Project

Alternative economic spaces and practices in Spanish cities

Goal: This research project is funded by the Spanish R&D Framework for the period 2016-2018. It is focused on the identification and analysis of the new forms of economic coordination that have flourished in Spanish cities during the current socio-economic crisis, when austerity policies have been pervasive. Among the bewildering array of economic activities labelled as 'sharing economy', 'solidarity economy', 'alternative economy', or 'social economy', this research project will chose the ones that meet the following criteria. First, they are arranged in flat cooperative networks built up by individuals, firms or social organizations in order to exchange goods, services, and information. Second, they explicitly address solidarity and social-spatial justice goals through intentional transformative actions. Third, these actions are framed by a larger innovation strategy that mobilizes local actors and resources to design new answers against current problems and challenges. And fourth, this strategy pretends to build -on the medium to long term- alternatives to the current economic system or, at least, to its present fashion of global and financial capitalism.

According to these selection criteria, the practices and activities targeted by this research proposal may fall into the following categories: goods or services production (workers' cooperatives, craft networks, urban community gardens, co-working spaces), exchange and distribution (time banks, seeds banks, barter networks, farmers' or producers' markets, second-hand markets), consumption (organic consumer groups and networks, shared kitchens, P2P education, free open universities), or finance (local exchange trade systems, credit cooperatives)

This research proposal explicitly develops a geographical approach, so it will only address those alternative economic practices promoted by actors that share organizative, cultural, and geographical proximity. The actors often struggle to shape a true place, that is, a space which is shared by a community that acknowledges its suitability for conviviality. Urban areas, and their ongoing spatial, social, and economic transformations, will be the field test for the project. Namely, the usual concentration of these practices in particular urban hotspots (districts, neighbourhoods, let alone streets) will be carefully analysed because it strenghtens the local social capital and may foster new local micro-dynamics for a more inclusive urban resilience.

This micro-spatial approach will check the alleged capability of these alternative economic practices to build a small-scale economy based on peer-to-peer exchanges that contribute to interpersonal solidarity and reciprocity.

This research project will be deployed in a range of cities that is representative of the larger Spanish urban system: Madrid, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Alicante, Valladolid, Salamanca and León. Fieldwork in these locations (semi-structured interviews, participant observation, focus groups) will be the methodological tool for highlighting the relationship between city size, socio-institutional contexts and the variety and density of alternative economic practices.

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José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a research item
Alternative economic practices are community forms of economic coordination that seek to solve the problem of the allocation of scarce resources through cooperation and reciprocity between all actors involved in the provision of goods and services. This article studies the organizational schemes particular these alternative economies. For a sample of 67 cases from eight Spanish cities, individualized information has been collected on nine variables: legal form, ownership of resources, funding procedures, forms of remuneration of work, modality of market access (for producers), modality of access to the good/service (for consumers), means of payment, headquarters and geographical scale of action. The results demonstrate the predominance of certain organizational mechanisms that draw the distinctive profile of these alternative practices. However, there has also been a presence of certain capitalist traits, a key fact that highlights the internal diversity
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
From this link (https://gredos.usal.es/handle/10366/144026) all of you can download the PDF versión of the book 'Alternative Economic Spaces and Practices in Spanish Cities', which contains the main findings of this large an fruitful joint research project.
Thank you for your interest.
José Luis Sánchez, project leader
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a research item
Alternativa o adaptación? Los grupos de consumo de alimentos ecoló-gicos en el área urbana de Alicante (Resumen) Los grupos de consumo ecológico constituyen una modalidad de coordinación entre pro-ductores y consumidores que suscriben los principios de la agroecología y la soberanía ali-mentaria. Aunque se trata de una opción minoritaria dentro del nicho de mercado de los alimentos ecológicos, algunos de ellos están creciendo en número de socios y volumen de actividad durante los últimos años. Esta expansión cuantitativa se relaciona con la entrada de miembros interesados por el cuidado de la salud a través de la alimentación, contras-tando con los objetivos de transformación social y política impulsados con la fundación de estos grupos de consumo. El artículo constata este proceso de neo-convencionalización de las prácticas alimentarias alternativas en el área metropolitana de Alicante (España). Palabras clave: alimentos ecológicos, grupos de consumo, economías alternativas, con-vencionalización Alternative or adaptation? Organic food consumer groups in Alicante (Spain) (Abstract) Organic food consumer groups connect producers and consumers who subscribe ideas about agroecology and food sovereignty. Their share of the whole organic food market is really small, but some of these groups are experiencing a quick growth in their membership and economic turnover too. This quantitative growth leads is mostly related to the interest of new members on the relationship between food and health. However, this new profile in membership sharply contrasts to the claims for social and political change that prevailed among founders of these consumer groups. This article scrutinizes this neo-conventionalization process of alternative food practices in the metropolitan area of Alicante (Spain).
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a research item
Desde cualquier perspectiva teórica o preocupación temática, reflexionar sobre el futuro de la investigación en Geografía Económica requiere una reconsideración de las dos categorías básicas de la definición propuesta: la economía y el territorio. ¿Qué entendemos hoy por economía? ¿En qué territorios actúan -actuamos- los agentes económicos para satisfacer nuestras necesidades? El resto de esta intervención se dedica a avanzar algunas ideas sobre ambas cuestiones, para terminar sintetizando los desafíos que plantean a la Geografía Económica unas nociones ampliadas de economía y de territorio como las que siguen a continuación y que, conviene aclararlo, están elaboradas desde una óptica básicamente española.
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
This research project about alternative economic spaces and practices came to an end on last June 30th.
However, a new research proposal, focused on the economic geography of alternative food networks, is currently under discussion. More news on this topic will be released soon.
The main findings or the PRESECAL project were published in
Sánchez Hernández, J.L. (ed.). Espacios y prácticas económicas alternativas en las ciudadesespañolas. Cizur Menor: Thomson Reuters Aranzadi. ISBN: 978-84-9152-995-8
Here is the list of journal articles (WoS & SCOPUS) published under the frame of the PRESECAL project.
Caravaca Barroso, I. (2017). Globalización neoliberal y crisis en los espacios ganadores y emergentes. Ciudad y Territorio - Estudios Territoriales, XLIX (194), 613-628.
Espinosa Seguí, A., Maćkiewicz, B., & Rosol, M. (2017). From leisure to necessity: Urban allotments in Alicante province, Spain, in the times of crisis. ACME – An International Journal for Critical Geographies 16(2), 276-304.
Gil Álvarez, E. (2017). La economía del compartir: nuevas prácticas y sus implicaciones en el entorno urbano. Lurralde. Investigación y Espacio 40, 15-42.
Méndez Gutiérrez del Valle, R., & Monteserín Abella, O. (2017). Redes alimentarias alternativas en grandes ciudades: los mercados de productores agrarios en Madrid. Cuadernos Geográficos de la Universidad de Granada, 56 (1), 193-216.
Michelini, J.J., Méndez Gutiérrez del Valle, R., & Abad Aragón, L.D. (2017). Movilización social y alternativas alimentarias en áreas urbanas. Los grupos de consumo agroecológico en Madrid. Ciudad y Territorio - Estudios Territoriales, XLIX (194), 679-698
Sánchez Hernández, J.L., Nicolás Penela, A., Alonso Santos, J.L., & Moro Gutiérrez, L. (2017). Regeneración urbana, innovación social y prácticas económicas alternativas en ciudades medias: el barrio del Oeste (Salamanca). Ería. Revista Cuatrimestral de Geografía 1 (nueva época), 67-82.
Pascual Ruiz-Valdepeñas, H., Gil Álvarez, E., & Guerra Velasco, J.C. (2018). Práctica social, economía alternativa y espacios de proximidad en la ciudad de Valladolid. Recerca, Revista de Pensament i Anàlisi, 23, 193-218.
Sánchez Hernández, J.L., & Moro Gutiérrez L. (2019). Los órdenes de justificación como marco analítico para el estudio de las prácticas económicas alternativas. REIS-Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 67, 107-124.
Caravaca Barroso, I., & González-Romero, G. (2019). Una mirada alternativa al desarrollo local. Las monedas sociales en la aglomeración urbana de Sevilla. Scripta Nova. Revista Electrónica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales, vol. XXIII, nº 621
Sánchez Hernández, J.L., & Glückler, J. (2019). Alternative Economic Practices in Spanish Cities: From Grassroots Movements to Urban Policies? An Institutional Perspective. European Planning Studies, 27 (12), 2.450-2.469.
Benito del Pozo, P., & López González, A. (forthcoming). Urban resilience and the alternative economy: A methodological approach applied to Northern Spain. Geographical Review.
Moro Gutiérrez, L., & Lamarque, M. (forthcoming). Alimentación, estilo de vida y participación: un estudio etnográfico de los grupos de consumo agroecológico en Castilla y León. Disparidades. Revista de Antropología
Sánchez Hernández, J.L., & Espinosa Seguí, A. (forthcoming). ¿Alternativa o adaptación? Los grupos de consumo de alimentos ecológicos en el área urbana de Alicante. Scripta Nova. Revista Electrónica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a research item
Alternative economic practices (AEPs) challenge capitalism and have flourished in Spain since 2008, when the economic, social, and political crisis severely hit the country. Cities are the principal places in which these practices are developing because unemployment, poverty, and foreclosures quickly rose in urban areas between 2008 and 2015. After the local election in 2015, left-wing coalitions took office in the major Spanish cities. These new governments replaced the former neoliberal and pro-growth coalitions and assumed the promotion for alternative economic modes of coordination as a part of their political agendas and new regulations. This article draws on institutional theory to frame the locally contingent outcomes of the interaction between alternative institutions and formal regulation in six Spanish cities. Empirically, we found that comprehensive plans by local authorities to enhance AEPs led to mutual reinforcement of regulations and institutions in Madrid and Barcelona. In contrast, institutions of AEPs in Oviedo, Valencia, and Valladolid substituted for the absence of regulatory response. Finally, Salamanca illustrates the case of competition between AEP institutions and local regulations, which even worked to replace AEPs.
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a research item
Este artículo emplea la teoría de los órdenes de justificación para estudiar las prácticas económicas alternativas que cuestionan el capitalismo. Los datos proceden de un cuestionario aplicado a participantes en 55 experiencias de seis ciudades españolas, y del análisis de once casos en Salamanca mediante entrevistas semiestructuradas, observación directa y seguimiento de sus espacios virtuales. Estas iniciativas alternativas construyen comunidades igualitarias, autogestionadas, autónomas y respetuosas con la naturaleza. Sin embargo, para garantizar su funcionamiento interno y satisfacer las exigencias del entorno normativo, deben introducir métodos industriales y comerciales de índole empresarial que son legitimados a través de compromisos con los argumentos domésticos y ecológicos.
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added 4 research items
Índice del capítulo: COMBATIR, TRANSFORMAR, SUPERAR EL CAPITALISMO A TRAVÉS DE LA ACCIÓN COLECTIVA LOCALIZADA: LAS PRÁCTICAS ECONÓMICAS ALTERNATIVAS JOSÉ LUIS SÁNCHEZ HERNÁNDEZ 1. Prácticas económicas alternativas: del proceso social al análisis académico 2. Prácticas económicas alternativas: definición, encuadramiento teórico y metodología de estudio 2.1. Una definición geográfica de práctica económica alternativa 2.2. La Geografía Económica institucional, un marco teórico para el estudio de las prácticas económicas alternativas 2.3. Estrategia de investigación sobre las prácticas económicas alternativas en las ciudades españolas 3. Principales resultados de la investigación
Las prácticas económicas alternativas son modalidades de coordinación económica que se rigen de forma autónoma mediante mecanismos de democracia directa, que promueven valores comunitarios, cooperativos y sostenibles, y que pretenden sustituir, transformar o superar el capitalismo. Pueden actuar en redes de alcance global o centrarse en iniciativas de escala local, formando comunidades basadas en la confianza interpersonal y el encuentro habitual en sedes ubicadas en locales, solares o plazas. Esta obra estudia las prácticas de ámbito local que operan en distintas ciudades españolas. Se han analizado 67 experiencias, que comprenden bancos de tiempo, huertos comunitarios, grupos de consumo agroecológico, mercados de productores y de trueque, monedas sociales y centros sociales autogestionados. Estas iniciativas están impulsadas por personas con una fuerte conciencia crítica que aspiran a construir una sociedad más justa y más sostenible a través de su compromiso con las comunidades que se constituyen en torno a esta clase de propuestas económicas. Sin embargo, la escasez de medios materiales y la dependencia del trabajo voluntario de sus integrantes son factores que afectan a la capacidad de estas prácticas para transformar el modelo económico imperante e impulsar la transición hacia una economía, una sociedad y una política diferentes.
Índice del capítulo. LAS MODALIDADES, EL ALCANCE Y LOS LÍMITES DEL GIRO ALTERNATIVO DE LAS POLÍTICAS URBANAS EN ESPAÑA JOSÉ LUIS SÁNCHEZ HERNÁNDEZ MARÍA DOLORES PITARCH GARRIDO 1. Introducción 2. Fuentes de información y metodología de trabajo 3. Modalidades de incorporación de las prácticas económicas alternativas a las políticas urbanas 4. Las ciudades españolas ante las prácticas económicas alternativas 5. ¿Las prácticas económicas alternativas como desarrollo urbano sostenible, como innovación social y como economía social y solidaria? Algunas observaciones críticas sobre el giro alternativo
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
An edited book has just been published that encloses the main findings of the PRESECAL research project.
Sánchez Hernández, J.L. (ed.). Espacios y prácticas económicas alternativas en las ciudades españolas. Cizur Menor: Thomson Reuters Aranzadi.
ISBN: 978-84-9152-995-8
Abstract:
Alternative economic practices are forms of economic coordination that are self-ruled by direct-democratic mechanisms that promote communitarian, cooperative and sustainable values, and that seek to replace, transform or overcome capitalism. They can operate in networks of global reach or focus on local scale initiatives, forming communities based on interpersonal trust and regular meetings in their premises, land-plots or squares. This book analyses those local practices which operate in different Spanish cities. Sixty-seven initiatives have been scrutinized, including time banks, community gardens, agro-ecological consumption groups, producer/ barter markets, social currencies and self-managed social centres. These initiatives are driven by people with a strong critical attitude who aim at building a fairer and more sustainable society through their commitment to the communities that coalesce around these economic proposals. However, the scarcity of material resources and the over-dependence on their members' voluntary work are hampering the capacity of these practices to transform the prevailing economic model and to promote the transition towards a different economy, society and politics.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The PRESECAL project was kindly invited by Coolabora to discuss its main results and to engage in further discussions with local alternative experiences in the region of Covilhã. Two PRESECAL researchers, José Luis Sánchez (Universidad de Salamanca) and João Ferrão (Instituto de Ciências Sociales, Universidad de Lisboa), took part in this highly encouraging event.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The workshop "Social innovation and alternative economies: from grassroots movements to public policies?" was jointly arranged in Toledo by Maria Dolores Pitarch and José Luis Sánchez during the XVII Conference on Social and Cooperative Economy (October 4-5th).
Papers about alternative economies in Valladolid and Salamanca, and social innovation in Valencia and Spain were presented and discussed.
This workshop in framed in the RETURBAN network.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The article Pascual Ruiz-Valdepeñas, H, Gil Álvarez, E. & Guerra Velasco, J.C. (2018). Práctica social, economía alternativa y espacios de proximidad en la ciudad de Valladolid. Recerca. Revista de Pensament y Anàlisi, 23, 193-218.
This article discusses the potential and limits of alternative economies in the city of Valladolid to build an autonomous urban space.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added 6 research items
Las ciudades españolas constituyen en la actualidad un territorio privilegiado para el estudio de las nuevas formas de coordinación económica y articulación social que han proliferado durante el largo período de crisis económica iniciado en el año 2008. Etiquetas como alternativas o colaborativas suelen aplicarse a estas iniciativas promovidas por la ciudadanía para cubrir necesidades individuales y colectivas no satisfechas por los mecanismos convencionales del mercado, o bien para imbuir nuevos valores a las relaciones económicas, como pueden ser la reciprocidad, la sostenibilidad, la solidaridad o la cooperación entre iguales. La proximidad geográfica entre los participantes propicia el surgimiento y consolidación de estas redes sociales y económicas alternativas, muy dependientes de la confianza interpersonal que deriva del contacto frecuente entre los actores implicados. De ahí que resulte frecuente su concentración en ámbitos espaciales reducidos, como pueden ser los barrios urbanos. Este trabajo presenta una primera aproximación a la trayectoria reciente del barrio del Oeste, en Salamanca, donde las iniciativas ciudadanas, animadas por la asociación de vecinos ZOES, están logrando transformar un entramado urbano sumamente densificado en un espacio más habitable y, con ello, más atractivo para la implantación de actividades económicas que incorporan valores sociales y comunitarios a su funcionamiento habitual.
The article proposes to update the prevailing Spanish geographical research about differentiated food (due to its nature, to its process or to its geographical provenance). Its integration in the alternative food networks literature is suggested by means of a research agenda focused on their conceptualization and contextualization, the inventory and classification and, specially, their role as geographical actors able to shape their own spatial outcomes which reconnect producers and consumers, bring new values into the food chain and redistribute wealth among participants.
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Our colleagues Henar Pascual, Esther Gil and Juan Carlos Guerra have just published an article abourt alternative economic practices in Valladolid. Congratulations!
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Research about alternative economic practices and spaces showed played a substantial role in the aforementioned scientific meeting.
The topic "Alternative economic spaces and practices", proposed by José Luis Sánchez-Hernández and Johannes Glückler , received 16 papers, splitted into four time slots. First, theoretical and typological contributions; second, alternativeness in emerging countries; third, food-related case studies (including Ana Espinosa Seguí 's contribution about consumer groups in Alicante), and finally, case studies about other alternative proposals. These sessions received a quite large number of attendants, between 30 and 60 people, and sharp questions were raised by the audience.
In addition, Christian Schulz Julia Affolderbach and Robert Krueger set up another session about "Alternative Green Practices", splitted into two slots with seven papers, including Jose Luis Sánchez's one about the mismatch between green discourse and green practice in alternative economies.
We have met other researchers during this Conference and out network has been expanded, so we expect to improve our outcomes in the coming future.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The fourth coordination meeeting was focused on the assessment of the fieldwork season. Up to 55 alternative economic practices have been researched. Basic facts, common criteria and a fully-transcripted semistructured interview are available for each case. Questionnaires have been fulfilled by 404 people engaged in these alternative experiences.
Results will be presented in upcoming conferences: VIII Jornadas de Geografía Econmica (Porto, july 2018), Global Conference of Economic Geography (Cologne, july 2018) and the XVII Meeting of Social Economy Researchers (Toledo, october 2018).
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The last issue of Ciudad y Territorio - Estudios Territoriales (nº 194, 2017) includes two articles framed in this research project. Authors are Ricardo Méndez, Luis Abad and Juan José Michelini, about agroecological consumer groups in Madrid, and Inmaculada Caravaca, about the evolution of emerging spaces during the economic downturn.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The fourth coordination meeting of this project is scheduled on February 16th. We shall meet in Madrid, at the Instituto de Economía, Geografía y Demografía (CSIC), from 11:30 onwards.
The following topics will be discussed: main outcomes of the fieldwork season (interviews, questionnaires), budget and activities for 2018.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Session Title: “Alternative economic practices and spaces”
Organizers: José Luis Sánchez-Hernández (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain) & Johannes Glückler (Heidelberg University, Germany) Call for Papers:
At least since the unleashing of the ongoing financial and economic crises in 2008, a great variety of alternative economic practices has been flourishing across places and regions in the world. Time banks, community gardens, organic/local food consumer groups, barter and producer markets, social currencies, or local exchange trading systems, to name just a few, have evolved or been resurrected as forms of economic coordination based on sets of values and institutions which enhance participation, consensus, sustainability and localness. Despite the growing body of in-depth qualitative case-studies, a conceptualization of these practices with (at least some of) the main theoretical tools of economic geography is still missing. Marxist, anarchist and socio-technical transition approaches should not be the only frameworks to unveil the alternativeness of the aforementioned proposals. Since these practices pretend to develop an alternative economy with a particular focus on places and local communities, they might be scrutinized in the light of political economy, relational, institutional or evolutionary perspectives in economic geography as well.
We welcome theoretical and empirical papers related, among others, to the following questions:
  • How and to what extent are economic practices actually alternative? Do alternative economic practices offer alternatives to capitalism, generally, or do they contribute to the creation of varieties of capitalism?
  • What are the institutional conditions and effects of alternative economic practices? How do alternative economic practices affect the resilience of cities, social cohesion and inclusion, and collective wellbeing?
  • Are state-led practices as alternative as grassroots projects?
  • How can the development of alternative economies avoid parochialism and territorial exclusion?
  • How do alternative economic practices relate to and connect with the ‘conventional’ economy?
  • What are the institutional and organizational innovations found in alternative economic practices across the world?
  • What is the role of meeting places (squares, streets, gardens, commons) in keeping these practices alive in the digital age?
Please submit your abstract online through the conference website between November 15th, 2017 and March 15th, 2018: https://www.gceg2018.com/call-for-sessions-and-papers.html
For any other inquiries, feel free to contact José Luis Sánchez-Hernández - jlsh@usal.es
References:
Castells, M. et al. (2017). Another economy is possible. Culture and economy in a time of crisis. Polity. London.Fuller, D.; Jonas, A.E.G & Lee, R. eds. (2010). Interrogating alterity. Alternative economic and political spaces. Ashgate. Farnham.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
During the XXV Conference of Spanish Geographers, three papers about alternative economic practices in León, Zaragoza and Salamanca will be presented and discussed.
In addition, the excellence network RETURBAN has scheduled its second meeting in the frame of this Conference. The PRESECAL project is member of this structure of knowledge transfer.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a research item
En las ciudades españolas han proliferado formas alternativas de coordinación económica y social durante la crisis económica. La proximidad geográfica entre los participantes propicia el surgimiento de estas iniciativas. En el barrio del Oeste (Salamanca), la acción vecinal está transformando un entramado urbano densificado en un espacio atractivo para las actividades económicas que incorporan valores sociales y comunitarios.Alternative forms of social and economic coordination have flourished in Spanish cities during the economic downturn. Geographical proximity among partners fosters the development of these initiatives. In the Oeste district (Salamanca), grassroots action is reshaping a highly densified environment into a more attractive area for economic activities inflected with social and community values.
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Next September 22nd the first Iberian Conference on Creative Quarters will be held in Salamanca as a part of the knowledge transfer activities within the PRESECAL research project framework.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Our research project PRESECAL is now linked to a larger network focused on new urban dynamics towards social, economic and environmental sustainability: RETURBAN. Universities of Alcalá, Alicante, Autónoma de Barcelona (network leader), Complutense de Madrid, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lérida, Pablo de Olavidde (Sevilla), Salamanca and Valencia are full member of this network, funded by the Spanish R&D Framework.
First meeting or RETURBAN was held in Barcelona (July 12-13th). More info in coming updates!
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a research item
En las ciudades españolas han proliferado formas alternativas de coordinación económica y social durante la crisis económica. La proximidad geográfica entre los participantes propicia el surgimiento de estas iniciativas. En el barrio del Oeste (Salamanca), la acción vecinal está transformando un entramado urbano densificado en un espacio atractivo para las actividades económicas que incorporan valores sociales y comunitarios.
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
@Esther Gil also published an article in Lurralde about sharing economies in the framework of this project.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
A new article by Ricardo Méndez & Private Profile has been published in Cuadernos Geográficos. Producers' and farmers's markets in Madrid are discussed as alternative economic practices.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
On Friday May 12th, the PRESECAL project was presented and discussed in the XI Research Seminar on Economic Geography, held in the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Madrid). We received very good feedback from participants. Thank you!
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The coordination meeting was very successful. Methodological guides were discussed and the fieldwork term was also planned.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Next Friday, March 3rd, the whole research team will meet in Madrid to discuss and finally pass the methodological guides for conducting research about alternative economic practices.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
English: "Alternative economic practices: a geographical perspective"
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The new coordination report is available. Phase 2 starts: local research teams must develop methodological guides for analysing several types of alternative economic practices and spaces.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The second coordination meeting was a success! We agreed upon criteria to identify and select alternative economic practices and choosed a sample to develop the empirical research.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Next working paper to be delivered on Thursday October 27th.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Next coordination meeting will be held on November 4th in Madrid.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Our project has had an impact on the recent Economic Geography Conference in Spain (Santiago de Compostela, July 6-8). One keynote lecture and three papers!
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
Yesterday we had a very fruitful kick-off meeting for the project in Madrid. Smart discussants and new challenges to meet.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
The research team will meet in Madrid on June 23rd to launch the project.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
A conference paper linked to this project will be presented at the Spanish Economic Geography Conference (Santiago de Compostela, July 6-8th).
Title: "Urban renewal, social innovation and alternative economic practices in middle-sized cities: a case-study at the barrio del Oeste (Salamanca)". Authors: José Luis Sánchez, Adrián Nicolás, José Luis Alonso (Department of Geography) & Lourdes Moro (Department of Social Psychology and Anthropology), University of Salamanca.
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added an update
This project is developed with scholars from:
Instituto de Ciencias Sociales (Lisboa): Joao Ferrao.
Instituto de Economía y Geografía-CSIC (Madrid): Ricardo Méndez y Carlos Echaves.
Universidad de Alicante: Ana Espinosa y Samuel Ortiz.
Universidad de Heidelberg: Johannes Glückler.
Universidad de León: Paz Benito y Alejandro López.
Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla): Francisco José Torres Gutiérrez.
Universidad de Salamanca (Spain): José Luis Alonso, Lourdes Moro, Alejandro Gómez y David Ramos.
Universidad de Sevilla: Inmaculada Caravaca y Gema González.
Universidad de Valladolid: Henar Pascual, Juan Carlos Guerra y Esther Gil.
Universidad de Zaragoza: Eugenio Climent y Raúl Lardiés
 
José Luis Sánchez-Hernández
added a project goal
This research project is funded by the Spanish R&D Framework for the period 2016-2018. It is focused on the identification and analysis of the new forms of economic coordination that have flourished in Spanish cities during the current socio-economic crisis, when austerity policies have been pervasive. Among the bewildering array of economic activities labelled as 'sharing economy', 'solidarity economy', 'alternative economy', or 'social economy', this research project will chose the ones that meet the following criteria. First, they are arranged in flat cooperative networks built up by individuals, firms or social organizations in order to exchange goods, services, and information. Second, they explicitly address solidarity and social-spatial justice goals through intentional transformative actions. Third, these actions are framed by a larger innovation strategy that mobilizes local actors and resources to design new answers against current problems and challenges. And fourth, this strategy pretends to build -on the medium to long term- alternatives to the current economic system or, at least, to its present fashion of global and financial capitalism.
According to these selection criteria, the practices and activities targeted by this research proposal may fall into the following categories: goods or services production (workers' cooperatives, craft networks, urban community gardens, co-working spaces), exchange and distribution (time banks, seeds banks, barter networks, farmers' or producers' markets, second-hand markets), consumption (organic consumer groups and networks, shared kitchens, P2P education, free open universities), or finance (local exchange trade systems, credit cooperatives)
This research proposal explicitly develops a geographical approach, so it will only address those alternative economic practices promoted by actors that share organizative, cultural, and geographical proximity. The actors often struggle to shape a true place, that is, a space which is shared by a community that acknowledges its suitability for conviviality. Urban areas, and their ongoing spatial, social, and economic transformations, will be the field test for the project. Namely, the usual concentration of these practices in particular urban hotspots (districts, neighbourhoods, let alone streets) will be carefully analysed because it strenghtens the local social capital and may foster new local micro-dynamics for a more inclusive urban resilience.
This micro-spatial approach will check the alleged capability of these alternative economic practices to build a small-scale economy based on peer-to-peer exchanges that contribute to interpersonal solidarity and reciprocity.
This research project will be deployed in a range of cities that is representative of the larger Spanish urban system: Madrid, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Alicante, Valladolid, Salamanca and León. Fieldwork in these locations (semi-structured interviews, participant observation, focus groups) will be the methodological tool for highlighting the relationship between city size, socio-institutional contexts and the variety and density of alternative economic practices.