The skaters and the Raval

by Montserrat Español and Sergi Bimbela

The Raval neighborhood, and specially the square of the contemporary art’s museum of Barcelona (MACBA) and Joaquín Costa’s street, is known for the rise of young groups of skaters, mostly tourists, who practice skating with their skateboards

Even so, this act raises the protest of many residents of the neighborhood. These, who have to get up early to go to work, are tired of the noise that occurs late at night and prevents them from falling asleep. Noise that is also amplified by the narrow streets of the neighborhood. In addition, the problem is aggravated when, at night, the municipal cleaning service goes to Plaza dels Àngels, because then is when the skaters move from place to place and go to Joaquín Costa’s street. This increases the noise and doesn’t let neighbors sleep. 

The unhappy group of residents complains about the lack of concern from the City Hall District, the continued passivity with the problem and the lack of measures that could really solve it. Nevertheless, the city council began on May 14, 2020, a communication campaign that aims to sensitize skaters of the vital importance of guaranteeing a good coexistence in Plaza dels Àngels.

On the other hand, and not less important, for skaters MACBA is a meeting place, a place to demonstrate their skills, and a place where they can enjoy a sport that, for them, means their whole life. This square is not a place where skaters compete with each other, but rather compete against themselves in order to improve their skills. In fact, many testimonies say that, for them, the beauty of MACBA is no longer the establishment, but the good atmosphere that there is and being able to interact with skaters from all over the world. To sum up, the infinity of skaters has created this great community in which they feel identified.

Pictures: Marcel·lí Sàez for EFE agency; Barcelona City Council

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