Architecture students participate for a second year in the project “Comerç Amic Sense Barreres”
This initiative, organised by Barcelona City Council, aims to improve accessibility in neighbourhoods and public highways
On 24 January, third year students from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture presented their projects to improve accessibility in businesses and public buildings to neighbourhood associations and other local organisations in the Pati Llimona Community Centre in the Ciutat Vella neighbourhood in Barcelona. This initiative is part of the “Comerç Amic Sense Barreres (CASBA)” project set up by Barcelona City Council in 2013, with the aim of increasing awareness of accessibility and training future architects in this area.
This is the second year that the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture has participated in the CASBA project, through the mediation of professor Enrique Rovira Beleta, director of the Area of Accessibility. This year, 27 students made interventions in a total of 20 businesses and 3 public buildings located on the commercial streets of Carrer d’Avinyó and Carrer Sant Pere més Alt. “Students take a guided tour of the neighbourhood, accompanied by people with functional diversity, and sit in a wheelchair to detect needs in their assigned field of work” said Clara Santamaria, a representative of Barcelona City Council, at the project delivery event.
After an initial analysis, students further developed their technical proposals and sought solutions based on the criteria of efficiency and sustainability. The projects were recorded by Teresa Caja, from the Association of Traders of Avinyó and Alfòns Solà, from the Association of Neighbours and Trade of Santa Caterina. Representatives of the Sínia Occupational Centre, Vigatans Residence and APIPACAM Fundation also participated in this event. The event ended with the performance of the Casa Candela Flamenco company.
“We are the only Architecture School in Europe which teaches accessibility as a compulsory subject. If you don’t pass it, then you cannot be an architect”, underlined profesor Rovira Beleta during the project delivery session. Neighbourhood representatives thanked the students for their work and dedication towards people in the neighbourhood with functional diversity.
Since 2013, the CASBA project has contributed towards an improvement in accessibility in various areas of Barcelona, such as Zona Franca, Creu Coberta, Vallespir, Horta-Guinardó, Sant Andreu and Ciutat Vella.