La Clota, the fight to preserve a rural stronghold in Barcelona

La Clota is the least populated neighborhood in Barcelona. Between Val d'Hebron, Horta and Texonera, it maintains a very rural, village-like landscape. Residents fought for many years to preserve it and were able to save the historic center. This is the area called Save klutaWith an area of ​​7 hectares. But changes are accelerating around him.

In another sector, La Clota Reordenació, large development projects have been built There will be more than 600 apartments. Between the two, a large park still needs to be built.

Despite the historical value of its farmhouses, few have been catalogued. Now, one of its most iconic places, Cal Baronet, is at risk of demolition.

La Clota, a rural island within the city

With its agricultural houses with wells and gardens, La Clota, the neighborhood with the least population in BarcelonaIt has maintained an almost rural character, despite the significant urban transformations in its surroundings.

The abundance of water and streams determined the architecture of the streets and houses. While basins and showers continue to be used to water the gardens that neighbors have tended over generations.

General view of the Culota neighborhood
General view of the Culota neighborhood (cat. 3)

Our neighbor Sandra Curalto describes Kluta as one of the few semi-rural strongholds: “There are actually many buildings around it, but in this part of the center we still have neighbors with chickens, and until recently a neighbor with goats.”

“There is a fear in the neighborhood that the cement will erode little by little in old farms and orchards, as is already happening with some examples.”

Cal Baronet, Historic Farm

The road from Sant Genis to Horta is a heritage-listed medieval road, passing through the La Clota neighbourhood. there he is Cal Baronet, 18th century central-body manor houseIt is surrounded by a large garden.

It is one of the oldest buildings, but it is not listed. A few years ago, Ajeda Samso was still living there, the last of a chain of laundresses, the historic trade of the Horta women.

Baronet Lime Farm
La Masia di Cal Baronet (3 cat)

On the farm there Well, sink, swimming pool and bathrooms Where they washed the clothes of Barcelona's wealthy people.

Dolores Canudas, from Albo Study GroupWhich he explained File on Cal BaronetHe describes that in 1850 the population tripled in the neighborhood as a result of laundry activity.

“In this house it is said that there were as many as seven or eight women working as laundresses.”

The environment has changed. Road construction for the 1992 Olympics Separating the Cal Baronet from the rest of the Clotha – The farmhouse now remains in the Vall d'Hebron area – The historic road from Sant Genís to Horta is surrounded by buildings with many high floors.

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Now, the expansion of a private residence for seniors, Ronda de Dalt Residencial, with a special urban plan that has already received preliminary approval, Includes demolition of farm equipment that qualifies as equipment.

Dolores Cañudas explains that the entities are not opposed to the housing expansion project, but they believe that the farmhouse should be preserved and be a facility open to the public: “We think Cal Baronet is interested because he preserves all these elements of the ‘water pool: the pool, the well, the laundry room, the sink. Old, not all of which are always found on one property.”

“We believe it should not only be preserved, but catalogued.”

Currently, the Barcelona City Council has suspended the final approval of the Special Urban Plan due to two official issues, and has commissioned the Municipal Heritage Department to prepare a report on the architectural and heritage value of the farmhouse.

Meanwhile, some shows were held at the farm They damaged items such as the sundial Or a balcony railing that was uprooted.

General view of Baronet Lime Farm
General view of Paronet Lime Farm (3Cat)

Mahfouz neighborhood in Nidal neighborhood

With urban planning that had been in place for decades, almost everything would have fallen to the ground in the Cluta neighborhood. Residents, who had a strong sense of belonging to the neighbourhood, were vehemently opposed and in 2008 were finally able to get a part named Save klutaDespite this, an area of ​​about seven hectares has been protected There are 77 homes affected by the provision of replacement flooring.

Residents also asked the city council for urban investments and improvements that had not been made before, citing the effects that caused the deterioration of urban space and numerous deficiencies in basic infrastructure.

According to Angels Corsillas, president of the Neighbors Association, La Clota was preserved as it is “because those of us who lived there wanted it that way.”

“We didn't want to speculate or build big houses, or build blocks of apartments, we wanted what we had. Yes, they allowed us to fix the houses, because there was no sewerage and no running water network, little by little.” “This is what we were achieving.”

Fragile heritage

Preserving such a unique landscape is complex. Some owners have renovated and improved homes. but There are very few of them listed in the Heritage CatalogWhich includes the Jussana Tower and farmhouses with titles such as Cal Senyorito, la Vaqueria or la Bugadera Rica, with level C protection.

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Also has a 1922 summer house in it A distinctive observation tower 14 meters high It was made so that the sea could be seen from above.

The Tower with a View, one of the listed houses in La Clota
The Tower with a View, one of the listed houses in La Clota (cat. 3)

Barcelona City Council says there is a will to revise the catalog to bring it up to date and adds, “We need to be able to reuse buildings and adapt them to current needs and uses.”

The challenge is a Maintain balance Rich and complex landscape Characterized by its water heritage, old country houses surrounded by gardens, winding paths and walls that mark and preserve the memory of ancient streams, it is a fragile heritage.

Walls that mark the course of ancient streams in the Cluta district
Fences that define the course of ancient streams in the Cluta neighborhood (3Cat)

Some established urban planning rules do not favor this, because the sizes and layout of some buildings The new buildings contrast strongly with the existing urban fabric They can break the whole harmony.

A month ago, the Municipal Government Committee approved one Prior suspension of planning in some areas Preserving the Culota such as the space between Calle Alarcón – the axis of the ancient Horta stream – and Calle Lisboa, as well as some areas with more parks in the heart of the historic center of Culota.

According to the city council, the purpose of the suspension is “a planning study to achieve better integration of the building, in the area where planned, protected and free housing will be developed.”

La Clota Reordenació, a new neighborhood and central park

At the other end of the neighbourhood, opposite Avinguda de l'Estatut, in the eponymous area Clouta rearrangementThere is a complete contrast. Hundreds of apartments have already been built there, in public buildings and private projects.

In total there will be about 600 homes Their number will triple Which Clotta had a few years ago.

It has been 15 years since the urban transformation of La Clota was approved; For residents, actions in public space are proceeding very slowly.

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In the Clota Reordenació sector, a new CAP d'Horta and more officially protected housing should be built there. There are currently large empty spaces like the one occupied by Pupila, which have been filled with cars and where Most of New Jersey's 2,300 fences have been assembled They were taken off the streets after the epidemic, in a temporary period that will be extended over time.

They give an untidy look to one of the areas where it should be The future Culota Park is a big priority for residents.

New Jersey walls piled up in the Culota area
New Jersey fences piled up at the Culota site (3Cat)

The head of the Culota Neighborhood Association sums up the situation: “The park, which we claimed for years to be an open space, has now become a park.” The closed box they use to place building materials“.

“It's run down, run down and very dirty.”

“We want the park to bring together what led to the division of urban planning, which formed the Cluta Reserve and the reordering of the Cluta. The park will serve as a link between the two Cluta. That is why we demand that this be done once and for all,” he added.

On April 4 he left Final approval of the urbanization project Reorganization of the La Clota sector after an amendment to the city’s general plan. The city council, which has 44% of the area waiting to be transformed, said that although the development is the responsibility of private initiative, it is trying to speed up the procedures so that it can quickly dispose of the space allocated for equipment and housing.

Regarding the Cluta Central Park, the city council plans to formulate the project during this term, and says it will be designed in a participatory manner with the neighbourhood.

The neighbors are He strongly criticizes the first progress of plans Of the garden area. They do not want the garden design to be alien to the characteristics of the area, but rather to incorporate lush plants and orchards, adapting to the terrain created by paths and streams, which are also part of the identity markers of the Culota neighborhood.

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