A Park for All

This fellowship builds upon Dr. Guia’s PhD thesis, The Muslim Struggle for Civil Rights in Spain: Promoting Democracy Through Migrant Engagement, 1985-2010. It will also further research on nativism and the activism of racialized communities in Spain. This project will trace and map where migrants and radicalized communities gather now and what needs to change in the Turia river park (Valencia, Spain) to make it a welcoming space for migrant families again. Oral histories will be used to tell their stories and highlight their right to the city. Pictures and oral histories will be used to visualize how a significant percentage of the Valencia population would like to use public spaces but can not because their needs are not taken into account when public policy is decided and implemented. This project has the potential to transform how a city designs public green spaces in an inclusive and equitable way. 

Faculty bio:

headshot of Aitana Guia

I am a social and political historian of postwar Europe. I focus on migration, nationalism, minorities, and environmental social movements. My latest research is on the greening of spaces in cities that used to be freeways. I aim to explore how the design of urban parks welcomes some people and, intentionally or unintentionally, keeps others away. My case study if the Turia River Park in Valencia, Spain, a wonderful 10K linear park that is very well suited to the needs and uses of “native” Valencians, but has become an unwelcoming space for racialized and migrant Valencians.
I hope that this fellowship will help me visibilize these stories of displacement and how to revert them and create “A Park for All”.