Pla de Barris, Barcelona


Pla de Barris, Barcelona

Mismatches Functional adequacy Services Cultural suitability Vulnerable groups Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Building capacity Global frameworks Governance Public-private initiatives

Main objectives of the project

The Pla de Barris in Barcelona adopts a holistic approach to affordable housing, emphasizing not only the refurbishment of housing and public spaces but also addressing economic and social justice issues within neighborhoods. Originating in the early 2000s and reimplemented in 2015 with a community-driven focus, the plan supports local initiatives with institutional help, fostering collective action. It integrates housing actions with economic development, educational opportunities, and social services to enable residents to afford their living costs. Currently, the AMB is preparing to expand this initiative to a metropolitan level, ensuring broader impact across the entire city.


  • 2015: Implementation


  • Foment de Ciutat
  • Ajuntament de Barcelona


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


When we speak about affordable housing, we often focus solely on the buildings. This brick-and-mortar perspective, while necessary, is only a small part of the whole issue. Dwelling is not just about having access to a housing unit with an affordable cost; it also involves having the opportunity to progress professionally and personally within the neighborhood, thereby being able to manage the cost of living. This is the logic behind "el Pla de Barris" (neighborhood plan) in Barcelona.

The Pla de Barris takes a holistic approach to addressing the needs of the most deprived areas in the city. While emphasizing the necessity of housing refurbishment and enhancement of public spaces, it also addresses the economic and social justice issues within neighborhoods. Thus, the plan combines housing initiatives with social policies.

The origin of the Pla de Barris dates back to the early 2000s, focusing on the need to foster investments in public spaces where vulnerable populations lived. However, after the 2008 crisis, the Pla de Barris was cut off due to budgetary reasons. In 2015, it was reimplemented with a different perspective. Now, the Pla de Barris is community-driven, centering on actions that the community can implement themselves with institutional support. Hence, it has transformed into a collective action policy. For example, despite its investment in housing refurbishment, it does so with a holistic approach. While the public administration typically just offers a grant, the Pla de Barris also provides the tools for the community to manage the grant and implement the project (see “Finques d’Alta Complexitat” on this same website).

Additionally, living in a neighborhood means having the earnings to pay for your house and expenses. For this reason, the latest Pla de Barris emphasizes the need to foster economic development projects, educational opportunities, and social services. In addition, it puts the climate resilience of housing and neighbourhoods as a central objective, adapting the most vulnerable to the climate challenge in their homes and environments.

The Pla de Barris operates within the municipality of Barcelona. However, the AMB, the metropolitan government, is now preparing the metropolitan Pla de Barris, so that investments can be scaled to the required dimension, impacting the entire city.