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"Buits Plens" (Empty full or Gaps filled)

  • Spain
  • Rubí City Council
This experience was presented as candidate for the IOPD Award for Best Practices in Citizen Participation 2015.


In 2014 the City of Rubi (Province of Barcelona, around 75.000 inhabitants) has launched the project "Gaps filled", aimed at recovering unused spaces of the city for citizens and social use.




Ruby, like many other cities in our environment has suffered over recent years the ravages of economic crisis. This has meant that many areas of the city that one time considered to be occupied with new buildings are right now in disuse, and with little chance of receiving the first buildable use over the next years.

On the other hand, the municipality received the demand from a collective citizen who had long claimed the recovery of areas of the city for the use of citizenship, which lacked these spaces.


In this situation with a proliferation of empty city spaces, together with the need and demand of citizens to have spaces for the city to develop activities for different segments of the population, the city of Ruby raised the possibility of recovering some these spaces through a participatory process where participants decide what uses should be prioritized in each of the areas chosen for a second round draft pick for each plot between the various proposals presented by the team of architects responsible for the project .

The proposed areas for process development by the municipality of Rubi was two sites located in two different areas of Ruby, as were the center and north of the city, and they are two spaces in areas of significant transit of persons.



The participatory process, known as "Gaps filled", took place between the months of May and June 2014. The adaptation of works spaces have begun this November and is expected to be completed during the month of December.


Throughout the entire process involved a hundred citizens in different participatory sessions of the process, as well as meetings of the boards of participation that already exist in the town of Ruby, as the council of children and council of older people.


Participatory innovation

This participatory process has allowed citizens to participate in a project of micro- and were planning their proposals and contributions which are taken into consideration when developing the urban project.