The urban renewal process in neighbourhoods with well-rooted communities often reveals the ties between people and
spaces, and highlights the inextricable links between social and physical structures. The residents of three neighbourhoods
in the city of Barcelona–Trinitat Nova, Plus Ultra and Vallcarca– have endured and fought against the threat of
radical urban renewals planned by the municipal authorities for decades, and their efforts have only recently been
rewarded with the acceptance of their demands by local administrations. In this period, residents organized themselves
to defend their vision of the place against official plans, a vision which was a collective construction of personal memories
and historical evidences. In the PROHABIT research project, we have undertaken an interdisciplinary study, involving
architects-planners and social and environmental psychologists, to understand the process of construction of a
sense of community and place identity in three neighbourhoods. The study has highlighted the need to overcome the
divisions between social sciences and design disciplines, between the real world of experience and the abstract world
of design thinking. In this regard, the work conducted in this project offers some insights into the need to create a holistic
understanding of today’s urban environment, and how architects and planners need to develop skills and methods
to enable them to form part of the open and participatory planning systems which our contemporary urban environments
Keywords: Lived Space, Neighbourhood Planning, Community Identity .
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