The life of a fashion, music and food fanatic on her Year Abroad in Madrid.

Friday, 21 June 2013

El Campo de Cebada

Taken by Giselle Helene Elizabeth Boxer and Mia Georgevic 


In 1861, this area used to home one of Madrid's largest outdoor and indoor markets. In the 20th century, the government had plans to rebuild this area, but plans fell through due to the Spanish economic crisis and lack of investment. However, in 2011, the residents of La Latina grouped together to create plans for the unused space. It is now a public area for social gatherings and outdoor activities. If you go on the website,, you can see the listings of debates, theatre performances and musical gatherings which are held here.

The space was quickly cleaned up and equipped with basic equipment, and basketball and football pitches were installed. The grey of the cement was soon replaced by colours and graffiti produced by volunteer painters and local artists. The concrete ground provides children with a safe area for skating and riding their bicycles. Street furniture was created out of recycled materials and this activity then gave rise to “handmade temporary urban design” workshops. In the summer there is even a huge inflatable pool for public use! 

Instead of being left as an indefinitely abandoned, inaccessible empty space, it is now a modern, urban area which promotes freedom of expression. For the local residents, “El Campo de Cebada” is a way of speaking out against indifference, proving that it is possible to shape a city together, and that there is life beyond urban planning. 

The area is just outside La Latina station, but is rather hidden. If you look through the peep holes in the wall, you won't believe what is in front of your eyes!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic idea! I'd love to see more areas like this in the UK - getting communities together and that!