Abstract: Mature cities are now experiencing great transformations, that have triggered a trans-disciplinary debate concerning the living conditions of its inhabitants and on the framework for measuring urban people's well-being. Citizens are increasingly old and ethnically diverse, but also more connected and informed and competent. They demand for suitable services and spaces enabling themselves to participate in decision-making processes and to freely express their identity. This paper explores the potential role of design in these cities transformation processes. It focuses on strategies aimed at making the city accessible to its inhabitants through the envisioning, the construction and the negotiation of inclusive and participatory facilities and spaces. Some design approaches are proposed below through two case studies concerning two districts in Milan. The first approach – Lighting up Urban Storefronts – aims at fostering the revitalization of urban streets and squares by proposing the re-functionalization of dismantled retail spaces, and shop windows, through the experimentation of short time innovative and emerging entrepreneurial businesses, by updating some commercial activities and by enriching them with fresh proposals. The second approach – Reloading Public Spaces – is aimed at restoring the quality of citizens’ life by increasing the value of outdoor public and semi-public spaces within a neighborhood marked by high-density and low social cohesion. The strategy was to meet the needs of sociality, gathering and acknowledgment of different ethnicities, both designing services and spaces characterized by a high level of collaboration and re-qualifying open public places through settings to be freely accessed and interpreted by the inhabitants. This research activity has been enriched by a close relation with the research context and applied in the field of didactics. Indeed, the two selected case studies have exploited some local resources such as the neighborhood associations, some research and support groups and social networks. These urban regeneration and activation processes refer to cosmopolitan neighborhoods, places dense of diversity, where residents “experience the other directly” (Rifkin, 2011). Design can foster the establishment of that cosmopolitanism of the neighborhood, or vernacular cosmopolitism. This cosmopolitan perception "grows in everyday life ... thanks to the sharing of neighborhood spaces, of a story, of a memory that comes from living together" (Kwok-Bun, 2002). For those who design mutual supporting and democratic urban communities, the construction and sharing of this perception is a fundamental prerequisite for living in an increasingly inclusive, responsible and participatory society.
|Titolo:||Switching on Urban Spaces. Design Strategies for Fostering Inhabitants’ Participation and Sense of Belonging|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||04.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|
File in questo prodotto:
|4DSwitch.pdf||Publisher’s version||Accesso riservato|