Press release

This book details with rigor and sensitivity the absurdities carried out from the Mediterranean coasts to those of the north, passing through “emptied Spain” and the urban disaster of Madrid, and investigates the causes that have led us to this unprecedented cultural catastrophe. . It reveals the strategy hatched by ignorant and corrupt politicians and promoters, with the complicit silence of a demobilized union, that of architecture, and the indifference and ignorance of the intellectual world and the media. Despite everything, the book also analyzes in detail some examples of work well done, which link with the best European tradition, in cities like Barcelona or Santiago de Compostela, or in towns like Albarracín or Vejer de la Frontera.

Based on numerous interviews, and uniting the journalistic chronicle, the travel book and the political essay, Andrés Rubio presents a text of great originality and full of nuances. Also focusing on the cases of France, Germany and Italy, he conveys a Europeanist and progressive message in defense of the best qualities of the public, advocating territorial planning as an indispensable weapon to affirm democracy.

Why a book so emphatically titled Spain Ugly? The answer could be a second question: why is urban and landscape chaos the greatest failure of democracy?

That is the thesis of the book, but it also includes experiences of work well done that show that another country is possible. A topic like this lends itself to extreme ink, and this is the case when it is said that the ugliness of Spain is an unprecedented cultural catastrophe. But the author also wanted to tell the greatest number of cases in which things have been done well.

The scope of this cultural catastrophe is profound, because it triggers what the geographer Edward W. Soja describes with the concept of “spatial injustice”: the breakdown of social cohesion, the disintegration of that ideal so dear to architecture and architecture professionals. urban planners of the 20th century whereby the quality living environment of any person is independent of their wealth. Spatial injustice fractures the ideal of equality of democracy and in this sense ugly Spain is the reflection of that bankruptcy.

*Original content provided by the publisher DEBATE


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