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  • The Fate of Housing Estates 4

    Careful Reflections on Orientation in the 21st Century
    Bellvitge, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona agglomeration, Spain, 1964–1970

    Text: Melinda Benkő
    Photos: Melinda Benkő, Péter Bach

    Szombati piac a panelek tövében

    We started publishing a series of articles about European prefab-technology housing estates in MÉ 2014/2. Following Grenoble, Magdeburg and Vilnius our author now takes on the task to present an aspect of Barcelona which is yet unknown to tourists. Halfway between the airport and the city centre, there is a housing estate called Bellvitge. It actually forms part of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, a suburb of the metropolis with 4.6 million people. For outsiders it seems to be a most problematic zone of Barcelona which is still a highly loveable hometown for the majority of its dwellers. At the turn of the millennia, Barcelona as a city dynamically developing grew into one of the most popular targets of European immigration trends: as a result, the rate of its foreign inhabitants increased from 4% to 18% within a decade. Many of them found their new homes in the housing estates of the agglomeration of Barcelona. In Bellvitge it was primarily Spanish-speaking Latin- and South-American immigrants who settled down. This Andalusian “island” of the Catalonian capital city today thus faces global cultural and social challenges.