Few city blocks in the Eixample can be made over starting from zero unless the owner is a private developer. This is not the case when we’re talking about the block that the Germanetes dels Pobres convent occupied almost entirely – 5,500 square metres of land that in 2001 went back to the drawing board. The keys to the site passed from hand to hand, first to the Hospital Clínic, then to the Ajuntament (City Council), which actually came up with a plan that was very similar to the current one and, finally, fell into the worst hands of all: none. The plot was abandoned.
It was then that seed of the Germanetes project began to germinate, and it did so through a neighbourhood assembly created during the mobilisation of the anti-austerity movement in Spain also known as the 15-M Movement (it started on the 15th of May, 2011), and ended with a concession to manage 585 square metres of the plot. ‘That was our first win,’ says Jota with pride. ‘It was the beginning of everything, when we decided to stand up and tell the City Council that we existed and that, even if it didn’t seem like much, that little piece of the neighbourhood would be for the residents.’ On January 24, 2014, the urban garden and community spaces opened for the first time, and a new way of understanding the neighbourhood began to flourish.