Project of the Day: Calafou, a Post-capitalist, Ecoindustrial Colony

Part of the Catalan Integral Cooperative, Calafou is a huge experimental site, functioning as a research centre exploring the intersection of permaculture and modern manufacturing. Calafou is, as they say, an attempt “to create an alternative to the second sector, alternatives to industry and services.”

The following is excerpted from their website:

Since its inception, the intent is to develop a network based on a network of cooperatives, individual projects and housing in a collectivised area.This seeks to facilitate the sharing of ideas, goods and resources to foster synergies in a natural way. A place for social innovation, technology and policy based on self-responsibility and cooperation. A project where the productive economies are in the service of people allowing their needs for access to resources and tools are not obstacles to the realization of their creative potential.


We have collectively acquired an industrial colony with 28,000 msq of production space and 27 apartments. It was unused and had deteriorated significantly since the factory’s closure implying a loss of industrial heritage and of the collective memory of an entire region. Its size and variety of usable space made the comprehensive cooperative fall in love with it and take it on. The formula we use for access to housing is to purchase the licensing of the use by the cooperative and productive spaces for the social rate rental services and resources are shared between all those involved in the project .

Principles we share

    • Self-management
    • Assembly run processes and decision-making by consensus
    • Ecology and Sustainability
    • Permaculture

How do we work

    • Calafou general assembly where they can engage the inhabitants of the colony, members of the CIC, voluntary and interested partners in the project. Relations are discussed calafou with other projects, with the area, with the media, etc.. It is the place for discussions on issues affecting all project participants.
    • Meetings of working groups where issues resolved and implemented practices / techniques derived from the decisions of general meetings, residents and volunteers. The working groups can make proposals to the three assemblies mentioned.
    • Design and management is aimed at developing the social design of the project (the process of collectivization in the colony) and strategies to achieve it. Develops organizational tools that enable the operating structures, the planning of the tasks to be carried out in different areas, the priorities within the work to be undertaken and the physical location of the projects that constitute the colony.
    • Rehabilitation assumes reconstruction of space and set-up for multiple uses. Define the specific needs of the work to be undertaken.
    • Projects is responsible for developing guidelines viability of a project in the cologne. Manages the proposed use of space and maintains communication with those who made the proposals.
    • Conviviality are working on resolving the issues relating to coexistence in the settlement, the distribution of housing, the tasks related to the maintenance of common areas and the harmonious development of life in the colony.
    • Finance manages the financial transactions that make the project, is responsible for generating the documentation of transactions and ensuring the transparency of the financial management of the colony.Evaluates financial needs, computes the inputs, outputs and reports.
    • Communication-Broadcasting manages the communicative infrastructure of the colony and maintains the link with the project stakeholders. Prepares materials and dissemination strategies that allows to present the project, maintains the website and social networks of the colony, creating artwork, documents the processes and responds to the demands of the media by publicizing the project talks, meetings and public spaces.

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