BCN Stories

Follow-up: La Barceloneta is not a holiday resort

(EN below)

Forskellige medier giver en dybere indsigt i problematikken bag lørdagens demonstration på stranden i Barceloneta. Beboerne har fået nok, men hvorfor?

En stor del af baggrunden for de problematikker, som Barceloneta oplever, ligger i den massive tilstrømning af turister, som Barcelona har oplevet de seneste år. Hvert år, og især om sommeren, kommer millioner af turister til Barcelona. Naturligt nok tiltrukket af den smukke by, Gaudi, de forskellige kvarterer, kunsten, historien, maden, vinen og for mange også de mange smukke strande, som ligger som perler på en snor fra Barcelonas havn og nordpå.

Her er alt, hvad, hvad strandløverne/-løvinderne behøver – og i kort afstand fra selve byen med dens fine tilbud. Dette er unikt for Barcelona, muligheden for strandliv kombineret med storbyferie, og derfor også noget som politiske og økonomiske kræfter har søgt at udnytte. Kraftigt ansporet af den økonomiske krise, som ramte Spanien – og Katalonien – hårdt, turisme betyder jo indtægter og arbejdspladser.

Barceloneta – en barrio under pres

Og mellem strandene og det øvrige Barcelona ligger Barceloneta. En mindre, men hyggelig bydel på en lille tange ud til vandet, mellem havnen, midtbyen og strandene.  Et kvarter fra 18-tallet, som er består af huse i 3-5 etager med beskedne lejligheder i smalle gader, der ligger side om side i et lineært mønster. Et gammelt arbejderkvarter, hvor der altid har været en landsbystemning, et sammenhold blandt naboerne. Et sted, hvor man lever og arbejder. En barrio, som man elsker og er stolt af – hvilket de mange gul-blå Barceloneta-flag vidner om. Her har man boet i generationer, arbejdet og passet sig selv og sit nabolag. Og netop dette sætter den massive turiststrøm under pres.

For med turismen er det blevet stadigvæk sværere for de lokale at leve et normalt liv. Den mindre pæne og billige del af turismen består af unge festtyper, der larmende holder de lokale oppe om natten, går nøgne rundt i gaderne og i butikkerne, sover berusede i gaderne eller på stranden. Adfærd, som ikke vidner om den store respekt for lokalbefolkningen. Mange af dem bor desuden, bl.a. takket være Airbnb, i de små lejligheder – legalt eller illegalt – i et antal, som overstiger lejlighedens omfang.

Populationstætheden på Barceloneta er således meget høj i turistsæsonen, måske for høj. Presset på kvarterets metro og infrastruktur er højt, ligesom strandene m.m. er tæt belagte. Det synes at have nået et punkt, hvor ikke kun de lokale, men også turisterne synes, at der er for mange turister…

Ejendomsspekulation og gentrificering

Men turisterne betyder penge, hvilket har resulteret i den store legale – og illegale – udlejning af turistlejligheder i Barceloneta. Nogle steder dør mod dør med de lokale, som hermed må finde sig i diverse festivitas m.m. fra de midlertidige beboere. Det giver også anledning til ejendomsspekulation og gentrificering af kvarteret. Barceloneta har traditionen tro ikke været et velhavende kvarter, men nu – med et kommercielt sigte – sker der en opkøbning af ejendomme med deraf følgende prisstigninger, hvilket gør det svært for de lokale at blive boende. Med turisternes penge følger også et stigende antal røverier og tyverier, ligesom der er sket en kommercialisering af de offentlige områder. Før var strandene tilgængelige for alle, og dermed en del af den lokale livsstil, nu skal der betales for brugsretten for dele af den. Enten i form af leje af liggestole og parasoler, en aktivitet som bystyret har udliciteret til private. Eller private, som går ind og bruger de offentlige områder til private kommercielle formål, og dermed presser den frie, offentlige brug af arealerne.

Lørdagens demonstration viser, at de lokale er trætte. Trætte af ikke at føle sig hjemme i deres eget kvarter grundet en turisme, som ikke tager store lokale hensyn. Den fester og forbruger bare løs. Demonstranterne søger således, at det politiske system gør noget ved problemene.

Og det er der vel ikke noget at sige til? Selv elsker jeg Barceloneta, det er et unikt kvarter med en vidunderlig stemning, og det vil være en katastrofe, hvis der går totalt Magaluf/Sonny Beach i den. Det ville være ødelæggende, så synd. Men hvordan skaber man balancen mellem (masse)turisme og lokalbefolkning? Kommercialisering ctr. lokale hensyn? Det bliver spændende at følge på tæt hold det næste års tid.

Barceloneta streets

EN

Various media provide a deeper insight into the problem of Saturday’s demonstration on the beach in Barceloneta. The residents have got enough, but why?

Some of the background to the problems experienced by Barceloneta lies in the massive influx of tourists that Barcelona has experienced in recent years. Every year, and especially during the summer, millions of tourists come to Barcelona. Attracted to the beautiful city, to the art of Gaudi, the various neighborhoods, the history, the food, the wine and also too the many beautiful beaches, that are located from the port of Barcelona and up north.

Here every beachlover can find what he/she needs, and within easy reach of the city center with its nice offerings. This is unique to Barcelona, ​​the possibility of beach life combined with a city break. It has therefore been something that political and economic forces have sought to exploit – strongly spurred by the economic crisis that hit Spain – and Catalonia – hard. Tourism means income and jobs.

Barceloneta – a barrio under pressure

And there between the beaches and the rest of Barcelona is Barceloneta located. A small but pleasant neighborhood on a small isthmus, between the harbor, the city center and the beaches. A neighborhood from the 18th century, consisting of houses of 3-5 floors with modest apartments and in narrow streets, located side by side in a linear pattern. A working class neighborhood with a village feeling to it and with pleasent cohabitation between neighbors. A place where you live and work. A barrio that one loves and is proud of – as the many yellow-blue Barceloneta flags are witnesses to. Here the locals have lived for generations, worked and looked after themselfes and their neighborhood. And all this have been put under pressure by the massive tourist streams.

Because of the tourists, it has become increasingly difficult for the locals to live a normal life. The – you could say – cheaper part of the tourism consisting of young party types keep the local people awake at night, walking around the streets and shops naked or with very little clothes, sleeping in the streets or on the beach. Behavior that does not show great respect for locals. Many of the turists also live, thanks to Airbnb among others, in the small apartments – legally or illegally – in a number that exceeds the size of the apartment.

The population density in Barceloneta is therefore very high during tourist season, perhaps too high. The pressure on the metro and infrastructure is high, as well on the beaches etc. It´s packed everywhere. It seems to have reached a point where not only the locals but also the tourists think there are too many tourists …

Property speculation and gentrification

But tourists mean money, which has resulted in a high degree of legal and illegal rental of tourist apartments in Barceloneta. Some places in buildings with locals, who have to put up with the partying of the temporary residents. It have also giving rise to property speculation and gentrification of the neighborhood. Barceloneta have never been a rich neighborhood, but now – for commercial purposes – a lot of properties have been purchased with consequent price increases, making it difficult for the locals to stay. With the tourists’ money also follows an increasing number of robberies and thefts, as well as a commercialization of public areas. Before, the beaches were accessible to everyone, and thus a part of the local lifestyle, now it is necessary to pay for the right to use for parts of it. Whether in the form of renting sun loungers and parasols, an activity that the city council has outsourced to private enterprises. Or private persons/business entering and using public areas for commercial purposes, hereby affecting the free public use of the area.

Saturday’s demonstration shows that the locals are tired. Tired of not feeling at home in their own neighborhood due to tourism not taking local considerations. It’s just partying and consuming. The demonstrators are therefore looking to the political system to address the problems.

And who can´t understand that? I love Barceloneta, for me it’s a unique neighborhood with a wonderful atmosphere and it would be a disaster if it would turn into a new Magaluf or Sonny Beach. It would be devastating, such a shame. But how do you create a balance between (mass) tourism and local concerns? Commercialization versus local considerations? It will be exciting to follow close during the next year.

Barceloneta streets Barcelona Ayearinbarcelona

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