The essay presents a social innovation led approach to the design of public space, following the reflection developed for the research Human Cities (2009-2010) within the EU action programme Culture. Assuming social innovation to be a set of promising new ways in which people and communities engage to strengthen themselves to achieve a result, often as a bottom-up initiative, it discusses what motivates these groups to take action over public space, and how design can support them. This perspective implies the power of the social fabric to make an effect on the condition and development of a physical public space, instead of the other way round. This action of (re)shaping public space underlines its value as a common good, meaning that all the members of a community can make use of it. It is defined as an inseparable unity of social and spatial elements. As a countercheck to this observation, we find that, when the sense of community and empowerment is lost, the frail essence of this kind of good is no longer recognized and it becomes continuously subject to acts of violence. The analytical phase of the research presented in this essay is based on the observation of case studies, from where we synthesize a reflection on the role of creative communities and collaborative networks in generating and promoting new typologies of public space. Community can be built on: spaces and common services shared and opened to their neighbourhoods; local resources and skills connected to a wider network; initiatives aimed to promote the value of a place. In conclusion, the paper proposes a possible pragmatic strategy to create design contexts and tools to support similar phenomena.

Public spaces as common good: the role of creative communities and collaborative networks

MERONI, ANNA;TRAPANI, PAOLA MARIA
2011

Abstract

The essay presents a social innovation led approach to the design of public space, following the reflection developed for the research Human Cities (2009-2010) within the EU action programme Culture. Assuming social innovation to be a set of promising new ways in which people and communities engage to strengthen themselves to achieve a result, often as a bottom-up initiative, it discusses what motivates these groups to take action over public space, and how design can support them. This perspective implies the power of the social fabric to make an effect on the condition and development of a physical public space, instead of the other way round. This action of (re)shaping public space underlines its value as a common good, meaning that all the members of a community can make use of it. It is defined as an inseparable unity of social and spatial elements. As a countercheck to this observation, we find that, when the sense of community and empowerment is lost, the frail essence of this kind of good is no longer recognized and it becomes continuously subject to acts of violence. The analytical phase of the research presented in this essay is based on the observation of case studies, from where we synthesize a reflection on the role of creative communities and collaborative networks in generating and promoting new typologies of public space. Community can be built on: spaces and common services shared and opened to their neighbourhoods; local resources and skills connected to a wider network; initiatives aimed to promote the value of a place. In conclusion, the paper proposes a possible pragmatic strategy to create design contexts and tools to support similar phenomena.
Proceedings: Shanghai Young Creators For Better City & Better Life
9789526000466
Service Design; Strategic Design; Sustainable development; Public space
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/686100
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