One of the most remarkable presentations I had the occasion to follow at UrbanLabs in Barcelona, was Las Casas Tristes. Because the speaker, Geraldo Kogler, was Austrian, I could actually follow his Spanish!!
I’m reproducing an intro describing this fantastic collaborative open data project, which identifies and maps empty houses. It comes from an extensive interview which I strongly recommend reading in full.
“Casastristes.org, by Mar Canet, Gerald Kogler, Jordi Puig, explores housing problems in Spain. Its objective is to serve as an information and resources exchange platform in line with the Web 2.0 philosophy, through the creation of a reliable public database of empty houses in Spain.
By providing data visualization and a list of references on the website, the project also aims to offer resources likely to help clarify ambiguous concepts and strengthen the network of citizens, associations, collectives, etc. concerned about housing and on the lookout for a a way to communicate with each other, become visible, and make proposals.
Casastristes.org questions concepts such as “the advantages of buying a home instead of renting”, and highlights the abundance of empty houses in contrast to the generally accepted theory of “a lack of buildable land”. The purpose is to look for solutions given the extremely high percentage of empty homes in Spain, evaluate the reasons so many people do not leave their parents’ home until age 35, and propose alternative housing policies.”