Young people and children have the neighborhood as an essential place in their everyday lives. The neighborhood is the place where young people not only have their daily geographical experience but it is also the place that shapes their identities. The intersections of gender, class, and ethnicity are basic for understanding how young people reshape the socio-spatial imaginations of their everyday life at both the city and neighborhood scales. This chapter analyzes the everyday lives of young people, specifically teenagers, boys and girls (aged 14 and 15), in Barcelona’s Besós-Maresme neighborhood, a traditionally peripheral area which has undergone extraordinary urban changes in recent years that have led to major morphological and social changes.
Focus groups, semi-structured interviews, and participatory walks have been used to approach teenagers to ascertain how they construct their identities in the neighborhood, what they do in their free time, whom they share it with, and what spaces around them they frequent the most. The teenagers expressed their opinions and criticisms regarding spaces they feel are their own, where they felt included in public space and shared opinions on what they would like changed. Using the spaces, appropriating them, sharing opinions or intervening directly in these spaces are activities and attitudes that form a sense of citizenship.