Past Present and Future of Public Space | Report from the Symposium in Bologna

November 24, 2013
By City Space Architecture

Last November 9, 2013 our "Past present and future of public space" international research project was presented in a public symposium and exhibition at the Quartiere San Vitale, Municipality of Bologna.
Students from University of Bologna and University of Florence discussed about public space referring mainly to the city of Bologna, presenting results from research activities. Using provocative images and a conceptual approach, they tried to establish a new perception of the public realm, both for the historic centre and the suburb. By twinning central and peripheral public spaces, mixing their functions and enhancing their potentialities through a network of urban sequences, they tried to underline similarities and differences between different places, thus suggesting new ways through which they could benefit each one with another.
An urban regeneration strategy for the Via Emilia, the territorial public space backbone, was presented. Working on a lighter, quicker, cheaper approach, suggesting simple improvements of places, proposing a large involvement of residents, associations and ordinary people as main performers in the design and transformation process, the project develops a new vision for this 12 Km long public space as a means for reconnecting citizens to public life, in the city centre and suburbs.
Invited speakers from University of Bologna presented different research projects, currently underway, related to art (Pop-up city) and technology (Hic svnt leones) as tools to describe embedded values in the contemporary public realm.
A final round table with scholars, public administrators and professionals opened a discussion about the role of architects and planners in those processes that transform places in which we live every day. How to design or regenerate spaces able to attract people and promote vibrant activities? A new awareness and cultural knowledge of the contemporary city needs to be established, referring to the urban and suburban contexts as part of the same whole, where opportunities can be shared in order to achieve a common good.


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