Publication Title

Revista de Derecho Urbanístico y Medio Ambiente

Document Type


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Creating public housing space in Barcelona requires rethinking how its historic properties might maintain their cultural and structural vitality while serving critical social and economic needs. Drawing on programs from the United States, Europe, and China, I suggest two strategies that Catalan officials might use to effectively leverage Barcelona's historic properties to reduce its public housing deficit. The first strategy considers successful financial incentives promoting public housing in historic properties within the United States - the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit - and proposes how the Catalan government might find seed money to fund its own historic rehabilitation tax credits. The second strategy analyzes the concept of "adaptive reuse" and suggests four adaptive reuse programs targeting lesser known historic urban assets in Barcelona: (1) historic industrial buildings; (2) adaptive reuse agreements and occupied historic buildings; (3) underutilized historic government buildings; (4) historic subterranean structures.

Recommended Citation

Ryan Rowberry, Alleviating Barcelona's Public Housing Shortages Through Historic Properties, Revista de derecho urbanístico y medio ambiente, Apr.-May 2015, at 157.