostered by the Catalan government for the promotion of employment and social entrepreneurship with the aim of strengthening a more direct impact on the neighborhood and with the professional network. 

  • Cooperative “Eixam” leads the architectural project and the construction works, with a focus on rehabilitation of heritage and distressed buildings, participatory processes and sustainable construction.

  • Cooperative “MilMans” specializes in fiscal and labor management of Social Economy entities.

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

  • Cooperative “Punt d’Accés” will develop the communication services and infrastructure.

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

  • The 4 cultural entities will launch social-community development activities: cultural, sports, school reinforcement class, intercultural; with new public and private funding, such as the Carulla Foundation.

The project consists of two phases. 1phase has a investment budget of €1,933,078.87, start in 2019 and finish in July 2023. 2phase has a investment of 2MEUR, starts in 2024 with the construction of 15 dwellings, 4 premises and 250m2 of public space.

Financing 1phase:

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

  • Contributions in the Social Capital of La Titaranya: 200.000,00€.

  • Coop57 loan: 670.000,00€.

  • other activities: 6.079,67€.

Community participation in the definition of the project in 2019

The action will fix in the neighborhood: inhabitants, companies, social and cultural entities, public services for entrepreneurship and occupation, and investment. 

First phase (2019-2023)

  • Participation of 8 cooperatives, 6 NGOs, 100people.

  • Development of 7 social housing units, a community premises, an office for two cooperatives, an agro-ecological store, a new public space of 450m2.

  • Climatic shelter for the neighbors: wooded courtyard, outdoor showers and air-conditioned premises.

  • Public attention space for the social entrepreneurship and occupation program of the Catalan network of cooperative athenaeums. 

  • Investment of 1.933.078,87€.

  • Accumulated values at the end of the concession (year2098): €1,337,593.88. These funds will have to be reinvested in the corporate purpose of La Titaranya from 2052 onwards.

  • Professional teams specialized in local development, architecture, Social Economy management, Tourism, Culture.

  • Decrease of the physical and social degradation of the neighborhood.

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

  • Generation of socio-community activities

  • Creation of an energetic community of photovoltaic electricity generation.

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

Results second (after 2024)

  • 15 social subsidized housing units, 4 social premises and new 150m2 public space

  • Creation of a coworking space and entrepreneurial incubation space for 2 cooperatives

  • Participation of 10 cooperatives, 8NGOs, 200 people.

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

  • Investment of 2MEUR

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

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

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

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



1Sociocultural transformation

1.1Decrease in the physical and social degradation:

  • Rehabilitation of 3,400m2

  • Access to subsidized social housing for 44 people

1.2Community empowerment

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

  • Offer to all propose and develop new programs and 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


2Socioeconomic transformation

2.1Environmental impacts

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

  • Sustainable construction and materials with 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.

2.2Economic impacts

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

  • Ethical financing with associated guarantees between entities and individuals.

  • Creation of at least 10 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 in buildings of an open, free and neutral telecommunications network based on a commons model, through the Foundation.

  • Systematization of participatory and social processes, learning and action tools, for replication in open source.

Challenges and lessons learned
Cultural activities

Since 2016 there is a local network boosted by eight cooperatives and with the engagement of more than 5 local NGOs that implement intercooperation as one of the international values of cooperativism. The network has created a Solidarity Economy ecosystem with local and regional impact. This has been the key factor in guaranteeing neighborhood participation and multi-stakeholder consensus for the project; it has also ensured the material and social conditions capable of sustaining the project's wide magnitude and its proposal for the comprehensive transformation. The ambition of the project has been possible due to the partnership with expert national NGOs.

Estatutes of La Titaranya
Economic plan


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