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Plaza Del Sol, Gracia Barcelona
25 Aug 2018
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Plaza Del Sol was my local plaza. A public space when I lived in Barcelona for 6 months. It was the first time I experienced real public life, real sharing of space and saw how living together in density can in a way force people to be social, to use the city as their backyards to dance, excercise, walk the dog, read a book. It was a ballet of public life everyday: in the morning the old men drinking cortardos, a busker playing clarinet, people waiting for their laundry to finish at the laundry mat. Lunch, more people coming if for boccadias it creoes, soaking up the sun before breaking for siesta. Evening bursts to life, full of young people sitting on the groynd in groups, drinking warm beers sold by men out of plastic grocery bags, playing cards under the yellow street lights, soundrrack of travelers guitars, getting ready for a night of partying. 

Last month there was a news article about how some of the residents living on Plaza Del Sol were part of a ‘smart city’ prototype. They were given devices to put in their window sills that monitora noise levels and akerts authorities if the noise becomes too loud. I’m scared to go back and see what has become of it. The need to sleep vs. the need for public life in our cities. 

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