APROP - Provisional Local Accommodations


APROP - Provisional Local Accommodations

Mismatches Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Building capacity
Promotion and production Public promotion Innovation Materials Technology Industrialisation

Main objectives of the project

APROP is an innovative housing program designed to offer affordable, sustainable, and high-quality emergency accommodation to households facing eviction, all within their own neighborhoods. Utilizing a unique construction system built around reused shipping containers, the program prioritizes energy efficiency and innovative solutions for social housing schemes.


  • 2019: Construction


  • Constructor: Barcelona City Hall
  • Constructor: IMHAB


Continent: Europe
City: Barcelona
Country/Region: Spain


APROP (an acronym for Proximity Temporary Affordable Housing, also meaning "nearby" in Catalan), utilizing industrialized methods and recycled shipping containers, represents a municipal commitment to innovation in addressing the housing emergency. Inspired by successful projects in cities like London, Copenhagen, and Vancouver, this model offers fast, sustainable, and quality housing to prevent displacement and gentrification. Promoted by the Barcelona City Council's Department of Social Rights, the programme aims to provide temporary accommodation while more permanent but slower housing solutions are developing. APROP buildings will be distributed across the ten city districts in empty sites awaiting public facilities or permanent housing projects. The first one is already in operation in the Ciutat Vella central district and it includes 12 dwellings. APROP Ciutat Vella is a compact, 5-storey corner volume on a 186m² plot. It hosts the extension of a health facility on the ground floor and 12 dwellings on the four upper floors. All the housing units feature a living room with an open kitchen and fully accessible bathrooms. The smaller ones, 30m², have a double bedroom, while the bigger ones, 60m², include two bedrooms. The outdoor facades fully respect the landscape of the old city centre. The second generation of APROP buildings have already been built in Glòries. Every building in the programme is the result of an open competition demanding the implementation of a lightweight, dry and modular construction system based on reused shipping containers. The use of shipping containers significantly reduces environmental impacts while shortening construction times. The system is perfectly dismountable, transportable and adaptable to further locations.

APROPs serve as temporary housing and provide socio-educational support to individuals and families at risk of social exclusion, referred by social services due to unstable housing situations. With a focus on enhancing autonomy and self-sufficiency, the program emphasizes labor and training support, as well as fostering economic savings during the residency period. This comprehensive approach aims to facilitate a transition to stable housing alternatives.

Designed for temporary use, APROPs allows residents to remain close to their communities. Shipping containers are repurposed into one- or two-bedroom accommodations, featuring natural lighting, ventilation, outdoor spaces, and functional furnishings. High-quality insulation and spatial performance systems ensure thermal, acoustic, and lighting comfort for occupants. Overall, APROPs offer a holistic approach to temporary housing, integrating social support services with sustainable construction practices to address housing insecurity and promote community stability.