"Communities in transition; Dynamics of adaptation in an urban restructuring process"



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European Network for Housing Research International Housing Conference. Reykjavik 29th June- 3rd July 2005

García, Lídia (University of Barcelona)1 & Tapada, M.Teresa (Autonomous University of Barcelona)2
"Communities in transition; Dynamics of adaptation in an urban restructuring process"


  1. Introduction and framework

The main objective of renovation processes is to improve the urban environment, being complex and in constant movement. More concretely the main goal of the renovation is to improve the quality of life of the residents. The RESTATE3 comparison project, that stands for “Restructuring Large scale Housing Estates in European Cities, has as its main objective the analysis and evaluation of the most important factors, that directly influence the outcomes of renovation projects. Also included is the urban policies implemented in various European cities. Based upon this analysis the projects mains goal is to improve the future urban policies in this field, resulting in more successful renovation projects, and finally improve the quality of life of the population.

The RESTATE project includes a survey of 31 neighbourhoods with public housing, all having the same basic characteristics4 in common. However with different intervention processes and different social-politically contexts. In this paper, within the framework of RESTATE, the results are obtained from a social survey on the population of the neighbourhood of San Roc located in the city of Badalona (province of Barcelona).

The objective of the present paper is to study in depth the historical processes of each build environment, and the role played by some of those variables we could define as subjective ones, like the individual perception of the environment or place attachment. All of these variables play an important role during the renovation processes on a local level. Our hypothesis is that these qualitative variables are highly determining the dynamics of acceptation or rejection of the project. These processes of adaptation can be observed during the urban renovation processes. Taking into account that we are dealing with variables on a local level, we expect that in different magnitude depending on the case, these variables can influence the outcome of a certain strategy on a macro level. That is to say, we are not proposing to analysis the strategies applied or intervention tools used, which has been described and analysed in other papers within the framework of the RESTATE project. However we are proposing to analyse the perception of the residents, reflected in the survey, concerning the intervention and the possible impact on the final outcome of this type of urban renovation projects.


  1. The renovation process in the neighbourhood of San Roc; the framework

The principal hypothesis of this paper is that the variables related to perception of the environment play an important role in the renovation processes. Taking into account these variables before implementing any kind of urban intervention policy, we belief that this will certainly improve the urban renovation policies as such, independently of what type of intervention we are dealing with. During the implementation process of an urban intervention, the opinion of the residents concerning the expected results can influence directly the success of the applied policy. During the months of April and May 2004 a survey was held in the neighbourhood of San Roc in order to know the opinion of the residents concerning the urban policies applied. The survey formed part of the third phase of the RESTATE comparative project, and was executed after a socio-demographic analysis of the neighbourhoods that formed part of the project, including an analysis of the social policies applied5. The urban intervention in the Barcelona case is in sharp contrast with the historical tendency observed in most of the outskirts of the big Spanish cities. Only in the last years we observe that more attention is paid to urban peripheral areas, which used to receive little political attention. In the case of Barcelona the local authorities, being the “Generalitat de Catalunya”, started in the nineties an important urban renewal policy in the peripheral areas of Barcelona in order to improve the quality of life in these neighbourhoods, which is still in execution. The neighbourhood of San Roc is part of this important renovation plan. In the case of San Roc this plan implies for the time being the demolition of 918 dwelling of a total of 3.395, all effected by “aluminosis”. This means that in a timeframe of 9 years, between 2001 and 20106, a third of the housing stock will be substituted by new ones, in order to improve the neighbourhood by either directly or indirectly interventions. That is to say, directly, by the means of the new dwellings and, indirectly through the general improvement of the public spaces in the neighbourhood. The survey gathers the opinion of the residents concerning this process of renovation within the framework of the renewal of the neighbourhoods managed by he local authorities.7


It would be logical to expect that the residents would perceive the current renovation as positive, taking into account a high level of physical degradation of the old dwelling and the little success obtained in former renovation projects by the local authorities. Also it could be reasonable to think that their opinion concerning the future of the neighbourhood would be significantly higher in comparison with past, taken into account the increase in political attention by the local authorities.
The old dwellings in the neighbourhood are clearly showing physical deficiencies in the construction as such. We are here dealing with dwelling of between 32 and 60 square metres, suffering “aluminosis”8 and with clear signs of degradation of the public spaces and a lack of basic maintenance services in the neighbourhood. Through the means of an important economical investment in new dwelling, substituting a third of the current housing stock, the local authorities are aiming to improve the living conditions of the residents. Taking into account all this, we could ask ourselves; “what would be the perception of the residents on the renovation process in the neighbourhood?


Expected scenario

It would be logical to think that the neighbours would rate lower the old dwellings and public spaces in comparison with the new ones, which have some physical characteristics that are objectively better. (more square metres per dwelling and installations like lifts)

Further more the sample population would positively rate the current situation of the neighbourhood in comparison with the old situation. (the survey refers to 5 years ago)

The neighbours would rate higher the future of the neighbourhood in comparison with what they did 5 years ago concerning the same aspect, taking into account the renewed political interest and the physical and social improvements of the neighbourhood.

Before going into more detail concerning the results of the survey, comparing the expected scenario with the real one, we would like to highlight some thoughts on the nature of relocation processes initiated by the demolition of the deteriorated old dwelling.




  1. Some thoughts on the urban relocation processes caused by demolition of the dwelling. The role of the qualitative evaluation of the build environment.

We can define the operation of renovation of dwellings as an opportunity to improve the quality of life of the effected community. In the case when the intervention implies a demolition of the old dwelling and moving the community to the new one, the relocation, implies de-attachment and adaptation to the new build environment. This process of adaptation and de-attachment has not always been recognised in earlier projects.

Some recent paper on the subject, insist on revising the deterministic hypothesis, in some case not explicit, that motivated the demolition of the dwellings and the move of the population, with the consequent problems of adaptation to the new environment. Especially in the case of moving the community outside the neighbourhood, the impact is even bigger. The analysis of the impact on the population concerning the relocation processes is the main objective of these papers. (Musterd, S. & Ostendorf, wim: 2004; Belmessous, F et alii: 2004). It must be mentioned that in the case of San Roc the relocation of the community has been within the same neighbourhood, in order to reduce the negative impact caused by de-attachment of place.
The main question of this paper is to find out if those interventions focused merely on the physical construction of the dwellings with the main intention to improve the quality of the construction, also help to improve the social conditions of the effected population. These time consuming adaptation processes are normally producing a variety of reactions, scaling from acceptation to rejection of the new environment. In this chapter we are not pretending to develop further more on this statement, however we intent to find out in what way these qualitative variables on a micro level can help to understand the complex and dynamic processes involved. Simultaneous we see that the relocation cases described from an anthropological point of view highlight the negative impact of the movement of the population, despite the opportunity for improvement as a consequence of change. (Cernea, M., 1992 and 1993)

The main contributions in the field of comparative analysis on the social impact of the relocation processes are considered as reference publications in this field, and are especially relevant in the cases of development projects9. Basically these papers are focused on the relationship between the build environment, from a social and cultural perspective, and the impact these variable have on the results of the relocation processes. The negative perception on the social impact of relocation project for a large extent is simply based on the fact that there exist more publications on the less successful projects then on the successful ones. Also the scattered information on these type of urban relocation processes, basically originated by the lack of recognition of the importance of these type of phenomena, are contributing to this perception. That is to say there does not exist a general framework on the processes involved, and only disperse information on the goals of the projects exists. (urban renewal projects, building projects of dams, or the construction of motorways)



But also the fact that we are trying to solve a social problem, through the building of better and higher quality dwelling, can explain the failure of this type of projects. Maybe the latest statement is partial hiding an architectural determinism that so far has not been made explicit. Never the less, a big part of the papers collected on the subject, is focused on the qualitative aspects of the lengthy process of re-adaptation. In this sense Scudder (1982) introduces the concept of, multidimensional stress of relocation, that express the effort the population have to make when they are moved from one place to the other, implying the rupture of the existing social network build up over the years. In this concept new variables like psychological and social-cultural variables are introduced in an extensive analysis of the relocation processes. Also Thomas Downing is highlighting the social cultural variables that are playing an important role during the relocation projects implemented in developing countries and explain the rupture in the established social networks. Even before the move of the population to the new dwellings, we are already able to observe a rupture with the established social networks, despite the fact that the economic organisation will not be changed by the move. This rupture can be explained by factors like uncertainty concerning the future and provokes a state of anxiety in the population. The conclusion of Downing, after analysing various relocation projects, is that the slow disintegration of the social identity of the group built up during a certain time and place, is the cause of the rupture This is the main drive for any population to shape its relationship with the build environment. That is to say that an involuntary move, like in the case of relocation projects, provokes a disorder in the social identity of the group in relation to the build environment and implies an adaptation to the new variables concerning space. Downing (1994: 6-10) mention some aspects that play an important role during this mechanism of adaptation. This mechanism consists of a well-established list of intangible concepts in the mindset of any individual concerning his or her relationship with the build environment. In this mindset the perception of the build environment and the real world directly interact between each other. The use of space is determined by this perception that is conditioned by former experiences on the use of a certain space and social demographic factors like age or sex. That is to say, a social identity relates directly with the build environment and the perception of space is formed during a certain timeframe and is different for different demographical groups.. Further more the use of space is determined by the culture habits of the group and has been considered by both architects and anthropologists. For example Noha Nasser explains that place, the physical dimension and the use of it are overlapping. This relationship between use and place is described by Nasser as: “This shift conceives culture to be in a constant state of transformation, in which everyday practice, social processes, relationships, experiences and understandings are continuously negotiating in new contexts. These are all part of what Bourdieu has termed “habitus” or a system of dispositions. The term demonstrates the extent to which “place” may be seen as a “practice” rather than a visual, geographic or topographic location. A process of transformation by which space is either “reclaimed” or “re-inscribed” as a network of actions, practices and relationships. Such cultural practices are further shaped by operations of globalisation (trans-nationalism) and relations of power in given historical conditions and particular locales” (Nasher, Noa; 2003; 10)
Place and practice are two dimensions of the same reality of the relationship with the build environment and human being. Both aspects should be taken into account in a dynamic context. That is to say the practice is constantly changing and during relocation process this practice is partly moved to the new environment and adopted. Use of space directly determines the level of satisfaction with the new environment. The use of cognitive maps that describe the cultural and social use of space can help us to understand better the interaction between the place and practice. For example in the annex of this paper we present the case of a cognitive map made by a young gipsy girl describing her physical environment that consist of one big residential block. However she draws her residential block in three separate parts indicating her perception of her residential block has three separate units. The division she makes is because she wants to express the social distance between the social groups she belongs to and the other groups.

In order to conclude this chapter we state that this dynamic process of perception and constant adaptation should be taken into account when analysing the outcome, and even more to influence the outcome, of relocation projects.




  1. General characteristics of the neighbourhood Sant Roc and the renewal process.

San Roc is located at the east of the city Badalona in the north east of the province of Barcelona. The neighbourhood was constructed between 1962 and 1965 by the public developer organisation called “Obra Sindical del Hogar. The goal of the project was to relocate the population effected by the flooding in 1962 and to relocation the population living in various slums in the region. The construction was done in a relatively short period and quit soon the low quality of the construction showed up. A few years after the conclusion of the construction a technical investigation showed that more then 50% of the dwellings experienced water leakages, and around 80% of the dwellings suffered humidity problems and in 59% of the cases the bathrooms were suitable for substitution. (Tuleda, 1995) The construction was divided into 6 types of different blocks from 5 until 14 floors, and dwellings of between 41 until 61 square metres10. The bad quality of the construction and the height of the blocks originated the name of “vertical slum” (Torredeflot, 2001). Like in the case of most of the construction from this period also the construction of Sant Roc suffered from “Aluminosis” which is a weakening of the construction caused by oxidation of the internal iron reinforcement of the cement building elements. Therefore San Roc also had to be included in the program of “renovation of the neighbourhoods” set up by the regional government “Generalitat de Catalunya”. Despite that 70% of the dwellings are privately owned11 the regional government was obliged to take responsibility for the “Aluminosis” problem, mainly because the problem is originated by the use of bad material during the construction.

Also the neighbourhood is suffering from social problems; as the high level of unemployment and scholar absenteeism figures show. Especially in the case of the population between the age of 16 and 20 years, the absenteeism is high and in the case of unemployment figures the situation is even worse for the population of more then 40. (Pareja, M; 2003), (DEHISI, 2001). The wish to improve socially and economically pushes the population, those who are able to do so, to other areas of the city. This population is substituted by a new inflow of immigrants that occupy the empty dwellings. Some part of the population is blaming this new inflow for the decline of the neighbourhood. Also they are considered as direct competition in the case of social services and help. (Pareja, M; 2003). From 1990 several intervention programs were initiated in order to improve the living conditions of the neighbourhood, but all of them did not reach completely its objectives, mainly because of the lack of coordination between the different public bodies involved12. The current program consists of at least 4 different phases and is planned to last until 2010 and will substitute 30% of the dwellings for new ones. The partial renovation of the neighbourhood intends to directly improve the conditions of the relocated population, but also the rest of the population should benefit from the program. Until today there are no plans to build new dwellings for the rest of the neighbourhood.

Taken into account all these social, economic and physical conditions of the neighbourhood it would be reasonable to think that the expectation concerning the change is positive. However in the next chapter we analyse the results obtained from the survey, that indicates substantial differences between the expected scenario and the real one.




  1. The results of the survey in comparison with the expectations.

In this chapter we will compare what we called before the logical and expected scenario with the results obtain from the survey that includes the rating of the population concerning the present and future conditions of the neighbourhood13. Based on this hypothesis we state that the neighbours would:




  • Rate lower their old dwelling in comparison to the new one

  • Rate higher the current situation of the neighbourhood in comparison with the situation 5 years ago.

  • Rate positively the future of the neighbourhood.

As stated before it would be logical to expect that the survey would show a positive perception of the intervention, because the physical conditions of the new dwelling are much better then the old ones. It is clear that the intervention is aiming on eliminating the old construction problems by substituting a third of the housing stock for new dwelling. Therefore in order to measure the success of this intervention a rating by the effected population is mandatory. In continuation we will show the results concerning the residential satisfaction of the population, which shows a complete different picture in comparison to the expected scenario. We would like to stress that the results are showing the perception of the neighbours concerning the change and can’t be interpreted as a measure of success for the physical intervention. That is to say the survey does not reflected if the physical conditions have improved of the neighbourhood. Also it should be taken into account that this perception of the population does not always coincide with the perception of the involved urban planners, architects and the public government workers. These differences in perception that exists before and occur during the implementation can provoke a worsening of the results if no attention is paid to it.




    1. Main results of the survey, the figures and facts

The random sample we took of the population has the main objective to know the opinion of the total population of Sant Roc. Therefore the sample should take into account the actual status with respect to the relocation process of each individual. That is to say we can distinguish tree groups; people that already moved to the new dwelling, those that are going to be moved and finally those people that will not be moved. So the sample has been stratified according to this distribution. The total number of interviews was 126.14 with a distribution of the sample size in each group according table 2. It is important the stress the fact that these interviews were characterised by a direct contact with the neighbourhood and local organisations because these entities were directly involved in the execution of the interviews.


First hypothesis; lower rating of the current dwelling
On a scale of 1 to 10 the average rating of the population concerning the aspect of satisfaction with the current dwelling was 7,17.
Table 1. Satisfaction with home




Media

N

Desv.

Típ.

Sant Roc

7.17

124

2,498

Average RESTATE

7,52

495

2,487

Scource: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004

This average is significant high, taken into account the physical conditions of the dwellings in the neighbourhood of Sant Roc. Even taken into account that maybe the sample contained a high number of interviews realised in dwelling that are not going to be demolished because of the better physical conditions, the survey shows that 46,5% of the population living in dwelling that are going to be demolished are rating between high and very high their current dwelling15. Table 2 shows clearly that the old dwelling are really rated higher then the new constructed ones, and shows that this perception is not coinciding with the intention of the program.


Table 2. Level of satisfaction of current dwelling





Dwellings not affected

New

dwellings

Dwellings to be demolished

Total

Very Low

27,1

0,0

23,3

24,0

Low

18,6

25,0

7,0

14,9

Indifferent

38,6

37,5

23,3

33,1

High

11,4

37,5

27,9

19,0

Very High

4,3

0,0

18,6

9,1

Total

70

8

43

121

Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004

It is remarkable that 62,5% of the neighbours living in the new dwelling have rated between “low” and “indifferent” their new dwelling, and only 37,5 % rated from “high” to “very high”.


Second hypothesis; Higher rating of the current situation of the neighbourhood in comparison to 5 years ago
The next table shows a low average rating of 4,6 concerning the current satisfaction with the neighbourhood, this in sharp contrast with the high general rating concerning their dwellings as shown in table 1.
Table 3. Satisfaction with the neighbourhood





Average

Sant Roc

4.60

Average RESTATE

6.52


Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004

A more in depth analysis shows that even in the last 5 years, the period when the renovation took place, this perception concerning the situation of the neighbourhood did not changed.(see Table 4). 62,5% of the population even thinks that the situation has worsened and, only 13,1% feels that things have improved. Table 4 shows clearly that the intervention started in 2001 did not change the perception of the neighbours.


Table 4. The Satisfaction with the neighbourhood has improved or diminished.





Sant Roc

Lower

62,6%

Same

24,3%

Higher

13,1%

Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004

Third hypothesis; higher rating of the future of the neighbourhood.
It is remarkable that 40,5% of the population thinks that the future is going to be worse despite the efforts put by the local authorities, as shown in table 5. In the case of those people (42,3%) that think in the near future things will improve, stated in 31,3% of the cases, that they expect this improvement from the new construction (this reason is the most frequent in this group).
Table 5. Perception of the future of the neighbourhood




Sant Roc

Better

42,3

Indifferent

17,1

Worse

40,5

Total (100%)

100

Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004
Also in the case of the expectations concerning the future of the neighbourhood taking into account the program of renovation the survey shows some surprising results. As shown in the next table, those people how are going to move to the new dwellings rate in 45,2% of the cases between indifferent and worse, the new situation.
Table 6. Perspectives of the future according the inclusion or not in the renewal program.





Dwelling not included

New dwelling

Dwelling included

Total

Better

30,6

71,4

54,8

42,3

Iqual

16,1

14,3

19,0

17,1

Worse

53,2

14,3

26,2

40,5

Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004
Although we observe that those people already living in the new dwelling have in 71,4% of the cases a better perception concerning the future of the neighbourhood, however in general independently of the inclusion or not in a renewal program the opinion is in 57,6 % of the cases not changing or worse. Taken into account results reflected in table 6 we raise the following questions: are the highly subjective opinions of the population significant in order to evaluate the results of a relocation program? Or more precisely, what are the causes of the results and can we consider them of any significance?


    1. Perception factors of the built environment and the dynamics of adaptation on the micro level.

The basic question is why are the ratings low taken into account the bad situation of the old dwelling and the opportunity to improve these conditions through the relocation program. From a technical point of view it is completely justified to implement this renewal program, and the results can be objectively be measured in the sense of the improvement in building quality of the new housing stock. However the gab between the negative perception of the population in general and the positive physical results of the intervention should be analysed in more depth. The studies performed by Environmental Psychology and Social Anthropology on this subject already showed that the valuation of our environment depends for an extensive part on subjective variables. For example the “Attachment to place” explains, beyond the objective and measurable improvements in the physical environment, why people still can have a negative perception of these same changes (Amérigo, M) In the next part we will try to apply these findings from the field of Environment Psychology and Social Anthropology in the case of the survey of Sant Roc.




      1. The impact of qualitative variables concerning earlier experiences of the former dwelling.

As we already mentioned before in chapter 3, the effort to adapt to the new situation during the relocation process is considerable, and means for some of the neighbours to change their emotional values related to their “known territory” and adapt them to the new created environment, generating uncertainty. Let us see what variables could have played an important role in the case of Sant Roc.




  • Earlier residential experiences.

When people opinion about their environment they make use of a reference framework that is based on the earlier residential experience. This use of a reference framework is even stronger in the case when we have to evaluate our direct environment being our home. In this case we directly associate our home with our perception of ourselves and of the group we make part of. So the evaluation of our direct environment is based upon earlier residential experiences and has a deep emotional significance.

In the case of Sant Roc we have to observe that the population in 1966 moved into this new neighbourhood, came from various slums with a low economic level and therefore with very small opportunities to move voluntarily to other neighbourhoods. As until today these opportunities did not change and therefore the attachment to the place is strong. Also the fact that for most of the people in the neighbourhood they have had only one earlier residential experience and so the adaptation to this stable environment is high. Therefore when the people had to opinion concerning their environment they acted according this framework and expressed their perception from a point of view “inside their home”. Especially in the case of the elder population that represent an important part of the total population in Sant Roc, the effort to adapt is bigger and generates uncertainty and provokes a rupture with established spatial references. In order to conclude we can say that although from an architectural point of view a lot of improvements have been made, variables like place attachment and the feeling of uncertainty because of the forced change in the direct environment of the people, overrule the former elements of evaluation. That is to say even if people can see that physically their environment has improved they still evaluate the situation negatively because of other variables like earlier residential experience are more important.


  • Trust in future improvements in the neighbourhood.

Because of numerous interventions in the past in the neighbourhood by the different public bodies, that only had some partial success, the trust of the people concerning another new initiative is low. In the case of Sant Roc this variable of trust in the organisation that is responsible for the execution of another new program, certainly has played an important role concerning the evaluation of the future of the neighbourhood. After many interventions in the neighbourhood, with little success, the people are reluctant to have new trust in the public bodies.




      1. Qualitative variables related to the current situation

The fact that in the case of Sant Roc only a third of the housing stock is effected by the renewal program we can distinguish three groups of people; those who are living in a dwelling that will be substituted, those living in the new dwelling and those that will not be included in the program. It can be expected that these different groups will have different opinions concerning the program. It is clear that people that make part of the program, although the aim of the program is also to influence indirectly the living standard of those not directly implied, will feel more involved with the program then those that will not change their dwelling and who will feel excluded This was clearly shown in table 6 where only 14,3 % of the people living in the new dwelling had a negative perception of the future of the neighbourhood while in the case of the people not included in the program this figure raised till 53,2%. It has to be mentioned that the inclusion, or not, of the dwelling in the program, not only determines the rating and evaluation of the process, it also determines the level of participation in the program.


Table 7 Participation according inclusion in the renewal program.





Dwelling not included

New dwelling

dwelling included

Total

Yes

18,6%

37,5 %

31,8 %

24,6 %

No

81,4 %

62,5 %

68,2 %

75,4 %

Total number of interviews

70

8

44

122

Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004
It is clear from the table that 37,5% of the people that live in the new dwelling are participating in either some association or organisation, while in the case of those not directly effected by the program this figure drops till 18,6%.


  • The permanence of negative values associated with the build environment; the residential stigma.

The influence of stigmatisation concerning a certain neighbourhood related to negative values like high crime rate or unemployment is difficult to change. The negative opinion of the rest of the city concerning the neighbourhood of Sant Roc, although real improvements have been made, will not change easily. 81,3% of the neighbours think that the rest of the city has a negative impression of the neighbourhood and 57% of the neighbours think that this impression is incorrect. This gab that exists between the reality and the stigmatisation may explain that the physical intervention does not create a positive effect on the mindset of the neighbours and hinder the possibility of oneself to identify with the neighbourhood, creating an affective link.


Table 8: What do you think the image of your neighbourhood is like?




Sant Roc

Very good

6.5

Indifferent

12.1

Very bad

81.3

Total (100%)

100

Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004
Table 9: Do you agree with this image of the neighbourhood?




Sant Roc

Yes

43%

No

57%

Total (100%)

100%

Source: RESTATE fieldwork, 2004


      1. Qualitative variables related to the perception of the future.




  • Participation

As already states the coordination between al parties involved in the renewal program is of the utmost importance. However in a lot of occasion the effected population is not considered as part of it. Some programs are taking into account this participation of the neighbours and therefore are part of the strategy. In other occasions, the community takes the initiative to participate in the process through informal circuits, despite that the program does not foresee any participation of the community. The opinion of the neighbours concerning the renewal program directly influences the rate of participation. Participation is a variable that directly influence the outcome of this type of programs, and also is the bases for the level of satisfaction and the perception of the future. (Pareja, M et alii; 2004). However it should be mentioned that participation not always influences positively the level of satisfaction and perception of the future, it also occurs that the participation has a negative effect on these variables, because of a direct and critical view on the inside processes. But in both cases the symbolic link between place and the people is established. This means that through the participation the people feel more identified with the future results to be obtained.





  1. Conclusions and proposals.

We have demonstrated through the analysis and interpretation of the results obtained from the survey, and the inclusion of contributions from the field of Environmental Psychology and Social Anthropology, that qualitative variables on the micro level can modify the expected results and should be taken into account before and during the implementation phase of renewal programs. Qualitative variables concerning perception, uncertainty, earlier residential experiences, identification to place and also the rate of participation in decision making processes can overrule in the outcome variables more objectively measurable like quality of construction, square metres of the dwelling or public spaces and services in the region. Also variables like trust and stigmatisation are directly influencing the perception of the community concerning the renewal program and the future.


Although we might improve the living standards from a measurable and tangible point of view, we demonstrated that these qualitative variables have an important role to play when determining if a renewal program has been successful or not. And more importantly the consequences of this mindset and perception can directly affect the success of the intervention. A negative feeling and perception on the future will lower the level of participation, and therefore reduce the identification with the program and finally reduce the level of success.
How do we improve this type of intervention in the future, taking into account the lessons learned in this paper? We should consider these processes of perception by analysing them before the implementation. Also we should provide the process with a mechanism that allows us to adapt the strategy and direction of the project to the changing perception of the affected community, in order to fulfil the objectives. We think that taken into account the constantly changing mindset of the people during the execution of the renewal program can provide us with an important input for adapting the strategy and direction of the project. Also in the case that the renewal project is partial, that is to say not all dwelling are going to be rebuilt, we should put in place special programs to compensate the population that will not be part of the program, with the goal to avoid the feeling of exclusion and therefore once again a danger of reducing the success of the program.
ANNEX. COGNITIVE MAPS OF THE BUILD ENVIRONMENT

Building block with 3 separate entrances; Photographer: Montserrat Pareja.



Cognitive map of the same building; recollected by Teresa Tapada, 2002
As we observe in the map the building is split up in three part according the 3 entrances of number 50, 49 and 48. The reason for this, according opinion of the gipsy girl, is that “she does not want to have any relationship with the neighbours living in the other entrances of the building”


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"The Space of Displacement: Making Muslim South Asian Place in British Neighborhoods" en TDSR, Volume XV. Number I.


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1 E-Mail: xarpxarp2@hotmail.com

2 E-Mail: Teresa.Tapada@uab.es

3 RESTATE. Restructuring Large scale Housing Estates in European Cities: Good Practices and New Visions for Sustainable Neighbourhoods and Cities. RESTATE website; http://www.restate.geog.uu.nl

4 It is important to know what we mean by a large-scale housing estate. Following Power (1997), we could define a large-scale housing estate as a group of buildings that is recognised as a distinct and discrete geographical area. We add one element to this definition: we see large-scale housing estates as developments planned by the State or with State support. With respect to size, we confine our attention to housing estates with at least 2.000 housing units that are recognised as distinct geographical areas. (Murie, A.; Knorr-Siedow, T.; Van Kempen, R.; 2003)

5 Pareja, M et alii: 2003 y Pareja, M et alii; 2004

6 In the year 2000 the construction of the new housing units was started and in 2001 the first people were moved to their new dwelling. In 2009 the substitution of the dwellings will be finalised and in 2010 some new additional housing units will be build.

7 The death of a neighbour in 1990 caused by defects in the construction (Aluminosis), forced the local authorities (la Generalitat de Catalunya, 2001: 12) to take corrective actions, which was dominates as “Programa de Remodulación de Barrios”

8 Aluminosis is a weakening of the construction caused by oxidation of the internal iron reinforcement of the cement building elements

9 The first meeting held on the subject was organised by the Housing Institute of Rotterdam and the World Bank in 1991. The main objective was to interchange experiences concerning relocation projects in the developed countries and also the developing countries, in order to progress in this type of projects. The results of the meeting were published in a book written by Forbes Davidson, Zaaijer, M and Peltenburg, M (1992).

10 In 1991, 64,9% of the total population of Sant Roc was living in a dwelling of between 41 and 50 square metres, 31,8% in a dwelling of between 51 and 61 square metres, and 3,2% of the population occupied a dwelling of between 61 and 90 square metres.

11 This ownership is characterised by a monthly payment directly to the State.

12 1990; Plan de Actuación Especial de Sant Roc, 1995; Programa Social de Sant Roc, 1997; Plan Director ADIGSA, 1998: Plan de Dinamización Comunitaria, 2003 Plan de Desarrollo Comunitario(this plan is currently in execution and aims to improve the social integration and living conditions)

13 For more detailed information on the renewal program of Sant Roc see (Pareja et alii, 2003 and Pareja et alii , 2004)

14 Pareja, M., Tapada, T., Garcia, L., Van Boxmeer, B. (2004) Large Housing Estates in Spain: Opinions and Prospects of inhabitants in Madrid and Barcelona. Utrecht: Urban and Regional Reseach Centre of the University of Utrecht.

15 We like to remind that the survey was compensated proportionally for this type of aspects


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