Ferrol - Urban History
Blocks of council houses, in the Caranza district (2002)

The neighbourhood of Caranza was built on the outskirts of Ferrol. In the 1970s the Ministry of Housing and a number of cooperatives built blocks of flats, with a total of 3,000 flats. The aim was to use them to house shipbuilding workers and residents left homeless after the demolition of the Esteiro district. The process of handing over the dwellings was delayed for bureaucratic reasons, and in 1977 more than 500 families took part in a mass squat in the new flats, using the thoroughly direct method of entering by breaking down the doors, a situation the local authorities took two years to repair. The residents of Caranza suffered from severely deficient infrastructures and transport, and a lack of civic, educational, or sporting installations. Like so many other Spanish neighbourhoods from the period, the generation of children that grew up in them and is now aged around 40, was decimated by heroin addiction and AIDS.

Photograph by the author