Inequalities last over time

Inequalities last over time
2001. Map of La Línea. Ports, beaches and the more vulnerable districts are marked. Adapted from the map in the report ‘Análisis urbanístico de barrios vulnerables en España. La Línea de la Concepción’ (‘Urban Analysis of Vulnerable Districts in Spain. La Línea de la Concepción’), carried out by Laura López Álvarez and Álvaro Sánchez Toscano, ‘Ministerio de Fomento', 'Instituto Juan Herrera’, Madrid (Spain)

Inequalities last over time

The Plan de Desarrollo Comarcal (Plan for regional development) of the late 1950s aimed to compensate the local population for the closure of the border. It included improvements to the industrial sector, which were not very efficient, and officially social housing for the thousands of families who lived in shacks. In 1960 the census still registered 3,500 shacks. And in 1973 the census registered 635 shacks in La Atunara district.

Social housing did not put a stop to the causes of marginalisation. The causes of underdevelopment in the region remain. In 1991 there was thought to be a vulnerable population of 44,000 people out of a total population of 58,000. And the urban analysis carried out by order of the Ministerio de Fomento in 2001 named five vulnerable districts in La Línea, which is over half the population.

In the 21st century, as in the past, the city of La Línea has no prospects for development. Many families still rely on contraband for survival, with unprecedented rates of violence and technology. And its citizens are tarred with the heavy brush of criminalisation. Meanwhile, there is no solid institutional commitment which recognizes the specific needs of this city and the reality of the cross-border community.