Living In Barcelona

Barcelona, a city that has it all.

Beach and mountain, art and entertainment, luxury and simplicity, history and innovation… Everything you can dream, you will find in Barcelona. Discover the neighborhoods of Barcelona as if they were your own and be amazed at every step gazing at how history and modernity coexist in perfect harmony.

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A campaign of the Debt Observatory in Globalisation (ODG) and the DESC Observatory, with the collaboration of Atajo and Fotomovimiento.

We are facing financialization 2.0: the cycle of accumulation after the 2008 crisis. In this new cycle, a part of the world’s financial capital is moving its money and investing in goods and services that can be exploited through the tourism industry. They are in search of high profitability, and they find it investing in our homes and living spaces, in the heart of cities that are promoted as tourist attractions. The ECB’s monetary policy helps by facilitating the creation of financial funds at cost 0, promoting that these absorb toxic assets from the banks, inflating the bubble again. They’ve learnt nothing. Neither have our politicians. States have been operating for much too long as a mechanism for the financial power.
Do you imagine living in Barcelona?

1) The Tourism Model in Barcelona
Tourism is saturating life in our cities. How did we get here?

In each crisis there has been a process of tourist intensification and now practically everything is touristic, it is a penetration from top to bottom in all areas of our life. A great quantity of public funds are used to promote the Barcelona tourism ‘model’ and it is exported around the world as if it were a model of success. But the key question to ask is: who is the ultimate beneficiary of these investments? We are facing a tourism model and strategy of financial and real estate capital, which find in this industry the perfect mechanisms to extract profitability from our cities, from our living spaces.

2) The B Face of tourism

Tourism impacts our lives, our work, housing, our rights to public space… our health.

The 2008 crisis blows up the idea that tourism is untouchable, that ‘we all live from it’. Labour precarisation, problems of access to housing, deterioration of community relations, serious impacts on health; with increased pollution, sleeping problems, stress…
In the very touristy areas, living spaces are massified, displacing the local population who struggle to do shopping, go to school, make a neighborhood life.
These impacts require a global reading to revert them, rethinking this model that prevents life in our neighbourhoods.

3) Those responsible for the tourism model in Barcelona

Barcelona brand is in private hands.

‘Barcelona Turisme’ is a consortium with a public-private model:
Barcelona City Council: 45%,
Barcelona Chamber of Commerce: 45%
Barcelona Promotion Foundation: 10%.
Where is the public-community representation? Who made the decision to give more weight to the private sector?

Big tourist companies have the capacity to put pressure on the governments and obtain ‘conditions of favour’. This has consequences such as the reduction of social income and the regression of social policies. Laws, infrastructure and international investments have pushed the expansion of tourism. European, state and regional governments have passed laws that have opened the city doors of to international investment. New multinational intermediaries, such as Airbnb or other platforms, have a great capacity to influence the tourism model. They often have their headquarters abroad, what makes it difficult to act against them from the local level.

With the support of:


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