The project comprises different lines of research led by several researchers who study the exposed dimensions of the city at different scales: personal, social and urban.

HOME AS A FRONTIER: the difficulties and limitations of housing in times of lockdown.

Maribel Roselló

The data from the first wave of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown show, in general, that the most affected neighbourhoods were those that formed during the great transformation of the urban peripheries in the second half of the 20th century. There is a clear difference between the well-to-do city and that of the working class, with social fragility being made clear in a generic way. The research aims to show in a concrete way how lockdown (and the need to isolate a member of the family) was experienced in the most affected working-class neighbourhoods.

THE LONGING OF THE STREET BEFORE. The city experience from confinement in various urban taxonomies.

Isabel Castiñeira

The new relationships that are established from housing on the street, in open spaces and in the urban fabric through the analysis of census sectors of maximum incidence in four situations: – Total confinement establishes a new relationship between people, the house and the street. – Forced departure, people who have to face leaving home in a hostile environment, mainly to go to work. – In the first limited time outings where the possibilities of socialization open up. – And access to basic services.

DISPOSSESSED HOME. Public space and homelessness in the context of a pandemic

Marta Serra Permanyer

Although homeless people who sleep outdoors did not suffer a high incidence of Covid-19 infection (due to the low level of transmission in open spaces), restrictions on the use of public space and facilities during the first lockdown caused this collective’s reality to be strongly disregardedviolated. Isolation and falling outside the system of production could initially be an advantage when it came to promoting privacy due to lack of social contact, but on the contrary, the accentuation of this isolation due to lockdown broke many links to resources offered by the social services; these were fragile links upon which meeting their basic needs depended. Why did things break down in this way and what did this entail? How did the first lockdown and its regulations affect this minority group? Based on the experiences of people who were sleeping rough during the first lockdown as well as from key institutions, the aim of the research is to identify why the phenomenon of homelessness turned out to be a fragile reality during the pandemic and to determine the role played by public space, in particular the street, a street or threshold space with tension caused by a struggle between the public and private condition and the intimacy and protection needed by people who spend the night there. Likewise, the link between built support networks, spaces and daily practices and the role of hostile architecture is explored. Finally, we ask ourselves what we can transfer to the design of public space and what lessons can be transferred to the field of architecture and urban design.




The aim is to study those public or private facilities that offer assistance and resources to specific groups through an organizational and spatial structure that conditions and regulates the habits of their users. Although with purposes of a very diverse nature (either in the accompaniment of care or social reintegration) this institutionalization involves the modification of the behavior of the people who inhabit it due to the high degree of regulations (medical or security) and hierarchies in the use of practices and spaces. For example: residences, hospitals, schools, prisons, CIEs, welfare shelters.
So we wonder how the pandemic – in terms of incidence and confinement – altered these types of spaces and how it affected the daily experience of the people involved in their use and management. What role did the space of these centers play in adapting and responding to a sudden and unexpected change? What spaces were re-created on the subject of the pandemic and what happened to them?


Photograph Diari Ara


Sandra Bestraten

The aim is to gather the voices of an often invisible age group and thus be able to complete the image of a fragile Barcelona with the experiences of the pandemic from childhood. In this sense, we want to explain how this group has experienced the situation and how the condition of childhood has meant a particular perspective of the events caused by the confinement and the incidence of VOCID19. On the other hand, a complementary look is part of a broader reflection on different collective spaces in the city of Barcelona. In this sense, the analysis of the schools is one of the only spaces that, during the first state of alarm, remained closed and, therefore, the research would focus on understanding the change of location of the school space and the his new return. Photography Diari Ara  


Pedro Azara

Contrary to what might be portrayed, COVID has provoked a positive reaction, and not a warning cry, in many of Barcelona’s museums. With few exceptions, they are publicly owned (municipal, regional, and national via the Provincial Council). Private foundations, whose budget is boosted by ticket sales, room rental and money earned through complementary services (with one exceptional case being Caixaforum, whose budget is based on regular and permanent contributions from the bank associated with the foundation) have empty coffers, leading to partial closure and temporary layoffs of the staff. However, municipal museums have continued to receive public contributions, although they have been severely affected by having to dispense with certain outsourced services, due to closures, the lack of visitors, in particular from overseas, temporary contracts for the workers who provide these services: cleaning, security, customer service, etc. Even so, the programming of temporary exhibitions and the permanent exhibitions of the municipal museums have been able to continue as planned. This does not impede reflection on the function of the museum and its place within the community, city and territory, trying to take advantage of the situation during the pandemic in order to rethink the meaning of a museum, what services it offers, what benefits it provides, who it is for, and how the knowledge and enjoyment it gives us differs from other means of knowledge and sensory and intellectual enrichment. Therefore, far from a culture of complaints, which could be reasonably expected, the pandemic allows us to review the museum’s role in a new, enriching and hopeful way.


Tiziano Schürch

Visualize and represent the situation of commercial and restaurant spaces in Barcelona during the pandemic. Emphasize the need to close and the possibility of subsequent reopening, the impact it has on the street, dependence on tourism, mutual support and the fragility of both the business itself and the people who run it. Also collect the experiences of people who have been in the public eye and therefore have had experiences related to fear, danger and the risk of exposure to the virus itself.


Marina Povedano

When people were totally locked down, the pandemic made it possible for us to use different sensitivities to appreciate the urban environment. Senses that had seemingly been dormant for years were sharpened, with everybody enjoying all the different smells, sounds and textures in the streets. Going out into the street became a search for something different, for things that home could not provide. The urban environment ceased to be a means of transition or passage, and became something for us to observe. By looking at different personal experiences, this research aims to record and understand to what extent we experienced the city for a few months as the object of observation and as a space for creativity in this reunion with our senses.


Kathrin Golda


The starting point for this contribution to the research is the Landscapes of Pressure project (Golda-Pongratz, Kathrin, 2014) which is based on the conviction that territorial structuring policies respond mainly to the logic of the global economy and consequently turn any metropolitan territory into an object of speculation. Imposing certain projects on the urban discourse and on the imagination of politicians and citizens (in the form of a promise for some and a threat for others), and putting them on the map subject these peripheral, peri-urban or even free spaces to pressure and have definitively changed their meaning. This part of the “Barcelona Ciutat Fràgil” project magnifies some of these fragile territories in the face of the different pressures that have actually increased during the pandemic, despite the fact that there is also a growing awareness of the importance of open and common spaces.


Antoni Ramon, Iván Alcázar i Ricard Gratacós

A meeting of bodies that are present, that is the performing arts. During the first lockdown, the world of the stage went into crisis. In the city, streets and squares emptied, and balconies and rooftops become scenic spaces. Theatres sought new ways to project their theatrical works to the public. Homes turned into stages. The main aim of our research is exploring space and time, looking at the forms and rituals of the performing arts during lockdown and considering the repercussions of the successive measures taken by venues to get through the pandemic.