Take Back the City! – Lessons from Barcelona – Sunday 10 July, 2 PM

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Events, News | No Comments

*Short Film * Reading Group * Discussion * Tea * Coffee * Cake

Sunday 10 July, 2 PM

South Riverside Community Development Centre

Brunel St. (off Ninian Park Road)

CF11 6 Cardiff, United Kingdom



A guide for world cities: a 10-month-old community group took power from a political caste which had been in charge of Barcleona for 40 years. With no money and little experience just how did this happen? Not surprisingly, Barcelona en Comú has since been inundated with requests for an answer from mayors, political parties, urban conferences and community groups all over the world. In response, the group produced a step-by-step explanation

We will be showing a short 30 minute documentary, ‘Spain: The End of Austerity?‘, followed by a discussion of their 12 page document ‘How to win back the city: the Barcelona en Comú guide to overthrowing the elite’ and asking how we can transform Cardiff.

You can read the 12 page document herehttp://bit.ly/290Hu3t

We would advise reading these two short articles first

How to win back the city: the Barcelona en Comú guide to overthrowing the elite


Rebel cities: the citizen platforms in power


Further reading is available on the facebook page for the eventhttps://www.facebook.com/events/272037843149974/


Since the local elections in Spain in May of 2015, most of the country’s major cities have been governed by citizen platforms such as Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common) and Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now). These platforms were created to bring together social movements, members of progressive political parties, and neighbourhood activists to win back and democratise their city halls. While the platforms in each city vary in composition and functioning, they share some common principles.

  1. They were set up in the belief that it is local politics, the politics that touches people’s daily lives, that is the best place to experiment with new forms of citizen participation and democratic regeneration.

2.They have sought to put shared policy objectives above the interests of participating organisations. This has allowed them to join forces and become more than the sum of their parts.


  1. The platforms drew up their manifestos in an open, participatory way. This allowed them to demonstrate, before gaining office, that alternative ways of doing politics, by listening and collaborating, are possible.


  1. Their representatives are subject to strict codes of ethics, including salary and term limits, designed to prevent the professionalisation of politics and ensure the accountability of those in office.

While the citizen platforms in Spain face numerous challenges (not least that of governing in minority or coalition) they are already inspiring citizens across the world to consider how new forms of municipalism could be constructed to change their own cities.