Cities are the Problem. Cities are the Solution.
In the transition to sustainable cities, the large-scale transformations, such as the recent works at Porta Nuova and City Life in Milan, are pitched to multinational interests more than to local ones. If they include sustainable ingredients, such as the dubious virtues of Bosco Verticale, they usually come with the price of high embodied energy and the side effect of increased gentrification. If there are participatory processes, to nominally permit equitable progress, citizens are typically invited to engage in a process that is fundamentally unilateral. Residents are asked to react to proposals they often don’t understand, and at a scale for which they have little control.
Tactical Urbanism proposes an alternative method to achieve urban regeneration. It works starting with the small scale of the street, the block, and the building in re-imagining the delivery of basic public goods and services. Much in the way acupuncture inserts needles into a part of the body to effect the well-being of the entire organism, so needle-like projects in neighborhoods can lead to positive change in an equitable manner.
The first step of the work will consists in an analysis based on observations of people’s behavior, leading to a social mapping of various patterns that emerge in public spaces. By analyzing these patterns, we can observe fundamental principles of human behavior that help us to design a better city for the people to live. This mapping will indicate where there is a need for intervention that would improve public use of these spaces.
The second phase will be focused on the design of an intervention for the space that will take the form of a game board. By designing an experimental concept for intervention, you propose through simple means to change the idea and the use of public space according to a new understanding of people’s needs and behavior.
The workshop will take place at “PoliMi” and it will be developed as an “Architectural Design Workshop” organized as a sort of “Internal Competition”: students will be divided in groups (you will be free to choose the team-mates that you prefer) and will work intensively on their proposals during 4 days. Lectures from Visiting Professors, site surveys and architectural daily trips will be all part of the general program. Every project will be evaluated by the TerraViva Professors after the Final Presentation and 3 of them will be elected as “Winners”. The 3 winning teams will receive a special certificate of attendance which attests the excellent results obtained during the workshop.
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