Esta es una Plaza is a group of local people managing a formerly empty plot of land in the middle of Lavapies (a centric neighborhood of Madrid). In a recent interview for a video on the project, Esta es una Plaza was quoted as a “people's place”, a “green space in the midst of the asphalt”, an “open space for letting your creativity flow”, a “common dream come true every day”…
Esta es una plaza was created following the success of a project by urban planners, who, working together with local residents, showed the huge potential for common use of this disused plot of land. Once the urban planning project finished, the City Council removed what had been done in the space and padlocked the door. Unhappy with loosing their hard-earned common space, the neighbours protested and demonstrated against the decision of the city council. After some time they managed to get a temporary legal transfer of the plot of land in order to create a common place for all neighbors and any other passersby.
The outcome is a self-managed open space where decisions are made by consensus and where everybody interested has a say. The Plaza's main (non-exhaustive) principles are: GREEN (oops…maybe that was not only a colour?), to share (the aim is not to do, but also to share what we do), to encourage creativity (open to new, old and all artistics ways of expression), money free (neither commercial activities, promotions nor prices are welcome here), open (to everyone: both the assemblies and the use of the place), common, respectful (activities are always held taking into account any neighbors or other collectives not involved in the events themselves), 3rs (reduce, reuse, recycle)… (and many others).
Over the years many activities have been carried out. They can be grouped like this:
Green: orchard and garden (many activities are carried out by these working ¿? - or rather “enjoying” - groups: seeds workshops, common gardening, etc.)
Events: all kind of unplugged gigs, theater, dance sessions, yoga and many other thingy things are organised in the common space (anyone with an idea can propose it to the group for common approval according to the principles of the space).
Construction: all the furniture, etc., in the space are created by those who use the Plaza and respect the three rs of recycle while sharing, experimenting, enjoying…
And there are many others you will just have to discover by yourself when you visit us: the bicycle workshop (were everybody learns how to repair their own bike), wall painting (amazing graffiti, murals, etc.); science (with a huge mural of insects opposite the entrance); short films (…with the world wide famous “Singing in the Rain” Esta es una Plaza short film); etc…..we have been even involved in a European Leonardo project (can you imagine?).
More info can be found at: estaesunaplaza.blogspot.com
Or come along to C/Doctor Fourquet 24, Madrid
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission (Program "Leonardo da Vinci Partnership"). This information reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.