Alerta desnonaments: Anti-eviction map, Barcelona


Alerta desnonaments: Anti-eviction map, Barcelona

Policies and regulations Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact Evictions Participatory processes

Main objectives of the project

CMMM, a research initiative focused on practical applications, was established to empower civil society actors in their efforts towards creating fairer societies and cities through significant political change. Municipalist mobilizers, dedicated to reshaping power dynamics, continually innovate tools and methods. Critical mapping was given precedence within the project as it represents an "act of power," moving beyond mere theoretical discourse to offer diverse perspectives on realities, catalyzing shifts in narratives and discourse. Among their interactive maps spotlighting housing in European cities, the “Stop Evictions” map stands out. Using the historical data about evictions in the city of Barcelona, it helps putting toghther people to avoid them in the future.


  • 2023: Implementation


  • Observatori DESC
  • CMMM


Continent: Europe
City: Barcelona
Country/Region: Barcelona, Spain


Barcelona has long been a vibrant, politically charged city, where various movements and organizations converge and emerge. Following the downfall of the Franco dictatorship, urban struggles have become integral to the city's fabric, notably gaining momentum around the time of the 1992 Olympics and subsequent developments. The 1990s witnessed significant economic liberalization and deregulation, with a diminishing governmental role to accommodate capitalist investors. However, the financial crisis of 2008, stemming from the United States, catalyzed a housing crisis in Barcelona, reshaping social interventions and becoming a prominent concern for citizens.

The reforms mandated by the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism, later transitioning into the European Stability Mechanism, precipitated a shift in the housing emergency from mass foreclosures linked to mortgage defaults to a rental crisis between 2013 and 2015. Presently, approximately 40% of Barcelona's population are renters, far exceeding the Spanish average of 25%, exacerbating issues of affordability. Housing policies in Spain lag behind much of Europe, characterized by deteriorating buildings, particularly in the historic district due to intentional neglect. Moreover, soaring prices relative to income, scant social housing provision at only 1.6% of the total stock, and minimal tenant protections underscore the severity of the situation. The city's status as a premier European tourist destination further compounds the housing crisis, driving up demand for lodging and threatening locals' access to housing and a non-commercialized neighborhood life.

The CMMM Barcelona team is affiliated with Observatori DESC, a hybrid human rights organization fostering collaboration between urban social movements, the city administration, and academia, focuses on advocating for progressive laws and policies. Within their scope of work on the right to the city, Observatori DESC prioritizes ensuring the social use of housing as a prerequisite for dignified living. Their advocacy encompasses initiatives to increase public and affordable housing, implement innovative, rights-based social policies to combat evictions, and address abuses by large landlords, such as expulsions and harassment. At the legislative and judicial levels, efforts are concentrated on curbing exorbitant housing costs through measures like rent controls and outlawing entities like Desokupa, which employ intimidation tactics during evictions.

In the context of the CMMM project, Observatori DESC collaborated with housing organizations and movements to explore the application of critical mapping in documenting, mobilizing, and advocating for changes in housing discourses. Specifically, they investigated methods to delineate and document eviction occurrences and organize resistance against them. The "Stop Eviction" maps provide crucial insights. Firstly, they detail interventions by civil society anti-eviction organizations during evictions between 2016 and 2022, identifying involved property owners and outcomes. This sheds light on the principal actors in eviction processes and organizational resistance efforts. Secondly, impending evictions are mapped out, empowering individuals to preemptively act against them.

Both maps serve as invaluable tools in addressing Barcelona's housing crisis, offering insights into landlord behaviors and guiding efforts to support tenants. They facilitate a better understanding of eviction dynamics and avenues for community engagement.