Curiously, not far from the Ferrol Vello physical disorder I described in the previous post “Social and Physical Disorder in the Urban Metropolis #ferrol #galiza #spain“, lies another example. But this time, the neighbourhoods disorder shows up in a rather different way. It’s Barrio de Canido, also located in the Galician city of Ferrol (Spain). As well as Ferrol Vello, Barrio de Canido have suffered a clear process of urban and social deterioration over the last decades in a context of shipbuilding restructuring and economic shrinking. Abandoned or half demolished houses were not long ago the main characteristic feature. However, in this case, the neighbourghood disorder in Barrio de Canido has somehow given place to another disorder, but this time as an expression of diversity and cultural edginess. The neighbourghood has welcomed since 2008 an artistic reclaiming movement: Meninas de Canido. The aim of this movement is precisely attract attenion on the abandonment of this place by mean interpreting the work of the famous Spanish painter Velazquez over the hardest hit walls. Artists from all over the world have since then contributed to change the shrinking face of the neighbourhood. Meninas de Canido has become a community identity symbol. And here is the result (Further info in their webside)
Ferrol Vello, the old town of the third larger metropolitan areas of the Autonomous Community of Galicia (Spain) (163,669 inhabitants in 2009) Clear example of social and physical disorder in urban metropolis. I used to walk by this place a few years ago when I was living in Ferrol. It just poped up in my mind when reading the call for papers for the session “Understanding Social and Physical Disorder in the Urban Metropolis” within the International Sociological Association held in Japan past July. The session description suggests that this kind of disorders may be caused by different reasons.
That disorder is not reducible to objective measurements of crime or social problems. While the presence of disorder can signal that an area is vulnerable, triggering the exodus of residents and businesses, in other neighbourhoods disorder can represent diversity and a cultural edginess.
In this case, it seems rather obvious that the social and physical disorder responds more to the second option, i.e. it is a signal that the area is vulnerable, triggering the exodus of residents and businesses. Ferrol is a shipyard city that has been suffering from shrinkage since the economic restructuring in the 80′, as well as certain incapacity to face the crisis in certain years.
Furthermore, the specific pictures that I uploaded refer to a very specific location within the old town. According to my informants, this area used to hold high prostitution activity during the boom experienced by the city in the shipbuilding industry in previous decades.