Residents of Vila de Gràcia! Let’s act together to save the houses and the holm oak in Carrer Encarnació!
Let’s say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH to property speculation, which is driving us out of our homes and neighbourhood!
Let’s put a stop to the destruction of our heritage for speculative gain!
On Wednesday, 7 November, the property developer Encarnación Invest S.L. began operations to demolish two historic houses in Carrer Encarnació (numbers 13-15-17) and to cut down the trees in the garden, including a 200-year-old holm oak. In their place, they intend to build luxury apartments.
This is yet another example of the speculation that is increasingly affecting our neighbourhood, Vila de Gràcia. We, the residents, have reacted to this by occupying the property and organising ourselves to stop the operations and turn this space into a lively focal point that will meet the needs of the neighbourhood.
It is a well-known fact that Gràcia is one of Barcelona’s districts with the biggest housing problems (impossibly high rents, landlord harassment, very low salaries, evictions and dispossessions). As a result, residents are being driven out and the neighbourhood is being gentrified. The demolition of these houses, together with the destruction of the garden, and the subsequent construction in their place of luxury flats would mean another triumph for capitalism and the speculation that is choking us. We are not prepared to accept this.
Besides the speculative gain, this demolition also endangers the neighbourhood’s flora and fauna. The holm oak under threat is documented as being more than 200 years old and it meets the criteria for being listed as a monumental tree. At present, many birds, including some protected species, are nesting in the tree; starlings, turtle doves and an owl are just a few examples. We have learnt from various sources that although the owners’ permits for the work are in order and there is a favourable tree felling report, many irregularities have been committed, such as damage to natural heritage.
In Vila de Gràcia there is a need for many public facilities for which residents have campaigned on various occasions: social housing, a 100% free public day centre, kindergartens and other schools, leisure facilities for children and young people, public premises for cultural activities, civic centres… Let’s turn the plots of land in Carrer Encarnació into a lively focal point for residents, rather than a project fuelled by speculative capitalism! The property developers are acting with impunity. We must respond with co-ordinated action and expropriation.
If we organise ourselves, we’ll win!
No more gentrification! No more speculation!
The houses and the holm oak must stay in the neighbourhood!