The Spain of swimming pools: Jorge Dioni López

The Spain of swimming pools

The Spain of swimming pools

The Spain of swimming pools is an essay written by the Spanish journalist and author Jorge Dioni López. The work was published on May 19, 2021 by the Arpa label. Since its release, it has received mostly positive reviews. In fact, the volume is well positioned on the list of best sellers on Amazon in the Ideologies and Doctrines category.

The opinions give it a maximum score of 4.5. At the same time, some readers have stated that You do not need to be a specialist in the area covered to enjoy the book. Although, according to others, the author tends to assault the reader with too many statistics, many of them unnecessary, which slow down reading. Still, it is an interesting volume for fans.

Synopsis of The Spain of swimming pools

The islands of individualism

The title—awarded the Book of the Year Award in the essay category by the Madrid Bookstores Guild (2021)—, addresses the tree real estate in recent years, and the social consequences, policies and environmental of this. Around that time, five million homes were built .. Most of them followed the model of the American suburb and were very successful.

These are islands with green common areas and a swimming pool for each unit. The homes are located on the outskirts of the city, and are designed to house a good part of the so-called Spanish aspirational middle class: young couples with small children, the heirs of the votes of conservative thought and the probable new rich and owners of multinationals.

What is the Spain of swimming pools?

A phrase that could perfectly summarize this book is the following: “As housing is a product of distinction, everyone goes to the place they can afford.”, thereby consolidating urban planning as a resource for social segregation.” These newly created neighborhoods make up what the author calls “the Spain of swimming pools”: a world made of mortgages, alarms and subsidized schools.

Other elements that make up the islands are urbanizations, carriages, multiple cars per family unit, private health insurance, online consumption and, if the sector has been established for some time, shopping centers. This world favors individualism and social disconnection, whose evolution, as mentioned previously, is fundamental for the country's electoral future.

The debate about housing and territory

Over the years, the debate on housing and territory has focused on issues such as rental prices, gentrification and rural emptying. However, The Spain of swimming pools puts another really essential approach on the table: the analysis of the main urban development model implemented in the Iberian country and how this has transformed the idea of ​​understanding the world.

The aspirations and ideologies of the majority of Spaniards have changed in recent years, the real estate sector has been very involved in this modification of thinking and belief systems, since these urban islands are, in short, more than just comfortable and well-located houses. On the contrary. According to the author, they are a declaration of a new social segregation.

About the “pauer” phenomenon

It might seem that The Spain of swimming pools criticizes the lifestyle of the urban islands of the new aspirational families. But Jorge Dioni López himself clarifies that he himself lives in one of these residences. To make the idea concrete, the author coined the neologism “pauer”, which responds to the following PAU: Urban Action Program.

En este sentido, The inhabitants of these residences are called “pauer”, which is also a reference to the phonetics of the word “ ". As the proliferation of these places has been booming in recent times, people tend to make fun of aspirational families, that is, pauers. However, the criticism should be towards the system and not towards the migrants.

Why do aspirational families move to PAUs?

Jorge Dioni López assures that the debate should not focus on the families that move to the housing estates, but on the reasons that lead them to make this decision. At this point, the conditions of public and private policies take center stage, in addition to accessibility to children's safety, education and better health systems. For the author, all this was evident in 2019.

After the general elections in April, Jorge Dioni López began to investigate, out of pure curiosity, how his neighborhood had been thrown away.. In this, he discovered that the PAU were dyed the orange color of Ciudadanos, and they were not the only case. In fact, “orange belts” had sprung up on the outskirts of all Spanish cities, which is a wake-up call to the current management.

About the Author

Jorge Dioni López was born in 1974, in Benavente, Zamora, Spain. The author He graduated in Journalism, after which he worked in media such as Sport, Trademarks, Metro, Vanity Fair, GQ, The mental state, BEING, RNE y Radio Gracia. Likewise, he has collaborated with writing tasks for several companies and institutions, as well as with corporate communication tasks, an activity to which he dedicates himself today.

At the same time, Jorge Dioni has worked as a teacher at the Writers School since 2006. Throughout his career he has participated in two anthologies on diverse topics: Second parable of the talents (2011) and The flesh awakens (2013), which were published by Gens Ediciones. After launching The Spain of swimming pools wrote The unrest of the cities (2023)

Through this book, The author analyzes the problems of contemporary cities, such as privatization, speculation, pollution, gentrification, among others. His narrative style is one of the most scathing and sharp within Spanish journalism, but he is also considered one of the leading authors for the future of research and political debate.


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