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La Ciudad Jubilada / The Retired City – Allotments in Barcelona, Spain

Filmed on the banks of the Ripoll River, between Cerdanyola and Ripollet (Barcelona)

By Pau Faus
Jan 10, 2010
In English and Spanish
Must see! Mike

The daily life of one of the many retirees who cultivate their own allotment gardens in an urban margin land that doesn’t belong to them, between rivers, highways and railroad tracks on the outskirts of Barcelona. To explore and get to know these gardens is a way of approaching one of the many autonomous practices that, from its ‘disobedience’, also shape our contemporary cities. Practices that far from being simply incidental can give us many clues about what is going on behind the supposed urban order. This work focuses on the social dimension of these self-constructed gardens, seen here as a lesson of autonomy in a society that insists on assimilating ‘Retirement’ to uselessness and dependence.

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March 31, 2013   Comments Off on La Ciudad Jubilada / The Retired City – Allotments in Barcelona, Spain

Allotment Gardens for the Unemployed


During the 1930s, allotments were provided for the unemployed and the scheme was described as ‘one of the most important social services which have been placed in the hands of local authorities.’

By Lesley Acton
Feb 9, 2013


By 1928, there were 300,000 unemployed miners (almost half from South Wales), of whom 200,000 – 250,000 had little or no hope of finding work in the pits again. In the winter of that year, several collieries in the area shut down and soon there were, reported The Times, ‘1,000,000 souls facing starvation.’ The miners, through no fault of their own, were victims of a failing economic and political system and allotments were seen as a way to help them. Unlike the nineteenth century, however, it was not the landed classes, the church or the government that stepped in, instead, it was the Society of Friends (SOF) (the Quakers) who set up the Coalfields Distress Committee to help and encourage men to grow-their-own food.

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March 31, 2013   Comments Off on Allotment Gardens for the Unemployed