Sustainable water management in La Clota

Water is a vital part of life and from the landscapes generated by social and economic management of water, a culture is created which transcends generations. Prior to the industrial revolution, water intervened in the majority of urban and peri-urban activities within the traditional cities. This allowed for the understanding of a city in relation to its territory and, thus, its natural systems. It is a relationship based on the organic productive model in which the citizen had an active role as a user of water, through community self-management, and production practices that adapt the demand for this scarce resource to the available supply in the river basin. Water was viewed as a public asset and the citizens had a knowledge and an active awareness of how to responsibly use the water as a social resource and a cultural asset. With the arrival of the industrial revolution, this model was considered out-of-date and the citizens lost their active role in the management of the resources, transforming the citizens into mere consumers of resources.

The objective of the report is to contribute materials to justify the viability and the need of a neighbourhood participatory intervention of the water cycle management in the neighbourhood of Clota.
Una intervenció que proposi la revaloració de l’aigua com a patrimoni cultural intangible i la recuperació de les pràctiques associades als seus usos de gestió quotidiana.
El reconeixement del potencial de tals valors permetrà la reinterpretació d’aquest patrimoni social com a motor de transformació espacial des d’una visió sostenibilista.
En resum, es tracta d’
a remedial intervention of the traditional water management heritage using current technical knowledge and considering the present social needs. This will contribute to the necessary vision change that promotes a new model of sustainable closed-cycle social metabolism.

Many factors affect community dynamics and can catalyse a change in perspective such as the potential of water and the surrounding organizing spaces, the generation of social dynamics, and the common meeting and liberation points and therefore enhancing the five dimensions previously mentioned: historical memory, perception, pedagogy, sociability and self-management. Another vision that questions the present, unsustainable social and productive model of decoupling and citizen passivity, offering a new perceptive framework that allows us to rethink this model from cultural values.

The methodologies used for the intervention are the following:

Critical revision of the present situation: a contaminated social metabolism from the industrial era

Exploration of a past reference: the organic social metabolism

Proposal of a future scenario: the sustainable social metabolism

In particular, by intervening in the management of the rainwater runoff and, complementaryly, the various water sources in the environment, towards a more efficient model avoiding the systematic generation of polluting waste, typical of the urban model of the industrial era. A model in line with the European Water Framework Directive.


Cíclica [space · community · ecology] Elena Albareda i Marta Serra


Encàrrec de l'Ajuntament de Barcelona a Bosch-Capdeferro Arquitectes

Any projecte



1 de January de 2014


Territory and landscape