Contemporary urban spaces, here intended as vibrant outdoor and indoor places made of people and activities, suffer from a lack of integration between different areas that have not been adequately developed over time. This not always planned transformation of the urban pattern has led to the creation of some interstitial areas that remained inactive and stuck in an uncomfortable situation. The ineffectiveness of political-administrative practices still makes the reactivation of these areas extremely hard, leaving people and spaces inert and channeled in a vague and undefined destiny. These fragile interstitial areas are experiencing a process of a revival thanks to the strength and commitment of local communities which, through bottom-up activities, intend to reclaim the identity of the urban spaces. Although in recent years a request and proposal process, carried out between citizens and administrative authorities, has already been activated, people are trying to avenge an ever increasing right on the management decisions of their neighborhood in the perspective of a profoundly different future characterized by a sustainable recovery of everyday life. This process of renewing urban districts is often assisted by external actors - such as companies, corporates and public entities - that help the community of citizens not just by offering economical support but also through design-led solutions. Co-design activities and other innovative collaborative processes can lead and support a reactivation of local communities and their relationship with the context of belongings. The activation of a participatory process for the development of future scenarios can be effectively stimulated by design-oriented intervention strategies in which the communities themselves can interact with a run-in system that encourages social innovation. The role of universities is extremely important in the process by establishing research activities that, carry out also through educational activities, fit in parallel with the commitment of local communities, generating targeted and effective intervention strategies. The paper will present a work carried out in the NoLo district, a relatively new acronym that represents a portion of Milan that, after a past as a suburb with a complicated story of social integration, is flourishing thanks to a hidden artistic quality. The neighborhood, following urbanistic interventions in the XX century that on the one hand caused a social and space alienation on the other the creation of a miscellaneous cultural community, has been the stage of a social innovation process - illustrated in the paper - and oriented by practices of design-thinking. The collaboration was activated through the creation of a network between artists, shop’s owners and inhabitants of the neighborhood in order to develop temporary art exhibitions in unconventional spaces. The work processed within the district by the students of the Master's Degree in Interior Design of the Politecnico di Milano, and merged into the "ARNOLD - Art and Design in the NoLo Social District" event, led to imagining future scenarios where the synergies between different actors, communities, places, and activities could be an extremely fundamental element in the innovative regeneration of urban districts.

Participatory design events to reactivate urban neighborhoods: a social-driven experimentation in the Nolo district of Milan

F. Vergani
2019

Abstract

Contemporary urban spaces, here intended as vibrant outdoor and indoor places made of people and activities, suffer from a lack of integration between different areas that have not been adequately developed over time. This not always planned transformation of the urban pattern has led to the creation of some interstitial areas that remained inactive and stuck in an uncomfortable situation. The ineffectiveness of political-administrative practices still makes the reactivation of these areas extremely hard, leaving people and spaces inert and channeled in a vague and undefined destiny. These fragile interstitial areas are experiencing a process of a revival thanks to the strength and commitment of local communities which, through bottom-up activities, intend to reclaim the identity of the urban spaces. Although in recent years a request and proposal process, carried out between citizens and administrative authorities, has already been activated, people are trying to avenge an ever increasing right on the management decisions of their neighborhood in the perspective of a profoundly different future characterized by a sustainable recovery of everyday life. This process of renewing urban districts is often assisted by external actors - such as companies, corporates and public entities - that help the community of citizens not just by offering economical support but also through design-led solutions. Co-design activities and other innovative collaborative processes can lead and support a reactivation of local communities and their relationship with the context of belongings. The activation of a participatory process for the development of future scenarios can be effectively stimulated by design-oriented intervention strategies in which the communities themselves can interact with a run-in system that encourages social innovation. The role of universities is extremely important in the process by establishing research activities that, carry out also through educational activities, fit in parallel with the commitment of local communities, generating targeted and effective intervention strategies. The paper will present a work carried out in the NoLo district, a relatively new acronym that represents a portion of Milan that, after a past as a suburb with a complicated story of social integration, is flourishing thanks to a hidden artistic quality. The neighborhood, following urbanistic interventions in the XX century that on the one hand caused a social and space alienation on the other the creation of a miscellaneous cultural community, has been the stage of a social innovation process - illustrated in the paper - and oriented by practices of design-thinking. The collaboration was activated through the creation of a network between artists, shop’s owners and inhabitants of the neighborhood in order to develop temporary art exhibitions in unconventional spaces. The work processed within the district by the students of the Master's Degree in Interior Design of the Politecnico di Milano, and merged into the "ARNOLD - Art and Design in the NoLo Social District" event, led to imagining future scenarios where the synergies between different actors, communities, places, and activities could be an extremely fundamental element in the innovative regeneration of urban districts.
EDULEARN19: 11TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES
978-84-09-12031-4
Design for social innovation, Social inclusion, Co-design, Design-thinking, Creative communities, Participatory design
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1121441
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