Gentrification and Class Struggles in Barcelona, Spain: Interview with Etcétera Collective

Kurti, Zhandarka; Varo, Manuel
Date Written:  2018-01-14
Publisher:  Insurgent Notes
Year Published:  2018
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22094

In an interview with the Barcelona-based collective Etcetera, the processes of urban development in one of the fastest gentrifying cities in Spain and their implications for potential movements and struggles are examined.



Capital, in its tendency to turn everything into a commodity, reaches even space itself. Also the space of the city, the urban land, has acquired an increasing level of importance for capitalist businesses. The flows of surplus capital are invested speculatively in the real estate and urban development sector. Investments in land and buildings, as well as their successive rezonings, the urbanization of large areas of cities, with their cycle of destruction and reconstruction, and the speculation that all this generates, gives enormous benefits to the flow of speculative capital that circulates throughout the world -- an important part of which stops in the global city, which is of interest to capitalists in this particular moment. The process of urban speculation is a global phenomenon that has been developing and affecting most cities for decades. It does not occur at the same time in all parts of the world but it does have the same characteristic: the dispossession and expulsion of people from the places they inhabit and their condition as residents of the neighborhoods in which they live.

We assume that the tourism industry, like any other, seeks the greatest profitability, obtaining the maximum benefits. To do so, it seeks so-called mass tourism, as well as that of economically powerful elites or classes, and also that of fairs and congresses or other kinds of events, such as sports, musical, cultural, etc. It only needs the production of certain specialized spaces, the zoning of places or environments, some very exclusive, for each class, public or occasion.

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