Vila Veïna, the new community care initiative

Vila Veïna is a pioneering municipal initiative to provide care in small local units, where specialised professionals, people who receive care and members of the community form part of a network which is jointly responsible for collective welfare.

05/05/2021 12:58 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The roll-out of Vila Veïna in the city corresponds to a transformation in the social and healthcare model, where priority is given to proximity, joint responsibility and personalised care. The main change comes through conceiving care as a shared community task, not something private or individual. Because community care is better than solitary care.

What is Vila Veïna?

It is a community area with between 10,000 and 30,000 inhabitants, where all social and healthcare resources are shared with the goal of everybody having them nearby and being able to access them easily. Each unit will have a headquarters for the team of care specialists, offering advantages for carers, care receivers and local people alike. In addition, each territorial unit will adapt to the particular needs of the neighbourhood where they are implemented.

Where will it be rolled out?

Sixteen units will be established between now and 2023, with at least one Vila Veïna in each district. With an initial budget of 3.5 million euros, the project gets under way in May in the neighbourhoods of Vilapicina i la Torre Llobeta, Provençals del Poblenou, La Marina del Port and El Congrés i els Indians, serving 300,000 people. During the second stage, to be implemented in 2022, twelve more units will be established. The roll-out should see 115 units established in total.

What are the advantages for the community?

Each unit will have a reference point for the care network, which any person with care needs can go to for guidance on the municipal resources, associations and communities available to them. The goal is to group together all available services and provide a comprehensive and coordinated response.

A series of initiatives will be developed to help carers professionally and improve working conditions and welfare. These include facilitating access to local resources, offering guidance and legal and labour advice, as well as providing spaces for people to meet and take time out.

Personalised planning and care will be promoted for people who need care, particularly infants up to the age of 2 who are not enrolled at nursery school and people over 75 who live alone and have an annual income below 7,500 euros. This will be done by teams from the Home Care Service (SAD), with support also to be provided on procedures for grants and certificates and participation in movement banks.

In addition, each Vila Veïna will have emotional support groups and a resource bank for childcare and ageing, which will provide materials such as wheelchairs, crutches, cots and other care items for young children and the elderly. Other measures include extra help for community support networks and shared upbringing initiatives.

Besides these services and resources, each unit will develop an urban transformation plan for calming public space from a feminist care perspective, in line with the superblocks model.


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