Page 1


Urbanistica n. 141 January-March 2010

Distribution by www.planum.net

Index and english translation of the articles Pierluigi Properzi

Projects and implementation

Problems, policies and research

Luigi Acito edited by Corinna Morandi Antonio Font, Lorena Vecslir Marco Guerzoni Corinna Morandi Corinna Morandi

edited by Domenico Cecchini, Giordana Castelli Domenico Cecchini Carlo Vigevano Francesco Bigi Cinzia Abbate Giordana Castelli Giordana Castelli Francesco Prosperetti

Valeria Erba, Mina Di Marino

Methods and tools

Profiles and practices

Francesco Chiodelli Silvia Macchi, Angela D’Orazio Rosario Pavia Roberta Lazzarotti Luigi Manzione Valeria Di Blasio

Back to Matera The Sassi of Matera. A story of urban restoration Commerce and the large scale: common themes from three different experiences New spaces of production, commerce and production in the Barcelona metropolitan region A territorial project for Bologna’s commercial system Commerce in the milanese territory: the geography of supply and main lines of governance and enhancement Retail development ambits

Esperiences of sustainable neighborhoods in Europe A new season The model Hammerby in Stockholm: strength and quality of an integrated approach A sustainable neighborhood instead of gasometers BedZed: eight year later Solar City of Linz Valdespartra in Zaragoza: the city of water and wind captures the sun Sustainable neighborhoods and new urban landscapes, an opportunity for the Italian city Ecological networks in the urban planning. Strategies and action plans in the case studies research of Montreal, Milan and Rome Cohousing Vs gated communities? A taxonomical analysis of cohousing Gender auditing in spatial planning: the case of Rome’s provincial plan New labyrinths Housing plan and historical centres: regional declinations of the State-Regions Agreement Gaston Bardet’s Rome: the view of a French town planner in the thirtie of the 20th century Cities beyond the car


Focus

U

141/10

Back to Matera Pier Luigi Properzi Matera as few other towns is one of the recurrent references in the memory of italian town planners, a cornerstone in the evolution of the facts to which reference is made in reconstructing a brief history of the subject. Moreover in this history Matera assumes a hinge role between town planning under fascism and that of the post-war reconstruction with all the ambiguities that characterized this transition, but against this, due to all the specific features of said transition, it may now be regarded as a metaphor of the often unrealistic intellectualism of the conceptual system of town planning after the war. Matera is not only this; for years, in fact, it has been an exceptional workshop in which theories have been tried out and housing models put into practice, where a completed and naturally innovative conception of a system of territorial governance stemming from Olivettian federal regionalism filtered down from the communitarism of pauperism in the south was replaced first by the decentralization of rural villages with new nuclei and then the setting up of public housing districts in which the best architects and town planners of those years were engaged, and finally the most outstanding process of ‘townplanning’ restoration of the original nucleus of a settlement, started with the special law on the Sassi. This would be enough to explain the choice of holding a Town Planning Review, the sixth one, with the declared intention of relaunching planning policy in southern Italy. The occasion lends itself also to starting up an aware reflection on two interlinked themes: the adequacy of the instruments involved in relation to the change of the social model and the limits of local development in the conception of identity and of community. I will start from the latter consideration, with reference basically to the urban structure of Matera as it is today, a result, moreover, adhering fairly well to the plans they had drawn up. The plan, the theory behind the plan or rather its juridical conceptualization, centres on the functional organization of the settlement and presupposes a correlation between the design of the urban works (an ensemble of works for which the plan defines the public utility and urgency, the carrying out of which is mainly of a public character) and foreseeing a ‘development’ essentially referred to private enterprise. This correlation not guaranteed by legislation has substantially not come about, giving rise to housing models no longer regulated by the plan but only by the market. No corrections have been made to this legislative ‘imbalance’ safeguarded by an administrative right respectful to the constitutional nature of private ownership, by curbing fiscally (the reformist approach) or by the implementation processes (the approach of the urban design culture), the prevalence of the construction of the public

city with respect to the private one of the building cycle (owners + builders + tenants). The italian urban landscape is the most evident representation of the failure of a model of governance centred on a falsely authoritative, regulatory and wholly ineffective pyramid-type hierarchy of controls and sanctions, which above all is inadequate in its primary functions of building the public part. This model with its nineteenth-century set-up (the plan as a whole coordinated by the public works) on which the law of ’42 confers the presumed rationality of the ensemble of relations and the theoretical completeness of the parts, is lacking in the primary instrument of implementation, i.e. expropriation for public use, replaced by legislative and disciplinary attempts, the former nullified by constitutional censures and the latter annulled by the disinterest of the administrations. Improper legislative instruments, in the sense of not being in keeping with a social model or at least with its evolution which in the south has been strongly characterized by elements of (amoral) familism and more recently by degenerative processes of the institutions. The lack of success of recent development policies, which gave rise to much enthusiasm in the early ’90s, and the rediscovery of local development, must also be ascribed to this absence of a social model of reference. Contributing towards their failure also was an incapacity, both central and local, of declining them in territorial and planning terms. The former was denied by the absence of a landscape and environmental culture, and the latter by the rejection of a quantitative town planning of indices and standards of little significance in the quality of the settlement. In Matera this absence of a social model and the conformism of town planning practices and development models has found a ‘strong’ alternative consisting in the emancipation of the ‘losing’ identity of pauperism which has conditioned the south with respect to the north, with features ranging from folklore elements to aristocratic ones, but also by an Olivettian tradition which has in some way mobilized its nature, sterilizing it with respect to the progressive deformations of the urban model, and by its model of governance. Hence two themes may be assumed as the reference for an interpretation of Matera’s town-planning events from the ‘Piccinato’ Plan of ’56 to the Structural plan being drawn up, but above all as strong points, the crystals, of a programme of reform for the subject.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

2


Focus

U

141/10

The Sassi of Matera. A story of urban restoration Luigi Acito Urbanistica dealt with Matera for the first time in 1955 (no. 15-16), in the article “Matera, the ‘Sassi’, the new Districts and the Master Plan”, in which Luigi Piccinato summed up the layout being assumed by the city with the construction of the new districts, intended for the inhabitants evacuated from the Sassi, according to the provisions of the first special law for Matera (law 619/52). A few years later also Casabella wrote about Matera: in 1959 (no. 231), at the completion of the phase of transferring the inhabitants of the Sassi to the new districts, and in 1977 (no. 428) just after the international competition for ideas for the rehabilitation and the revitalization of the Sassi. To understand more clearly the scope of this experience and the capacity of the local community to guide one of the most extraordinary processes in the history of urban rehabilitation ‘the greatest abandoned historic centre’ it is interesting today to review the intellectual and practical work that, from the Competition onwards, has characterized the process of rehabilitating the Sassi. The city that the competitors had to study was the one planned by Piccinato (Masterplan of 1953-56), ‘modernized’ by the new districts, designed by the foremost Italian architects in the post-war period. A city in some aspects ‘different’ from others in southern Italy, and in which it is possible to distinguish three cities in one: the ‘modern’ one of the new districts, the historic Baroque area round the oldest nucleus, and the Sassi, sloping down the limestone canyon of the Gravina stream: almost wholly devoid of inhabitants, for which the Masterplan had not provided any organic solution and seemed by then fatally heading for irreversible degradation; but at the time still with its physical conformation intact and almost entirely recoverable. Matera society was not quite ready for a rehabilitation project; nor were the Superintendences, bogged down with safeguarding concepts still limited to single monuments and the bureaucratic administration of the laws of 1939. Not until the Gubbio conference in 1960, organized by Inu, was a start made in Italy on ‘extending the concept of safeguarding the single monument to the whole ancient part of the city’. For Matera, Carlo Levi made a heartfelt appeal for a housing use, calling upon the local community to act as ‘custodian’ and urging the political class finally to take action on the Sassi. And on 12/4/68 the local Council requested the Ministry of Public Works to order the immediate holding of a competition for the “redevelopment and conservation of the Sassi”. No first prize was awarded in this competition, but the second prize went to the group coordinated by T. Giuralongo, which stressed the methodological line, afterwards taken up by the municipal administration, based mainly

on the following points: – the Sassi should be regarded to all intents and purposes as the historic centre of the city to be redeveloped for its main residential function; – the rehabilitation of the Sassi was a problem of urban restoration, to be carried out after in-depth studies; – integration of the Sassi and the overlying ‘city of the plain’, which, according to Piccinato, “had turned its back on the Sassi” – protecting the facing Murgico plateau, the natural environmental context of the rupestrian habitat. Between 1979 and 1981 the municipality of Matera, although without any great funds available, started up the operative phase of the town planning and environmental restoration of the Sassi. An in-depth survey thus began of the physical conformation of the urban organism (limited to the Sasso Barisano), which was to provide the indications necessary for drawing up four pilot rehabilitation plans, which however remained a dead letter, due to legal and financial problems, at least until 1986. It was not in fact until 1986 that programme openings were provided for the line elaborated by the municipality of Matera: the special law no. 771/86 finally enabled the municipal administration to have a special office (ufficio Sassi), for operative plans and programmes, starting up a vast operation of ‘urban renewal’, based on the ‘active conservation’ of the ancient architectural structures, by means of providing activities and functions of the present-day city compatible with the historical values. Between 1988 and 1994 the 1st and 2nd two-year Programmes were defined, to carry out law 771/86, as was also the Framework Plan of the Matera Murgia Park, necessary for the full implementation of the rehabilitation project, not only the architectural part, but also, and above all, the town-planning and environmental aspects. But the Sassi operation requires that the city should open up to national and international culture, to improve the quality of the overall project. A council was set up in the municipal administration for the purpose of transferring the problem «from a Matera town-planning dimension to a fact of national and European value», and also with the contribution of well-known architects (e.g. Renzo Piano) it was inserted in the administration’s rehabilitation programmes and policy, to foster the fullest participation in this rehabilitation process. Unfortunately this process was beset by difficulties and contradictions. In many cases reinforced concrete was used and the surfaces of the outcropping rock and of the facades were thoughtlessly scraped, removing any sign of the construction process. The need therefore arose for a guide to enable the urban environment of the Sassi and the original construction techniques to be understood. A. Giuffrè and C. Carocci were commissioned to draw up a restoration guide, while A. Restucci was asked to prepare a Manual for rehabilitation to guarantee “a linguistic continuity of the landscape of the Sassi between past and future”. Urbanistica www.planum.net

3


Focus

U

141/10

In both cases, in an attempt to know the basic rules of the many types of architecture of the Sassi, the authors took as their basis the field testimonies of the few ‘masons’ still alive, the only ones able to remember these rules. The integral restoration process of the Sassi and their context is thus in progress, and today they are once more part of the ‘city’. Their ancient fabric, now 2/3 rehabilitated, as well as a fair number of housing units recovered (about 600), is teeming with activities linked with enhancing the urban and historical-cultural heritage. The renewal-enhancement action on which the overall rehabilitation of the Sassi is based has been extended to the historical and naturalistic assets of the area. Hence the great force of the idea on which the whole process is based has made Matera internationally known as one of the most significant places of ecological-cultural tourism, and is acting as a driving force for the entire regional territory.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

4


Urbanistica n. 141 January-March 2010

Distribution by www.planum.net

Index and english translation of the articles Pierluigi Properzi

Projects and implementation

Problems, policies and research

Luigi Acito

edited by Corinna Morandi Antonio Font, Lorena Vecslir Marco Guerzoni Corinna Morandi Corinna Morandi edited by Domenico Cecchini, Giordana Castelli Domenico Cecchini Carlo Vigevano Francesco Bigi Cinzia Abbate Giordana Castelli Giordana Castelli Francesco Prosperetti

Valeria Erba, Mina Di Marino

Methods and tools

Profiles and practices

Francesco Chiodelli Silvia Macchi, Angela D’Orazio Rosario Pavia Roberta Lazzarotti Luigi Manzione Valeria Di Blasio

Back to Matera The Sassi of Matera. A story of urban restoration

Commerce and the large scale: common themes from three different experiences New spaces of production, commerce and production in the Barcelona metropolitan region A territorial project for Bologna’s commercial system Commerce in the milanese territory: the geography of supply and main lines of governance and enhancement Retail development ambits Esperiences of sustainable neighborhoods in Europe A new season The model Hammerby in Stockholm: strength and quality of an integrated approach A sustainable neighborhood instead of gasometers BedZed: eight year later Solar City of Linz Valdespartra in Zaragoza: the city of water and wind captures the sun Sustainable neighborhoods and new urban landscapes, an opportunity for the Italian city Ecological networks in the urban planning. Strategies and action plans in the case studies research of Montreal, Milan and Rome Cohousing Vs gated communities? A taxonomical analysis of cohousing Gender auditing in spatial planning: the case of Rome’s provincial plan New labyrinths Housing plan and historical centres: regional declinations of the State-Regions Agreement Gaston Bardet’s Rome: the view of a French town planner in the thirtie of the 20th century Cities beyond the car


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

Commerce and the large scale: common themes from three different experiences Corinna Morandi The subject of commerce in relation to the urban space and the territory has not to date been the object of many in-depth studies in urban planning, within the framework of a relative indifference on the part of italian planners for a series of activities considered as worthy of greater attention on the part of economists or sociologists. The intense development of surfaces for large distribution, now increasingly often spaces associated with other large facilities such as multiplex cinemas or theme parks, produce certain effects on the territory which are highly conspicuous and disturbing: consumption of land, jeopardising of the landscape, induced traffic, distortions in the model of employment and practices of consumption and of life. What has been described as the ‘commercial revolution’ began, as is well known, in Europe in the sixties with different rates of progress and it spread in Italy with a significant delay compared with other European countries, above all the United States. In Italy specific regulations for the sector date from law 426/71, principally used to set quantitative objectives of development of commercial activities for different product typologies. Recent years have been crucial in determining the need for a new approach to understanding the dynamics, not only economic but also locational, of businesses and in emphasizing the role of territorial planning together with commercial planning. The turning point was marked on the national level by the approval in 1998 of the so-called ‘reform of commerce’, which intro-duced strong principles of liberalization in a sector widely dominated by conservative logics and a defence of the rents of position of the operators already present on the market. The element of great impact which prompted the need to reform the instruments of governance of the phenomenon, including territorial instruments, was the rapid and intense evolution of the process of modernization of the commercial sector, with the massive entrance to the market of major operators, including international companies, and the restructuring of the presence of the principal brands in the various territorial ambits. These factors taken together determined in a relatively short period a marked expansion above all of large surfaces of organized distribution and the appearance of wholly or partly new commercial formats. In the urban centres, a traditional area for the installation of commerce, situations emerged which saw at the extremes ‘commercial desertification’ on the one hand and on the other the gentrification and standardization of supply with the same national and international brands. In the outer urban areas there was a marked impoverishment and even decay of structures with commercial consolidation of aggregations in the presence of good conditions of access; in the suburban territory the large surfaces garrisoned the major axes and road junctions,

often with structures with a high impact and morphologically questionable as in the case of factory outlet villages; but they respond to a commercial demand for service which can no longer be met in different ways, like that expressed by the diffuse city. Commerce mobilizes extremely important economic resources and of this municipal governments are well aware, to the point of encouraging in many cases the location of medium-sized and large facilities in their territory. The location of commercial surfaces or leisure facilities, which are often integrated in them, like multiplex cinemas, have been seen by the real estate operators and operators in the sector as a highly profitable field of investment and, by municipal administrators as economic resources. As can be seen, the substantial change in the organization of the sector and its reflections in the territorial organization call for an analytic commitment which is far from banal. Naturally the commercial phenomenon, even restricting the field of interest to its spatial and territorial aspects, can be studied with various keys to its interpretation and on different scales. In this contribution we present three cases, two Italian and one Spanish, in which the reading of the phenomenon and the development of instruments of governance is conducted on the large scale. I use this deliberately generic definition because the issue is not so much the reference to an administrative territory (though in the case of Bologna it is precisely the provincial Plan of commerce), but to an ambit that is neither local nor regional. The issue is placed on this territorial level in a very interesting way: an obvious reason is that the gravitational fields of large surfaces and specialized surfaces, above all if present in complex aggregates and supplemented by other functions besides commerce, have a largely supra-local dimension. Besides, it makes little sense to appraise the impact of the individual facility, while it is far more significant to consider aggregations of commercial and para-commercial activities, which often give rise to supra-local continuities.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

2


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

New spaces of production, commerce and production in the Barcelona metropolitan region Antonio Font, Lorena Vecslir The most recent transformations of the spaces of production and consumption have extensively affected the existing spatial, functional and landscape structures of the Barcelona metropolitan region (Rmb). The places of commerce and consumption are influenced by the spatial integration of buildings devoted to distribution and entertainment and by the evolution of sales formats, the reduction of commercial spaces of a traditional kind and by the intensive development of large specialist facilities. The result of these economic processes is a new locational geography: a grid configuration that tends to be organized on principles of complementarity and synergy and a network composed of elements that are distinct in their forms and functions: specific nodes or poles, areas of centrality, linear densifications, etc… To outline the field of inquiry a preliminary distinction was made between: - spaces of ‘production’, which include all industrial activities (from the single factory, whether isolated or inserted in a precinct or industrial park, to major industry) and tertiary activities, logistics, services to business and offices; - spaces ‘of commerce and consumption’, which comprises commercial activities and personal services, accommodation facilities, catering and leisure (entertainments, culture and sport). At the same time a ‘trans-scalar’ approach was chosen to analyze the complexity of these spaces on different scales: - the regional scale, on the level of the whole metropolitan region with its administrative divisions (comarcas) (1:50,000) to study trends in the location of these activities and their relationship to the evolution of the occupation and the use of land; - the scale of the ‘urban corridors’ (1:25,000), to identify and characterize the main road axes on which the activities are clustered and identify the ‘systems’ or ‘fragments’ constituted by the new developed forms of production and consumption; – the scale of the fragments or ‘significant elements’ (1:10,000, 1:5,000), with the objective of analyzing the links with the existing infrastructures and the principal functional and morpho-typological features. Spaces of production and consumption in the metropolitan region Location and spatial structure. The 1977 Rmb map represents a territory recently industrialized (between the mid-1950s and the mid-1970s, when the international energy crisis intervened), and a process of construction

of the principal infrastructures which had just begun. Industry was largely concentrated in the central area and in some development zones like Sant Andreau de la Barca and Martorell, the cities of Sabadell and Terrassa, the Baix Vallès, etc. Two large hypermarkets (one of which no longer exists) and the headquarters of a large company (Catalan West) were the first tertiary activities located in the metropolitan region: they were to progressively replace traditional production functions. In the period 1977-2004, with the network of motorways and expressways now laid out, new industrial areas developed in the vicinity of the established production zones or partly urbanized areas, forming linear corridors or clusters where many of the processes of relocation and productive decentralization were concentrated. The principal criteria for the location of businesses were a high level of access, links with technological and telecommunications infrastructures, public services and proximity to research and development centres, the cost of land and, to a lesser degree, environmental quality and landscaping as factors of image-building, closeness to markets and synergy with other businesses. One of the most important factors in this period was the appearance of large new complexes for tertiary activities and the creation of important facilities on a metropolitan scale, both urban and suburban, in part a legacy of the 1992 Olympics. Evolution of activities in relation to the infrastructural network. For industrial activities, the following tendencies are recorded: - the logics of location during the process of industrialization (between the mid-1950s and the 1970s) rested on a multi-nuclear urban structure, supported by the rail system and the network of national and metropolitan roads; - the major infrastructures constructed in the period 1972-77 did not generate new industrial locations of functions, but contributed to a widespread and homogeneous consolidation of the industrial corridors already formed in the previous period; - the network formed by the major traffic arteries stimulated the creation of new activities in the metropolitan area, with parallel processes of growth in new industries and the conversion of existing areas of the urban fabric. The process of tertiary expansion moved into a subsequent phase (starting in the mid-1980s). The connection between the location of tertiary activities and the principal road infrastructures of the region is evident and not just as a question of accessibility, but also in quest of visibility and the possibility to attract a customers from a supra-local catchment area. Evolution of consumption of land between 1977 and 2004. In the metropolitan region, for the consumption of land during the period in question a particularly prominent role was played by the comarca of the Vallès occidental, followed by the Baix Llobregat and the Vallès oriental. These were followed at a distance by that of the Maresme and of Alt Penedès. It is necessary to emphaUrbanistica www.planum.net

3


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

size that in the case of Barcelonès there were changes in the use of certain zones that were previously industrial (Puerto-Zona Franca, SantsHostafrancs, Poble Nou, Sant Andreu, etc.). In the case of the surface areas occupied by industrial activities, their variation between the beginning and the end of the period in question was 57%, that is to say it passed from 4,870 hectares of net surface area in 1977 to 7,659 hectares in 2004 in the whole of the metropolitan region. In the case of surface areas occupied by tertiary activities and of large dimensions, it passed from 711 hectares of surface area in 1977 to 1966 in 2004, with a development equal to 177%. In the case of surface areas devoted to ‘major installations’, the variation is about 39% between the beginning and the end of the period considered, passing from 2,699 hectares in 1977 to 3,746 in 2004. Principal axes or urban corridors Change of scale and delimitation of fragments. Starting from the associated analysis on the scale of the metropolitan region, we have identified twelve corridors, or principal axes, of location of the economic activities related to the infrastructures for mobility. The change of scale and a more detailed analysis of the corridors we had identified made it possible to identify certain ‘systems’ or fragments corresponding to the new spaces of production (business centres, logistics areas, science or technology parks, R and D centres, complexes or circumscribed elements that are the headquarters of offices or services to businesses) and new spaces for distribution and consumption (commercial parks, leisure parks, aggregations of commercial or specialized surface areas, isolated buildings with commercial functions, for personal services and leisure). Territorial situations. We identified four groups of ‘territorial situations’, starting from the type of relationship that the new spaces of production and consumption have with the road and railway infrastructures and with the existing installations, their degree of urbanization, their functional features and the catchment areas of their users. The first group comprises corridors where no conurbation has developed and individual elements of new innovative functions can be distinguished and the presence of production activities is accompanied by a limited presence of tertiary activities and services to businesses. The second group of corridors is defined, in contrast, by the continuity of urbanization and the presence of buildings lining the road axes of a tertiary-productive type, housing activities with a high degree of innovation and with a metropolitan scale in the user catchment areas. The third group of corridors comprises those that traverse cities with a solid industrial tradition, in which there have been gradual processes of conversion of old factories located along the historical roads, transformed into buildings for commerce and logistics, and at the same time small tertiary developments have been installed at the points of access to the cities.

Finally, we identified a series of corridors where spaces of consumption clearly predominate over production spaces. They are located at the nodes in the roads and near the points of access to the compact inner cities, neglecting the intermediate parts of the road axes and they have a catchment area that is both local and metropolitan. Interpretation of the territorial role of the corridors. The overall vision of the new fragments of the system of production and consumption within the Rmb reveals some constant or recurrent elements in the logic of location of the different activities: – the new productive spaces (business parks, technology parks, logistics areas) tend to constitute continuous fronts or clusters related to the principal road axes; – the new spaces of consumption, particularly the shopping centres, are located in zones of greatest accessibility near the principal nodes of the road system; – the public facilities and services appear with different forms and locations, though there is a large concentration near the B-30. In general they are activities on a metropolitan scale of large dimensions, which entail a heavy consumption of land, distant from infrastructures, but with a high level of accessibility; – in operations of functional replacement, central locations are favoured, many of them in Barcelona, near the Rondas, as in the principal medium-sized cities of the metropolitan region (Sabadell, Mollet, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Mataró, etc.). Some conclusions Location and development model in relation to infrastructures and the environment. Very briefly and without attempting a detailed evaluation of the locational strategy and modes of transformation of every type of fragment of production and consumption in the Rmb, the analysis reveals the close connections present between these factors and the infrastructures for mobility, in particular the network of the principal road arteries. Locations related to the principal networks have been reinforced, above all with in the case of new spaces of consumption and production, with greater added value. The analysis records a spatial structure dependent on a model of accessibility and certain typologies of mobility that should be reconsidered in future, in part as a function of the new system of high capacity transport, which ought to prompt new choices in territorial planning, with greater coherence between the location of the innovative activities and the public transport network and collective and service facilities, and with forecasts for new systems of intermodal travel, less dependent on the congested road system of the metropolitan area. A change in the regional model of open spaces could also have an effect on the revision of locations, existing and expected, of spaces for production and consumption. Forms of the new places of production and consumption. In a way similar to the models of the British ‘business Urbanistica www.planum.net

4


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

park’ or French ‘parcs de bureaux’, the old brownfield sites are being replaced by new developments in which the presence of natural elements and improved infrastructures are decisive. It is also important to reconsider the previous regulations in relation to current tendencies, reducing the minimum size of the lots, providing for the introduction of tertiary functions and improving the quality of the design of the buildings. The relation of these developments with their immediate surroundings, with the existing urban fabric and with the objective of integration in the landscape is one of the principal strategies in seeking to supersede the models of development that saw them as autonomous or decontextualized elements. As for the spaces of commerce, from the early 1980s there was a generalized replacement of small and medium-sized sales surfaces, above all those in the food sector and non-everyday consumer goods, first with the replacement of department stores and then with other formats: hypermarkets, outlets, hard discounts, traditional commercial centres, with large surface areas (in general selling groceries) as ‘anchors’ to garrison the territorial catchment area and a gallery of sales points, besides fast-food restaurants, garden centres, petrol stations, gyms, bowling alleys, etc. Parallel with this development, there has been a transfer of leisure activities which once took place in the streets and squares to specialized ‘precincts’, separated from the traditional public space: shopping malls, zones for public or private sport, theme parks, etc. What strategies for planning in the metropolitan region? In conclusion, and in relation the drafting of the metropolitan territorial Plan for Barcelona, we indicate some open issues and some possible suggestions derived from the experience of this study: – the possibility of defining, in the territorial Plan, some supra-municipal territorial environments (metropolitan corridors or axes in which the activities described are clustered), starting from in-depth analysis of the economic structure; – the difficulties inherent in the technical and administrative practice of acting on a municipal scale when dealing with processes that are supra-local or territorial in nature; – the importance, on an intermediate scale between the metropolitan region and the individual ‘fragments’, to adopt instruments for planning economic activities that will be capable of dealing with the opportunities, necessities and specific features of each territory, while bringing out the local aspects of identity and enhancing variety in territories; – evaluation of the existing spaces of production and consumption and of the conditions of location, with the objective of proposing policies of development, restriction or transformation; – fostering mixité between production, consumption and leisure activities so as to supersede the spatial segregation in the territory of functions that are perfectly compatible with each other;

– the promotion of clusters for research and innovation as a specific strategy of the metropolitan region, where there already exist embryos of advanced activities, in which sectors of the business and scientific community work together with local government and which were identified through our study (technology parks, R and D centres); – the study also observed, besides the limited effectiveness of planning on the local scale for the governance of the new processes of development of production and consumption activities, the absence of regulatory mechanisms for distributing costs and benefits at the intermunicipal level, which would optimize the distribution of externalities in the territory. In this sense the possibility of creating new forms of partnerships and governance on the territorial level would be of particular importance in the Rmb as a way of dealing with problems common to many local administrations, as a way to devise shared strategies, launch policies on the supra-local scale and establish mechanisms of collaboration between public and private subjects.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

5


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

A territorial project for Bologna’s commercial system Marco Guerzoni In spring 2004 the Province of Bologna adopted the territorial provincial coordination Plan (Ptcp). This was an instrument for the governance of an immense area, which regulates and coordinates the various functions and activities which have been or may be established in the provincial territory. It consists of a set of policies and instruments necessary for the accomplishment and ongoing maintenance of the ‘territorial project’. Noteworthy among them, for their importance and complexity, are the Territorial agreements, the structural Plans drafted in associated form between the municipalities, the Plan of provincial mobility and the commerce Plan, without forgetting the transversal activities linked to Territorial adjustment. The provincial commerce Plan aims principally to plan and program the distribution network with regard to the commercial facilities which by dimensions and impact generate supra-municipal effects. One of the principal innovations of the regional planning law is also valid for commercial functions, with the identification of two components in the governance of the territory: the planning (or structural) function and the programming function. In complete harmony with the Ptcp, the commerce Plan lays down a set of ‘rules of the game’ and structural guidelines: the polycentric pattern constituted by the layout of the Functional poles and the supra-municipal production Ambits above all. But it also proposes, appropriately, through the ‘range of variation’, a dimensioning which represents the operative component of the Plan, which is submitted to verification and revision cyclically every three or five years. Principal strategic choices The studies and the inquiries preliminary to the drafting of the commerce Plan made it possible to develop a clear diagnosis of the state of Bologna in relation to the presence and spread of commercial facilities, the system of consumption, the economic and territorial impact generated. The Bolognese territory dominates the regional panorama (and even the national in some cases), in terms of both the presence of major distribution facilities (the provincial average today is about 280 mq for every thousand residents), and in relation to growth over the last fifteen years: from the beginning of the nineties to the present, the provincial stock of facilities for largescale distribution per capita grew eight times over, becoming almost exclusively polarized in the city of Bologna and in the municipalities of the inner metropolitan belt. The commerce Plan seeks therefore mainly to contain the development of large-scale distribution facilities after what has happened in the recent past, and establishes a principle for the territorial enhancement of the facilities which can be carried out in the future. In this sense

the Plan does not respond to the general ‘demand’ for large distribution facilities (which is difficult to estimate) but proposes a system of rules of development that the market can if necessary adopt, on the basis of opportunities that will be appraised and analysed in the temporal horizon of programming, by means of the Territorial agreements, planning instruments laid down under Regional law (Lr 20/2000) to implement the Ptcp, and in compliance with the range of variation. The developmental criteria for the location of commerce facilities of supra-municipal importance are fixed by the Plan on the basis of a territorial project that seeks to create an effective polycentric framework based on a high-quality, strong and at the same time highly articulated polarization of facilities which attract large numbers of people, with the objective of improving standards of living and purchasing opportunities for the population within its own territorial ambits while creating vital and pleasant urban spaces. The decongestion of the Bolognese conurbation by preventing excessive recourse to mobility across a wide radius entails the development and consolidation of two strategic alternative destinations to the major magnet represented by the metropolitan core: on the one hand the functional poles and production ambits for mixed functions already envisaged under the Ptcp; on the other the principal urban centres of the metropolitan system, where there is already present an articulated and qualified range of services for the population. On the basis of these guidelines, a brake has been put on hypotheses for development which envisage the transformation for commercial purposes of zones outside the functional poles and the areas already urbanized or possibly open to urbanization. This excludes the possibility of installing commercial structures of supramunicipal importance that gravitate on the major road network not financed and not yet inserted in the provincial administration’s implementation programs. Instead, locations were favoured which were closely related to the stations of the Metropolitan railway service or at any rate calculated to boost the more sustainable forms of mobility. This hypothesis of territorial reorganization of the commercial facilities plans to consolidate a ‘second circle of filters’ along the routes that currently see much of the population gravitating from the mountains and the plain towards the city of Bologna and its conurbation, places characterized by a dense presence of high-attraction commercial activities. The new polarities of this ‘second circle of filters’ have, however, to be conceived in a radically different way from the shopping centres of the 1980s and 90s. Planning policy should aim, in the first place, at the creation of developments that guarantee a certain mix of functions, by studying comprehensive solutions which bring together built-up areas and existing historic town centres on the one hand and new poles of services on the other, taking care to contribute to the comprehensiUrbanistica www.planum.net

6


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

ve enhancement of the existing urban fabric. The Plan then encourages the use of different forms of mobility in the service of the commercial system, by identifying interchanges between road-rail, along the home-work routes, as the foundations for a project to be privileged and boosted. The structural pattern that derives from this approach envisages nine ‘potential reservoirs’: seven functional poles and two production areas, for the possible construction of major distribution facilities in the coming years, on the basis of public necessities and market trends. Relative to operative programming (the Range of variation), the provincial Council of Bologna has established that these ‘potential reservoirs’, can host a total (for the whole metropolitan territory) of up to 86,000 mq of Sales surface, in the arc of the next six years (with a commitment to verify how much has been built in three years’ time). This layout could not, however, be fully implemented, if it were not supported by three policies that the same commerce Plan has adopted, and which only superficially seem to be unrelated to the question of commerce: territorial adjustment; support of the Metropolitan rail service; the quest for quality and sustainability in commercial developments. Redistributing rent to compensate for impacts Following the philosophy of the Regional law 20/2000, the commerce Plan appears as the most suitable instrument to reassert the principle of adjustment for commercial developments, and for defining the common regulations for its application. The ‘supra-municipal’ nature of the commercial activities regulated by the commerce Plan presents it as a privileged object in territorial adjustment: they are rare functions, with effects that are reflected beyond the boundaries of the municipalities where they are located, and which at the same time generate considerable financial resources (private and in part public) and substantial costs (public) on different territorial scales. The territorial impacts induced by commercial facilities which by nature and dimensions cause spillover effects, can be classed as of two types: – a negative impact on small-scale commerce, due to proximity to the historic city centres and established urban ambits; – a negative impact on the metropolitan road network. The commerce Plan envisages a specific ‘contribution to sustainability’, which is applied to commercial projects with the greatest potential impact and is defined in the territorial agreement. In these contexts the Plan envisages that the new developments should be connected to a contribution earmarked for the adoption of compensatory measures (in terms of policies and works), through the payment of a specific ‘additional’ and ‘contractual’ contribution above the contributions for construction under Lr 31/02, to be specified within the implemental instruments, starting

from the Territorial agreement. The contribution will be used to fund: – projects for the enhancement of the historic city centres and traditional commercial areas, in compliance with and integration of the objectives of the Lr 41/97 (Intervention on behalf of the small and medium-sized businesses in the commerce sector); – projects for mobility given priority in the provincial mobility Plan. Support for the Metropolitan rail service The Plan’s policy of privileging the nodes of exchange for mobility, specifically the areas of the stations of the Metropolitan rail service (Sfm), in the location of new commercial facilities, endowed with suitable accessibility, articulated on two principal levels of action, referring to Bologna centrale and the remaining stations which possess a strategic service potential. By its drawing power and service potential, Bologna centrale railway station possesses the qualities to be a functional pole, as indicated in the Ptcp. The role of commerce, in the future organization of the station, should therefore represent yet another opportunity for travellers; the specific methods of implementation, and the contents of the commercial format are defined by an appropriate Territorial agreement, which also forms the basis of the organizing elements of the recent International design competition, for the new integrated complex of the Bologna centrale station, held by the Rfi and won by the japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Besides Bologna centrale railway station, 16 stations of the Metropolitan rail service (out of a total of 80) have been identified on the basis of their location, potential traffic, and favourable conditions of modal interchange: this will entail conceiving the ambit of the ‘minor stations’ as a ‘new place’, a catalyst for commuter flows and an organizer of local spaces. In this way it will meet the needs of commuters (with numbers growing steadily), so as to restore vitality to often peripheral spaces at risk of decay. Reducing the environmental impact of commercial developments The emergency dictated by environmental pollution, the effects of climate change, the general and growing lack of resources, particularly water and energy, has also led the commerce Plan to identify policies and concrete choices to help reduce the environmental impact generated by the commercial system as a whole and by the individual commercial facilities in particular. A large commercial structure is an enormous consumer of energy, a very powerful attractor of traffic, and a constant producer of waste. The objective of the commerce Plan, in this respect, is to supply guidelines and principles aimed at the reduction of the principal causes of environmental impact in the system of large-scale distribution, by regulating both urban-building-architectural design and the constructional and administrative methods adopted in Urbanistica www.planum.net

7


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

these facilities, with a three-pronged policy: – by defining the ‘performance objectives’ to be pursued in the planning and construction of new shopping centres inserted in the Plan; – by asking for all shopping centres to adopt ‘environmental management’ of their facilities and activities; – by introducing mechanisms of incentives which reward virtuous developments and behaviours. The methodological approach adopted introduces, as the element of reference, the instrument of ‘indicators’: besides defining for each theme the objectives that should be pursued, as well as associating each objective with a list of useful project actions to enable the objective to be reached, the commerce Plan experimentally introduces a list of unambiguous quantitative and qualitative parameters. With each objective is associated one or more indicators, through which it will be possible to ‘measure the environmental sustainability’ of the commercial development. This articulated system is regulated by the Plan in both the body of rules and in a single thematic enclosure: the Guidelines for the construction of ecologically endowed commercial areas.

Commerce in the milanese territory: the geography of supply and main lines of governance and enhancement Corinna Morandi Between 2007 and 2008 the Urb and Com laboratory produced a study to reconstruct the geography of the commercial activities present in the territory of the province of Milan, as a backdrop against which to place some proposals for the governance of these activities. Lombardy and the Province of Milan: the framework of regulations for commerce The Milanese urban region, one of the most dynamic areas of the country in terms of economic development and territorial transformation, has been affected with great intensity in recent decades by the location of medium to large commercial surfaces, some of them integrated into multifunctional poles. The historical road axes connecting Milan with the metropolitan territory and beyond are today underscored by almost continuous rows of commercial facilities of various dimensions and typologies, but large surface areas are also recurrent along the network of smaller roads and in sparsely populated areas. The network of neighbourhood commerce has in many cases been completely overhauled, but the historic city centres of medium-sized towns have maintained their character as urban commercial poles. These dynamics of reorganization of the commercial supply system have found significant support in Lombardy over the last decade in the adaptation of the regional planning regulations to the ‘reform of commerce’ of 1998 and the three-year Program for the development of the commercial sector in 2006-08, which at least on the level of principles introduced some clear and significant guidelines, such as: – rigorously restricting the consumption of non-urbanized land, orientating operators who intend to build commercial surfaces of large dimensions towards locations in outer-urban areas already endowed with infrastructure and brownfield or blighted sites ripe for redevelopment; – upgrading and specializing the network of mediumsized surfaces for sale, as highly critical; – defining projects that increase the level of service to consumers; – using economic resources generated by the construction of commercial surfaces for significant projects of public enhancement of the territory, local development, and environmental reclamation; – fostering new construction projects, extensions, and redevelopment of commercial surfaces with the objectives of environmental sustainability, architectural quality and insertion in the landscape. Moreover, in 2005 the Lombardy Region approved the new regional planning law which identified the roles and Urbanistica www.planum.net

8


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

areas of competence for the different territorial authorities, also in reference to the sector of commerce. The cognitive picture of supply This study made it possible to identify in the Milanese urban region, a territory with uncertain boundaries, undefined in relation to an administrative unity, some of the developmental environments of commerce with specific features in terms of locational logics, extent, dynamics and sometimes the criticality of commercial activity. This approach led to the recognition that the Milanese urban region, but not the province of Milan, comprises an developmental ambit of commerce located north of the provincial area and identified in the belt of extensive urbanization at the foothills of the Alps, within which the commercial presence produces the emergence of a linear supply system running east-west and articulated in two segments of the infrastructural corridor or VareseLecco and Bergamo-Brescia, with different typological and gravitational features. Another developmental area dilated beyond the ambit of the province to that of the urban region was recognized in the Lodigiano, whose supply system, historically generated by the commercial clusters positioned at the intersections of the Milanese communes with the belt of the via Emilia, is today characterized by the presence of extensive commercial surfaces concentrated in a territory with a low demographic concentration. In relation to the objectives of the project, the cartographic and interpretive study of the geography of supply is itself however concentrated on the Province of Milan, because of the need to relate the analytic part of the study to its strategic and orientative implications, within the framework of the revision of the administrative authority’s instruments for large-scale planning. The reconstruction of the picture of commercial supply in the provincial ambit was achieved through a complex work of creating databases for medium-sized and large sales surfaces and their geo-referencing. The integration of retail in large scale policies The description of the geography of commerce by separate ambits enabled us to appraise the specifics of the different areas in relation to the types of commercial activities that characterize them and the way they relate to the territory. The comprehensive extent of the commercial supply of retail activities in the province of Milan is of over 5.3 million mq, about half of which is distributed in neighbourhood businesses and the other half in over 150 large surface areas and over 2,500 medium-sized surface areas. A few essential data will give us an immediate idea of the relation between the urban system of Milan and the rest of the province: Milan, with about one-third of the population, has about half of the surface areas and sales points of neighbourhood public businesses; but it has only one-third of the surface area of the medium-sized structures and only one-seventh of the surface areas of

large sales facilities. In synthesis, the developmental layout presents a central system, which the new plan for the governance of the city’s territory seeks to strengthen further, both through operations of reuse of the still available areas, and by resorting extensively to the regional policies of support to commerce, particularly through the recent financing of the ‘urban districts of commerce’. The territorial axes and commercial aggregates placed on the nodes at the intersections between radial and tangential roads are consolidated with the insertion of new formats and the reinforcement of product specialization. Some cases appear to constitute real multifunctional poles, even on the interregional scale when certain conditions of location, accessibility, complexity of aggregation and its commercial and extra-commercial formats create particularly extensive catchment areas. Some large surfaces are linked to the expectation of new infrastructures: and their construction could present some criticalities because of the uncertainties and the long times taken for such projects. The communes with the largest populations and commercial traditions have created projects for the development of commerce coordinated with programs of urban city redevelopment which are often effective in the curbing the processes tending to weaken the commercial fabric, while the lack of commercial supply in proximity to smaller communes and in public housing estates is highly problematic. Problems, new to Italy but already evident in other countries, are bound up with urban decay and sometimes the decommissioning of large commercial facilities which fail to be attractive and competitive and represent elements of decay in the territory and the landscape. The major suburban polarities represent, potential or real, criticalities for the urban territory, at least in two ways: by their impact on the infrastructural networks and their impact on the supply networks in the proximity. The road network, existing or related to reliable projects for new infrastructures, should be taken as a precondition for the location of big new facilities with large catchment areas, but the conditions are beginning to be mature for accessibility from the rail network to be seen as an important resource of the milanese region, to be considered as a significant factor in location, not only for commerce of proximity but also for medium and large surfaces. A further element of reflection that emerges from the study of the locations of the commercial facilities is bound up with the relationship between the dimensions of the interventions and the size of the population of the communes. It would be advisable to introduce certain criteria, in the logic of what is expected from regional planning for ‘zero impact growth’, so as to activate mechanisms of supra-municipal coordination and orientate the locations of major facilities, so avoiding further consumption of non-urbanized land, which has reached an extremely critical threshold, and the major commercial Urbanistica www.planum.net

9


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

surfaces have without doubt contributed to this process. In this there is obviously a significant role for the subject responsible for large area planning, the province or in the future the metropolitan city, to promote some pilot projects, for example to test a process of coordination in the modes of planning governance of commercial locations, to develop projects that respond to the demand for integrated commercial activities related to the nodes of mobility, particularly of public transport, as a response to the evident growth of travel in the provincial ambit and access to the area also by populations in transit and not only by residents, so developing the theme of commerce as a service of general interest starting from situations which require both physical and socioeconomic redevelopment programs, as in the major public housing estates.

Retail development ambits Corinna Morandi The Sempione and Magentino axis. This developmental ambit has as its principal reference the radial axis of in the process of formation of the conurbation of this metropolitan sector, the construction of the new trade fair pole in the communes of Rho and Pero and the scheduled completion of the Expo district have already activated a series of expectations and processes of transformation of the areas. Here, as in other zones of the inner belt of Milan, in recent years there has already been a strong development of large commercial surfaces, as in the case of the Metropoli shopping mall in the commune of Novate Milanese or the commercial aggregate of Baranzate (Esselunga-Decathlon-Castorama), both on the margins of the communal boundary of the city. Despite these presences, the supply in the vicinity of the historic city centre of Rho has been maintained on high levels, both in quantity and in its typological articulation. To the south of the Sempione axis, other concentrations of medium-sized and some-times large surfaces have developed, often in communes of small and mediumsmall dimensions. Milanese Brianza and the major market road of Valassina. In the multicentric conurbation of Milanese Brianza a prevalently linear system of commercial supply is recognizable, abutting onto the axis of the Viale Nuova Valassina, between Monza and Giussano, and characterized by a sequence, often uniform, of commercial buildings of medium-sized and large dimensions. The linear system, unique by the density of presences in the whole regional ambit, the axis of Zara-Fulvio Testi-Cinisello Balsamo-Sesto San Giovanni, is one of the strongest and most attractive clusters by the modernization of its formats and the integration of strictly commercial supply with catering and leisure activities. This axis is also the theatre of a new phase of consolidation, with the numerous redevelopments of brownfield sites, both in commune of Milan (Bicocca, the former Marelli works) and in the metropolitan communes. In the northernmost part, the system is characterized by the widespread presence of average and large sales facilities, with a specialization above all in the area of furnishings, related to the furniture production district of Brianza, as in the communes of Lissone and Seregno. The important urban pole of the city of Monza (with over 120,000 inhabitants), the capital of the new Province of Monza-Brianza, constitutes the interchange between Milanese Brianza and the Vimercatese. The reticular system of the vimercatese. Special in-depth study was devoted to the vimercatese, because of the importance of the programs for new Urbanistica www.planum.net

10


Problems, policies, and research

U

141/10

infrastructures (the Pedemontana and the Tangenziale est express roads, the extension of the subway line and intervention in the rail system). These interventions, mainly during the ‘90s and in particular the second half of the decade, shaped the new major commercial developments in the territory of the vimercatese, whose principal results were the development of the new aggregates of Carugate (with over 54,000 mq of surface area for sales), Cornate d’Adda-Busnago and Villasanta, which emphasise the reticular and polycentric character of this territory. In fact, alongside these developments there exist ‘weaker’ situations of supply characterized by the pulverization of the supply system and the presence of small operators in the smaller historic city centres and in communes with low demographic density. To the south there developed a further system of supply, with the presence of large shopping malls, including some in situations of a weak developmental grid, or specialist structures, such as the Multiplex in Melzo, which by its geographic location draws on an important catchment area. The axis of the via Emilia. In the southeast sector, medium and large surface areas form a linear system characterized towards Milan by its continuity with the strong commercial axis of corso Lodi and south towards the supply system of the lodigiano: large shopping malls and clusters of medium to large specialized surfaces, above all in the sectors of furnishings and Diy facilities. The western axes: Lorenteggio-Vigevanese. The linear Lorenteggio-Vigevanese supply system is characterized by a strong spatial continuity between one of the major historical axes of the urban commerce in Milan and the recent development of the suburban market road with Metro and Ikea, Decathlon and Castorama, the sequence of fashion outlets, and themed markets on Sunday mornings at Cesano Boscone and Corsico. This developmental situation can be compared to the south with the large shopping malls in Assago and Rozzano: in the latter case, the presence of a facility with a broad catchment area, both urban and metropolitan, was recently strengthened by the construction of a multiplex cinema. Assago clearly reveals the result of the process of consolidation of extra-urban poles, in which commerce and activities integrated with it constitute an essential component of its power of attraction. The new interventions are inserted in the deteriorated situation of the extra-urban territory of south Milan, which began with the tertiary centre of Milano Fiori and the Forum of Assago, where it produces an effect of increased density and functional complexity, which will benefit from access to road and rail transport with a new subway line.

cal role of the city as a large node of flows and therefore of commercial exchanges. In total, sales points of different formats numbered over 23,000, for a surface area of over 2 million mq, a very significant quota of the over 5.3 million mq of commercial surfaces in the Province, while there are 7,830 public businesses (bars, cafés, pubs, restaurants), amounting to over 850,000 mq of surface area. For many years the development of medium-sized and above all large distribution was relatively restricted in the urban area, for both planning reasons and because of the commercial policies of the municipal administration. This situation changed radically because of the sharp boost given in the late eighties with the reuse of derelict and underused sites with programs in which the construction of new large commercial surfaces, mainly food stores, promoted by a small number of operators in a near-monopoly system, played a considerable part in terms of dimensions and as a significant element of efficacy in the economical feasibility of programs. The historical axes are supplemented by large new surfaces, over 30 in the municipal area and new aggregations which strengthen the principal inter-urban axes, as has happened on the northwest axis with the Portello project. This is a multipurpose commercial aggregate, opened in 2005, inserted in a broad urban project located on the former Alfa Romeo site, with a residential zone and a park covering 80,000 mq, promoted by the Gruppo Finiper and designed by the Studio Valle architetti associati. The new Piano di governo del territorio (Pgt) tends to enhance the presence of commerce, including formats of medium-sized and large dimensions, both in the central and semi-central zones still awaiting transformation as well as in the residential districts.

The central urban system: Milan. The first fact to emphasize is the large quantitative presence of retailers, which continues to confirm the historiUrbanistica www.planum.net

11


Urbanistica n. 141 January-March 2010

Distribution by www.planum.net

Index and english translation of the articles Pierluigi Properzi

Projects and implementation

Problems, policies and research

Luigi Acito edited by Corinna Morandi Antonio Font, Lorena Vecslir Marco Guerzoni Corinna Morandi Corinna Morandi

edited by Domenico Cecchini, Giordana Castelli Domenico Cecchini Carlo Vigevano Francesco Bigi Cinzia Abbate Giordana Castelli Giordana Castelli Francesco Prosperetti Valeria Erba, Mina Di Marino

Methods and tools

Profiles and practices

Francesco Chiodelli Silvia Macchi, Angela D’Orazio Rosario Pavia Roberta Lazzarotti Luigi Manzione Valeria Di Blasio

Back to Matera The Sassi of Matera. A story of urban restoration Commerce and the large scale: common themes from three different experiences New spaces of production, commerce and production in the Barcelona metropolitan region A territorial project for Bologna’s commercial system Commerce in the milanese territory: the geography of supply and main lines of governance and enhancement Retail development ambits

Esperiences of sustainable neighborhoods in Europe A new season The model Hammerby in Stockholm: strength and quality of an integrated approach A sustainable neighborhood instead of gasometers BedZed: eight year later Solar City of Linz Valdespartra in Zaragoza: the city of water and wind captures the sun Sustainable neighborhoods and new urban landscapes, an opportunity for the Italian city Ecological networks in the urban planning. Strategies and action plans in the case studies research of Montreal, Milan and Rome Cohousing Vs gated communities? A taxonomical analysis of cohousing Gender auditing in spatial planning: the case of Rome’s provincial plan New labyrinths Housing plan and historical centres: regional declinations of the State-Regions Agreement Gaston Bardet’s Rome: the view of a French town planner in the thirtie of the 20th century Cities beyond the car


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

A new season Domenico Cecchini The Leipzig Charter (2007) is seen as the most updated and concise document for a new season in european urban policies and redevelopment practices. A season of ‘urban quality and sustainability’, where, maybe the first sign to appear on the european scene was the Urban white paper drawn up at the end of the last century by a team coordinated by R. Rogers. The Charter reaffirms the need to integrate all the dimensions of urban quality environmental, economic and social. In order to render this integration functional, a completely new institutional ability and efficiency is required, at all administrative levels. The Charter also mentions the need for a new awareness of the importance for quality in urban public space. ‘Creating and ensuring highquality public spaces’ is the first step in an integrated urban development. ‘The quality of public spaces, urban man-made landscapes and architecture and urban development play an important role in the living conditions of urban populations’. In this broader framework of objectives and principles, the idea of sustainability is not seen as only one of the elements of quality, the fifth one, to be added to the others. It is more a principle and a responsibility which run through and blend in with each of the urban quality dimensions. Goals of environmental, social, economic and aesthetic quality cannot be achieved if, within each of these elements, the principles and criteria of sustainability are not concretely applied. Well before the adoption of the Leipzig Charter, in many european cities, there had already been some projects undertaken inspired by the principles of quality and sustainability. The five ‘stories’ recounted in the following pages concern some of those projects and provide us with some interesting lessons. Multi-dimensional and integrated approaches The famous ‘Hammarby model’ is paradigmatic of approaches of this type. The house at the centre of the diagram is a symbol of the whole suburb considered as a closed cycle eco-system, which works, only due to the integration of the various parts. The environmental element opens up the path to the multi-dimensional approach imposing the need to take into account, not only it alone, but all the dimensions that make up urban quality. It may happen that more attention may be placed on one particular dimension compared to the others, but none of them can become exclusive. The commitment to reducing the environmental weight, that characterizes Hammarby, is integrated into dealing with the aesthetics, morphology and landscaping of the project design (and its carrying out) and focusing on the social life of the project area. This integration is the real success factor.

We can find the same approach in other experiences. Environmental quality, social quality, attention on the economic dimension, focus on the layout form and the community spaces: the stories of these areas tell us that, only with a multi-dimensional and integrated approach can urban design attain important results. They also confirm the inverse that, where an integrated approach is not able to realize the results, the possibilities and expectations are lower. The need for public management. The ‘stories’ tell us of the role of a strong public management of the projects, constant over time, powerful and skilled. A management that has taken on different forms and used different tools depending on the different phases, the conception and planning of the project, and then its implementation and management. In the initial phases of conception and planning, made concrete in a paper such as that of the ‘masterplan, the role of the local public administration was direct and weighty. Based on the objectives and programs defined at a policy and technical level, the guidelines and planning papers were drawn up. In the cases of more involved outcomes, specific guidelines, technically very detailed and stringent, were also drawn up. These took the shape of a ‘quality program’, binding for those carrying out the work, and who had been subjected to a very careful check by the public offices. In the following phase of carrying out the work, the key role was played by the project operators, construction companies (profit and no profit), cooperatives or developers. However, the local authorities maintained a strongly coordinated control and supervision over the work done, setting up ad hoc offices equipped with technical skills and support. Once the work was finished, however, the local administrations did not leave the stage. An example of this is the case of the Greenwich Millennium village, where the representatives of the Municipality of Greenwich are full members of the board of the consortium, set up to manage the area. The board also includes representatives from the residents (renters and owners) and representatives from the developers. Public space is at the heart of quality. Right from the very conception of the area, in all the cases studied, maximum attention was placed on public spaces as a decisive and irreplaceable factor governing the project area’s quality and sustainability. In Greenwich, the networks of the large central park, the main roads, squares and internal green courtyards, and the large number of pedestrian walkways make up the true ‘structure’ on which the entire project area was conceived and designed’. For Hammarby, the network of public spaces enriches one’s life and projects a feeling of pleasantness and security, due to the choice of avoiding building large shopping malls and, instead, of the fanning out shops and private and public services over all the urban fabric; and to the functional quality in integrating a wise landscape Urbanistica www.planum.net

2


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

design and a prudent use, also from an aesthetic point of view, of water resources. In Linz, the physical continuity between the public spaces, the semi-public and private ones, confers a usability and sense of security and safety to the whole system, where even children play and move about without fear. This attention is also found in the maintenance of the public spaces and reflects the effectiveness of the management organization. A multi-dimensional approach, public management and focus on public spaces. These are some of the teachings we can draw from the search for quality and sustainability in building the five project areas. But, we are only at the beginning of a new season.

The model Hammarby in Stockholm: strength and quality of an integrated approach Carlo Vigevano Hammarby Sjöstad is a successful example of a sustainable city carried out with an holistic, pragmatic approach based on the integration of environmental strategies at an urban scale. A compact neighborhood consisting of 11,000 housing units for about 25,000 residents and productive activities for about 10,000 employees, the project aimed to cap its environmental impact at below 50% of that for standard swedish housing of the Nineties. The closed-cycle model of resource utilization, energy, water and plant, known as the Hammarby model, has been experimented with here in support of an urban design that has integrated in a sustainable manner the various systematic components involved: mobility, green space, homes and services. The size of the intervention required the activation of an innovative management system in which the Municipality of Stockholm played the role of coordinator, effectively mobilizing both public and private players. The Hammarby Sjostad district surrounds its namesake lake, part of the inland sea of Stockholm, 5 km south of the historic center of town. Once the country residence of wealthy local families, around 1920 the area surrounding the lake was acquired by the Municipality and converted to productive uses. In 1990, to address the rapidly increasing population of the capital, the area was included in the Masterplan as an area of recovery and expansion with mixed residential and productive activities. A strong impetus to the design of the Hammarby Sjöstad ecological district derived from Stockholm’s bid for the 2004 Olympics. This area was proposed as the site for the Olympic Village, which would have been a large residential neighborhood, characterized by a strongly reduced environmental burden placed on the land. In the years 1995-96, under the coordination of the architect Ian Högström Hinge, father of the initiative, the Stockholm Urban Planning office developed a preliminary general layout for the area. The best firms with which the administration had worked in the past were invited to participate in the project’s construction: housing cooperatives, large private companies, mixed public-private real estate development companies, and smaller private companies. From the outset of the design, utilities providers were involved in the development of a model of environmentally sustainable resource management. To ensure the effective administration of the process, the town council formed a joint enterprise responsible for coordinating the construction work and then managing the district (maintenance, residents’ and visitors’ information, and Urbanistica www.planum.net

3


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

public spaces, services, etc.), under the direction and coordination of the town council itself. The Quality program The Masterplan for Sjöstad Hammarby is being implemented in sub-divisions (Kvarteret), twelve in all of about 2000 inhabitants each, representing a sort of finite and self-sufficient ‘minimum intervention’. The design of each Kvarter was agreed upon between municipalities and builders on the basis of shared design tools: the Quality programs. In these the urban and architectural character of the areas and buildings are undersigned and approved. Particular attention is devoted to the urban configuration, to the public and private-fronting building facades, the design of spaces for public use, of streets and of gardens. Urban structure The Masterplan of the district proposes a reinterpretation in modern terms of the nineteenth-century city structure, a feature of central Stockholm. The goal is to create a setting for the development of vibrant city life supported by a mix of residences, services and productive activities, typical of the historic city. These principles are solidified in an urban fabric composed largely of courtyard blocks which allow the continuity of urban space and networks of green space. A great cross avenue (Hammarby allee), placed in a central position with respect to the residences, serves the entire neighborhood and along it runs the public transit system composed of buses and trams. Along the wide sidewalks that line the avenue, within easy walking distance of the housing and consciously avoiding the quality of ‘mall’, lie many small shops. Neighborhood schools and services are located adjacent to residences. In the large central exedra-shaped green square are located public offices and, with higher visibility due to its location on a small hill, the new civic center. To allow a greater functional mix, the residential density and volume of the settlement were increased relative to the standards normally applied to new districts. The available data, referring to the parts already completed, indicates an overall residential density of 144 inhabitantshectare (397 inhabitants-hectare on buildable land).

that connect the courts of the buildings in the middle of the neighborhood’s separate collection of waste. The separation allows separable waste to be sent to the village’s reusable recycling facilities (glass, metal, paper). The non-reusable combustible part is sent to the incinerator to provide heat and electricity to the neighborhood. Organic waste is destined for composting to be used as an organic fertilizer for non-edible crops. From this is produced the biofuel that feeds the boiler for the district heating plant. Initial evaluations of sustainability The latest monitoring on environmental efficiency was made on four ‘kvarteret’ completed on the zone, building and unit levels, based on design data provided by the construction companies. The results are all very positive, particularly the goal of reducing the environmental load by 50% set at the beginning of the design process for the district, can be said to be reached due to the reduced over-fertilization of soils and water consumption. The use of private cars has decreased by 40%. For energy parameters (CO2 emissions, energy consumption from non-renewable sources, production of radioactive waste) reduction of environmental loads are on average between 28% and 40%, depending on different sectors. There are reports that the parameters of the energy performance of buildings have been further improved to fully achieve the objectives of the project.

The Hammarby model The project was developed as a conceptual model of the sustain-able cycle of resources, water-energy-waste, known as the ‘Hammarby model’. The model considers the settlement as a kind of ecosystem in which the various waste components are integrated into a virtuous cycle that allows little or nothing to get lost, and is instead re-used for the livelihood of the neighborhood. Municipal solid waste is treated by an innovative system. The collection is divided in terms of area, block, and building according to the types of Msw. Part of the system consists of a network of underground pneumatic tubes Urbanistica www.planum.net

4


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

A sustainable neighborhood instead of gasometers Francesco Bigi The Greenwich Millennium Village (Gmv) is a district extended about 24 hectares, including a 5 hectares park, built on the east side of the Greenwich peninsula, east of central London. About half of the neighborhood is built and inhabited, and the whole plan provides approximately 3,000 housing units for 6-7,000 population. The neighborhood, designed according to sustainability criteria, is an important intervention in the process of regeneration of abandoned industrial area and represents an experience of international standing in terms of sustainability of urban interventions. In the early ‘90s the disposal of an extensive establishment of British Gas made it necessary to plan the requalification of the peninsula. The entire operation was managed by english partnerships, a government agency created for the redevelopment of dismissed industrial sites through the introduction of a sustainable approach. The completion of reclamation and all the infrastructure works costed to english partnerships about 285 million euros. The Jubilee year 2000 and the attention to the Greenwich meridian has been the opportunity to undertake the revitalization of the peninsula which had met a dramatic industry crisis with the loss of about 100,000 workplaces. In 1996 the Richard Rogers partnership won the competition for the urban planning thanks to a masterplan based on the attention to environmental sustainability. The Rogers’ masterplan was based on the idea of a new district situated on the northern tip of the peninsula with administrative and marketing functions, having a large domed building for big events, the Millennium Dome. This area was connected to the rest of the project by a linear park placed beside a wide boulevard suitable for vehicles, bicycle and pedestrian traffic faced by the residential blocks; the terminal enlargement of the park, called the Southern park, was the heart of the area for the future Gmv. The guidelines of the masterplan are the basis for the design of Gmv: the abandoning the suburban outskirts of morphological patterns provides a plant with characteristics of a the city center. The functional mix is considered essential for the social sustainability and requires a fairly high density, capable of triggering and financially support the new activities. To promote sustainable development, technological innovation and management, the plan provides for the environmental restoration of the site and requires the creation of long term sustainable communities. Bioclimatic and ecological issues are required from the plan. It is expected to achieve socially heterogeneous nei-

ghborhoods, with emphasis on public rather than private housing, promoting the diversity of the population using the variety of building types and tenures. A differentiation of naturalistic areas is designed through three parks linked together: the Central park, the South park, within the Gmv and a pedestrian and bicycle path along the river side. The competition for the Gmv area was won by a consortium of developers with the swedish architect Ralph Erskine, the project was approved in 1999. The Gmv is the first example of realization of so-called ‘Millennium community’, a project of english partnerships for the creation of neighborhoods based on the idea of a community linked on respect for the environment as the unifying theme, to increase the quality of life and to try innovative techniques and high social and environmental standards, even more stringent than current regulations. Real estate companies, invited through a public competition, became owners of the area but were required to respect the issues and standards set for the Community through a set of fixed rules and guidelines, combined in a sort of design code, the Design statement, requested by english partnerships in order to clarify and formalize the goals of the intervention plan. The english partnerships retains the control above the achieving of the objectives through the review of interim reports. Permission to build, granted by the borough, provides further negotiation in which the authorities may take action requiring changes related to urban and social issues: the negotiation is carried out and formalized following the section 106 of the Town and country planning act (1990). The project includes four separate compartments connected by a network of pedestrian open spaces. An oval square, in memory of Crescent, marks the point of connection between the Southern park placed in the center of the different lots, and the linear park that leads to the Millennium Dome. The interventions include residential buildings of great height, to shield the winter winds, along with different smaller buildings in the center and the southern part, willing to climb from north to south along inclined design to enable widespread diffusion of the solar irradiation on facades. The installation is almost entirely pedestrian. Since 1999 the project of the neighborhood has undergone some changes: it has been divided into phases of implementation, the architects Proctor and Matthews were charged to design the second phase interventions, the square has been reinterpreted in a more traditional way and the housing densities increased. Anyway the basic ideas are still alive and expressed thanks to the Design statement, which has been constantly updated with reference to the original. Urban structure shows the buildings distributed in the shape of a horseshoe around the central park forming a double block fabric with a central main pedestrian street Urbanistica www.planum.net

5


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

that runs along the entire neighborhood as a sort of spine of the project. On the pedestrian road are placed all the squares, the community services like schools, kindergarten, the health care and the access to the block’s inner courtyards, treated as semipublic green spaces with controlled access; within the courts, in addition to the common area, there are small private gardens, according to a precise order that sees public space as generator of a plan that goes smoothly and orderly from public spaces to the private ones. The parking spaces are placed in podium areas corresponding to the first two floors of the big lots, distributed around the limits of the village: vehicle access on the pedestrian areas is limited to loading operations and allowed only for limited periods. The first phase buildings, designed by Erskine, differ substantially from those of the second phase designed by Proctor and Matthews, the former are made of massive structure while the latter are built with dry assembled technologies. The implementation has essentially met the environmental and social targets, innovative for the period and indicative of the sustainability of the intervention. The following results have been obtained (in brackets the value required in the design phase): - reduction of primary energy consumption amounts to 65% (80%); - reduction of energy used for the realization of construction materials 37% (50%); - reduction of water consumption 33% (30%); - reduction of construction costs 37% (30%); - reduction of building times 18% (25%); - development of processes of quality control for the cancellation of construction defects; - reducing of waste 65% (50%); - all buildings have achieved the highest standards of the environmental certification Ecohomes. The social targets set by Greenwich Council in the negotiation of permits relate to the value by at least 35% of housing units for social housing, integrated in the same buildings of the normal ones. A rate corresponding to 35% of accommodation for families was also adopted to encourage the social mix.

BedZed: eight year later Cinzia Abbate BedZed project is no stranger to the long tradition of english suburbs and the utopian idealism of his model, but emerges from many other eco-friendly neighborhoods for the social-ecological vision of its architect, Bill Dunster. BedZed acronyms of Zero Energy Development, appears as an attractive small village capable to offer alternative life style for a zero impact community. Today the Zed factory has made possible to replicate and industrialize BedZed construction model through small typological changes depending on the characteristics of the new sites. Almost a decade after completion, it is interesting to understand how an ambitious target of emission reduction has been achieved thanks to excellent design quality of the buildings and of its public spaces. On the other end, we must highlight that some of the most striving Eu objectives have not been fully satisfied, perhaps only due to the designer ’s overestimation of triggering an overall cultural revolution capable to alter even the user’s habits (i.e. car sharing, diets, travel and holiday types, purchase choices, etc.) BedZed includes 82 homes organized in four blocks of three-storey buildings. Eighteen residential units have integrated work space and there are 1,560 sqm of extra office space. Seventy-two apartments have a small portion of the roof garden or a private terrace and a greenhouse. The project reconciles house density with good housing standards (26 square meters of green space for private housing and 8 square meters of public open space). Since its inauguration three major plant modifications were made to the project. The first regards the biomass cogeneration plant, which used both pellets and remains pruning from adjacent areas. This plant was replaced in 2005 by a large condensing boiler to simplify the maintenance and eliminate the noise. The second change concerns the use of energy produced by a photovoltaic plants of 109 kwp, originally designed to supply electricity to a small car pooling park with 40 vehicles. The energy produced by the plant is today instead directly fed into the grid or used by households. The third plant pertains the system of water recycling originally involving a natural wetlands, in 2008 this was replaced with one chemical and mechanical industrial type produced by the Thames Water group, to simplify and reduce the maintenance costs. The most outstanding characteristic of BedZed is the excellent plant-envelope integration system capable to reduce by 77% the overall heating needs of the entire complex. In fact, to increase the thermal mass, the external walls were all built 30 cm thick with triple glazed were needed. Urbanistica www.planum.net

6


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

Green roofs and solar greenhouses act in combination with the air conditioning and ventilation system based on air exchangers integrated as chimneys into the roof. The functional layout is designed to take the best advantage from the energy performance of the building and its orientation. Work areas, where machines and people develop more heat, where located to the north, while the residential areas where more sedentary activities are taking place where arranged around the south side of the buildings and heated by solar greenhouses. Strong emphasis has been placed on the provision of internet and computer services to homes, to facilitate in house work activities in order to reduce commuting.

Solar City of Linz Giordana Castelli The sunny town of Linz is an excellent example of a socially and environmentally sustainable case resulting from designers and the municipality agreeing on the town’s planning and future. Solar city has been able to attain a high level of living comfort, with investments equal to those commonly used for an area of public building and housing, harmonizing consumption, production and energy use. Public ownership of the land, bought some years ago, and transferred, at a meager price, to no profit developers when the project was begun, allowed for investments in environmental quality (energy saving, bioclimatic use of natural resources, etc.) and social quality (a quota for social housing and housing rental-purchasing price levels) with good results, also from an aesthetic viewpoint. The history One of the reasons for the success of this district lies in the role that the local government has played in constantly and firmly guiding and managing the project throughout all its stages. The entire Solar city project has, in fact, focused on the role that the municipal authority has played in the town’s urban-planning, from ‘project management’ to supervising the carrying out of the project and the technical and social support for the settling in of the community. In the 1970s, the Linz Municipality decided to purchase the land, at that time under agricultural use, in order to develop it for productive activities, but, in the early 1990s, an increase in the number of jobs in the services sector, generated a demand for approximately 12,000 new homes. The new development fell into a strategic vision of urban renewal based on a total environmental and functional redevelopment of all the region around the Danube. Environmental and social feasibility was checked, prior to the creation of the Masterplan, by the Office for social affairs, together with the municipal administration, leading to the individuation of some planning prerequisites to ensure the creation of an urban settlement that would be well-connected to the historical centre, and with a high level of social integration and urban quality. ‘Solar’ had to seek a balance between the efficiency of the resources utilized, energy use and quality of life. The Municipality of Linz commissioned the Masterplan to Ronald Reiner, for the Linz-Pichling lakes area. It was presented in 1993 and divided into five residential areas gravitating around service centres, easily accessible for pedestrians. For the specific architectural design of the Solar city, the town council was supported by a group of designers, called Read (Renewable energies in architecture and design), set up by Thomas Herzog, who was the coordinator, and by Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano Urbanistica www.planum.net

7


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

and Norman Foster. In 1994, at the same time as the project was being initially drawn up, the Municipality of Linz set up agreements with some no profit development companies to construct homes at affordable prices. An important step was to include, at the very beginning of drawing up the Masterplan, broad environmental and social guidelines and indications, by means of a ‘round table’ made up of the development companies, the designers and representatives from the public administration. On the basis of these guidelines and indications, specific agreements were established between the municipality and each company, with clear references to the applicability of the qualitative prerequisites proposed in each project. The participation of these no profit construction companies was one of the more innovative aspects of the entire project. The choice of the public administration to directly follow the coordination of the project was carried out along with the management of the settlement of the community. For all of 2005-08, inclusive, in the ‘Family centre’, a municipal technical-social assistance office was set up, which, on the one hand, was an intermediary between the new residents and the development companies and, on the other hand, facilitated the setting up of a social network.

architectural design, but encompassing the whole urban layout based on criteria of compactness, building density, exposure to sun and shade, and the safeguarding of resources. Strong social integration has been achieved due to: specific attention being placed on the relationship between the residential and public common places, near, safe and inviting; the commitment of the public administration during the settling in phase of the community; the fast and efficient public transport connection to the city centre; and the offer of quality housing for different groups of users.

Pichling today Reaching Solar city by tram, we first travel through rural countryside bordered on the left by the thick vegetation of the Danube and on the right by small hamlets of country houses. The blending in with the local area and, in particular, with the existing locality of Pichling and the natural context of the Danube reserve were seen as primary objectives of the project. The urban layout runs along a main axis that follows the tram line, linking the nucleus of public services which make up the centre, and is laid out in four mainly residential quadrants surrounded by the road network. The design of the residential layout has not been rigidly imposed along the solar-thermal axis, being the best orientation for buildings, but rather seeks to create a balance between the open and constructed spaces. The rule was to create a layout of buildings, oriented differently within a network of continuous and easily accessible open spaces that make up the main weave of the district. The organization of the district appears to be well-balanced between a planned variety of building typologies and the open spaces in between, that create small ‘neighbourhoods’ and an identifiable similarity in the settlement’s common features. The distinction between the three different levels of ownership of public space (private gardens, green areas owned by the construction companies for public use, and walkways and completely public space) and the separate system in managing them, have contributed to an overall environmental quality and beauty of clean and well-maintained common areas. In Linz, we see the principles of sustainable planning translated into a total design strategy, not only limited to Urbanistica www.planum.net

8


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

Valdespartera in Zaragoza: the city of water and wind captures the sun Giordana Castelli The area of Valdespartera in Zaragoza can be considered an exemplary project for all of Spain, a willingness on the part of the Municipal administration, learning from its previous successes, to experiment with the theme of social housing integrated with one of ‘thermal-environmental urban-planning’. The decision of the Government of Aragon to create a new development plan to build social housing emerged in 1994. A working group was set up which included a sociologist (Mario Gaviria) and experts in energy analysis (Energy and building group of the University of Zaragoza). The inter-disciplinary approach, very innovative at that time, and already experimented with some years before in another area of Zaragoza, Parque Goya, contributed to the success of Valdespartera. In both areas, the municipality had already acquired the land, and this resulted in more possibilities for the developers to invest in building quality and energy efficiency. As well, the climatic conditions favouring solar exposure in winter, and cooler temperatures from the winds in summer, made for excellent conditions in applying criteria for energy saving and efficiency. Another opportunity to strengthen the town’s commitment towards sustainable development, was Expo 2008, an international exposition focused on Water and sustainable development, in association with the United Nations. The history The starting point for the construction of Valdespartera was the Base agreement, signed by the Municipality of Zaragoza and the Ministry of defence, establishing the re-classification of 243 hectares of traditionally held military land, with its long abandoned barracks, mainly earmarked for Public protection. The municipal authority played a key role, right from the beginning, in developing the potential of the area thanks to the leadership of the City council of Zaragoza and its skill in managing negotiations among the different public sector players (Ministry of defence, Regional authority of Aragon and other national ministries). In 2002, the City council approved the Plan parcial to redevelop sector Suz 89/4 Valdespartera. In the same year, a public company for urban development, called Ecociudad Valdespartera Zaragoza Sa, was set up. The company was in charge of managing the redevelopment by coordinating both the urban-planning and construction work: the economic feasibility study, the work involving the land transformation, the management of assigning the areas to private operators, the offering of homes to families, and the construction and management of the waste recycling plants. One of the reasons for the success of the project has been, without doubt, the strong synergy created by the

company, between the municipal-regional partnership, the savings banks involved from the beginning and the private developers. Overall, the public funding (Plan national de Viviendas and the European program Concerto) resulted in achieving a good balance between building costs and selling and rental prices, estimated based on the principles of affordable housing. Regulated selling prices (1,000– 1,200 euro/sq.m.), on the one hand, covered the need for social housing, while on the other, they offered an attractive opportunity for small real estate investment. A monitoring system was outlined, coordinated and managed by the company Ecociudad Valdespartera Zaragoza Sa, supported by consultants from the university, especially from the Energy and building group managed by J.A. Turegano, which set up the ‘équipe mémoire’ for all the eco-sustainability work. The group dealt with identifying a series of criteria for energy saving, guiding the companies during the construction phase and coordinating the social education campaign for the residents. The elements for an effective monitoring system emerged, constancy over time, urban organization included within the workings of the urban-planning, coordination by public subjects, implementation by a scientific referent, with on-going reports directly communicated to those involved in the work, and then made available to the community through a specific local office (the setting up of a Centre for sustainable urbanization). In Valdespartera, the first system in Spain for the disposal of disused tyres was set up, involving the installation of an underground network of special pipes built to transport the waste. The eco-city of Valdespartera The agreements established in the Base agreement between the Municipality and the Ministry of defence and adopted as the guidelines for the Plan parcial were translated into bio-climatic criteria concerning three aspects: the urban project for the area, the architectural design of the buildings and the organization of the construction. Such a precise and careful attention to defining the bioclimatic criteria, immediately included in the urban-planning tools, allowed for the checking and supervision of the work done, resulting in a high environmental quality. The eco-city is of a interwoven octagonal lay-out with a road network around two large avenues (avenida del Septimo Arte in a north-south direction and avenida Casablanca in an east-west direction) that border the residential blocks and their services. The orientation of the buildings is north-south, except where corresponding to the town borders, on the Western axis, where the allotments, more exposed to the prevalent winds, are oriented east-west, so as to create a barrier effect, protecting the open common spaces surrounded by the blocks of buildings. The blocks, along the main roads, are arcaded hosting small businesses and shops, while services and facilities are concentrated longitudinally Urbanistica www.planum.net

9


Projects and implementation

U

141/10

and organized alternating between buildings and open public spaces. The open spaces surrounded by the blocks are designed as places for community use, with no private appropriation of space allowed, and are permanent right of ways. The paseo central, based on the rambla model, is the main common space made up of a series of public areas (gardens, play areas, rest areas) equipped based on criteria of sustainability.

Sustainable neighborhoods and new urban landscapes, an opportunity for the Italian city Francesco Prosperetti The support given to professor Cecchini’s research by Parc can be seen as proof of the willingness to fully bring the issues concerning sustainable cities under the broader theme of contemporary landscape quality, with the conviction that it is now imperative to face the issue of safeguarding our landscapes somewhat differently compared to the past. I will show here how the protection policies of the last decades have markedly failed, with results for all see right before their very eyes, the destruction of regions in every part of our country, the urban decay of landscapes and the ever-encroaching urban sprawl. All this, despite a protectionist machinery and restrictions, unequalled in the rest of the world. There is a need for the right criteria to evaluate new projects, measuring their quality and sustainability, not only energetically, but also regarding the landscape. However, this mainly involves reconsidering the existing building legacy and the possibility to adapt it to new housing standards and urban quality. The need, to unite the tools for renovating what already exists with the search for a common idea for a new urban quality, was dramatically shown in the recent tragic event in Aquila, and the subsequent work on its reconstruction. In fact, the devastation produced by the earthquake was accompanied, in the months following, by a strategy of reconstruction concerning not so much the urgency for recovery, but rather the announcement of the immediate building of a city other than the existing one, based on the so-called new towns. These, then came to light, to be nothing more than anonymous residential complexes. Even in the smallest towns, the new settlements have been built up against the delicate structures of the old town centres with no regard to building form or size, and ending up permanently changing the balanced rapport, that had been established in Abruzzo over time, between its traditional inhabitants and landscape. It was not known how to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunity, in all its tragedy, that the earthquake in Abruzzo offered, that of facing reconstruction by studying all the more recent European experiences on the theme of sustainable cities, the main priority in mind being, the best quality of life for their inhabitants. For the above reasons, I am convinced about the major importance of the research theme outlined in these pages, which presents an area for discussion, that cannot be disregarded, towards a new city architecture.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

10


Urbanistica n. 141 January-March 2010

Distribution by www.planum.net

Index and english translation of the articles Pierluigi Properzi

Projects and implementation

Problems, policies and research

Luigi Acito edited by Corinna Morandi Antonio Font, Lorena Vecslir Marco Guerzoni Corinna Morandi Corinna Morandi

edited by Domenico Cecchini, Giordana Castelli Domenico Cecchini Carlo Vigevano Francesco Bigi Cinzia Abbate Giordana Castelli Giordana Castelli Francesco Prosperetti

Valeria Erba, Mina Di Marino

Methods and tools

Profiles and practices

Francesco Chiodelli Silvia Macchi, Angela D’Orazio Rosario Pavia Roberta Lazzarotti Luigi Manzione Valeria Di Blasio

Back to Matera The Sassi of Matera. A story of urban restoration Commerce and the large scale: common themes from three different experiences New spaces of production, commerce and production in the Barcelona metropolitan region A territorial project for Bologna’s commercial system Commerce in the milanese territory: the geography of supply and main lines of governance and enhancement Retail development ambits

Esperiences of sustainable neighborhoods in Europe A new season The model Hammerby in Stockholm: strength and quality of an integrated approach A sustainable neighborhood instead of gasometers BedZed: eight year later Solar City of Linz Valdespartra in Zaragoza: the city of water and wind captures the sun Sustainable neighborhoods and new urban landscapes, an opportunity for the Italian city

Ecological networks in the urban planning. Strategies and action plans in the case studies research of Montreal, Milan and Rome Cohousing Vs gated communities? A taxonomical analysis of cohousing Gender auditing in spatial planning: the case of Rome’s provincial plan New labyrinths Housing plan and historical centres: regional declinations of the State-Regions Agreement Gaston Bardet’s Rome: the view of a French town planner in the thirtie of the 20th century Cities beyond the car


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

Ecological networks in the urban planning. Strategies and action plans in the case studies research of Montreal, Milan and Rome Valeria Erba, Mina Di Marino The ecological network concept has been included in the urban and regional planning already. The three cases of the Metropolitan Region of Montreal and the Provinces of Milan and Rome want to evaluate the ecological network concept. The goal is verifying the ecological preservation actions. Developers, citizens and local governments can understand the ecological network concept, which represents the hazards and environmental potentials; instead the regional and planning systems in the cases study research are different. The infrastructure system could damage the ecological corridors; it could reduce the ecological ways, in thereby compromising the environment, its functional ecosystems and the landscape. The people are more involved when they can understand and they can appreciate the integration between ecological and social factors. The contents and the objective of the landscape ecology are absorbed from the regional and provincial strategies and have product action strategies and action plans. In the Province of Milan the ecological network use many symbols, more related to the territorial features than the others two Provinces. Apart from that we need more analytic studies that consider the integration between ecological and urban factors, the knowledge of detailed and evaluated potentialities and criticalities of the territory. Even if the ecological network is defined on contour lines, landed estates and topological features, the regulation gets together plans to implement an ecological network project, at the local scale especially. The planners have to absorb the recommendations and instructions from the Regional ecological network. The project of the motorway Pedemontana that crosses five provinces from Varese to Bergamo at the north of Milan has an economic and environmental impact. The infrastructure reduces the environmental impacts and the ecosystem fragmentations thanks to the environmental compensation (local environmental projects) that produce the ecosystem services too. The city of Rome develops an integrated approach to preserve and to protect the environment in the urban area: the urban adjustments, urban compensations, conventions and expropriations could manage the ecological network in the city of Rome. The case of Montreal pursues an integrated strategy between urban projects and nature conservation and goes over isolated ecological practices. The ecoterritories are not conservation parks, they are large identified territories and there are core zones surrounded by buffer zones and corridors that link together the cores zones. They aimed at the urban sustainable project (e.g. land exchanges, acquisition) with a clear civil involvement (ecological gifts, voluntary pre-

servation, confidence to the financial bakers) and integration between financial programs (protected area development, measure to support the agriculture, training programs). The comparison between the Metropolitan Region of Montreal and the two Provinces of Milan and Rome In the 1999 the Province of Milan adopted the ecological network map in the territorial provincial Plan. The Plan put forward innovative contents and new implementation strategies (potential scenarios and ecosystem services). Direct and indirect actions point out the provincial strategies and the objectives of the future implementation of the ecological network. The local project that contributes to the implementation is based on the cooperation of many involved actors. The Province of Rome traduces the criteria in the specific context with territorial and geographical features and with ecological and environmental values. The City of Rome identifies the ecological network map in the urban plan and regulation earlier than the Province of Rome and the Region of Lazio. Instead the Region Lazio has a monitoring system of protected areas. Recently the ecological provincial and urban networks have paid attention to the relations between the environmental development and the social and cultural uses. The City of Montreal proposes an ecological management of the natural resources focused to preserve the urban biodiversity. The Metropolitan Region of Montreal has taken Montreal City as one’s model for the other municipalities and is aware of the opportunities related to many local projects of ecological network: environmental corridors and greenways could contribute to define an ecological network and green system at the large scale. The ecological networks could be a sustainable and social paradigm both for the programs and for implementation. The three implementation ways are: – the concept plan and action plan of Montreal City; – the green corridors of the north of the Province of Milan; – urban sustainable projects related to the ecological network in the City of Rome. The ecoterritory of Île-Bizard and the concerned has three objective: – scheduling of the functions that respect the citizen requests; – showing the objectives related to the nature protection of those specific milieux; – proposing the ecoterritory as public heritage. In the Province of Quebec the law of the natural heritage conservation defines the humanized landscape “an area that is formed to protect the biodiversity of a habited, terrestrial and aquatic territory, where the landscape and the natural components have been shaped in the years from the human activities, in harmony with the nature and they show intrinsic recognized qualities” (V category. World conservation of nature). Urbanistica www.planum.net

2


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

The plan concept of Île-Bizard identifies three poles: – nature parc which is delimited from the urban development; – the agricultural pole; – the pole of riverside areas. The buffer zones guarantee the ecological preservation of ecosystems. The ecological corridors facilitate the accessibility and the tourist and agricultural management. Ecological network development and implementations In the case of Metropolitan Regional of Montreal the ecological network planning isn’t a systemic vision: the local design could develop a regional design. In the case of Province of Milan, the implementation at the local scale means recognition, financial finding, participating management to implement plans and designs. In the case of Province of Rome the ecological network should relate to the local ecological networks, where often their elements are components of the provincial ecological network. The scientific research reminds us that the programs and plan could prevent the consequences of ecological insularities, if the urban-rural development, the infrastructural, the settlement and environmental development are compatible with the same phenomena (e.g. ecological fragmentation). The ecosystem map by Bernardino Romano, based on integration between urban and ecological factors, has the objective to minimize the impact of the urban development in the existing ecosystem matrix. It means to know the functional disorders of new settlement to the ecological networks, when the surfaces and the isolation degree are reduced from the urban development. New ecosystem scenarios based on polyvalent ecosystem services (the benefits humankind derives from the workings of the natural world. These include most obviously the supply of food, fuels and materials, but also such hidden benefits as the formation of soils and the control and purification of water) help the sustainable development. The ecological network of the Province of Milan has also the function to develop ecosystem services. Further the scientific research reminds us to consider the secondary ecological areas that could become priority areas in a new sustainable development. The ecological value of the area depend both on dimensions of the protected areas and on the existing species, but the ecological value could go beyond the protection boundaries. In the Metropolitan Region of Montreal some protected areas are not juridical entities but they are based on conservation and preservation programs, agreements between municipalities, owners, associations in order to develop the ecoterritories for common benefits. The instrument to develop the ecological network could be the urban adjustments (transfer of edificatory rights, e.g.: municipalities of Province of Milan and Rome), the ecological gifts (Metropolitan Region of Montreal), standards of urban quality and the ecological and environmental quality (provinces of Emilia-Romagna Region), the environmental and ecological compensations (e.g. Province

of Milan). The new criteria of implementation concerns to preserve the ecological equilibrium with the landscape and the environment, it means planning the development compatible with the ecological and landscape values and components. Actually the concept of ecological network has been enriched; in fact the polyvalent ecological network is taking off. The integration between the ecological and environmental functions with the social and cultural functions is giving more meaning and acceptation to the ecological network. The territorial design must be shared through the planning and the civil involvement that could guarantee the sustainable use of environmental resources. The design must be modified, detailed through the involved actors and the neighbour municipalities that take part in the ecological plan.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

3


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

Cohousing Vs gated communities? A taxonomical analysis of cohousing Francesco Chiodelli The cohousing develops as from the seventies in the northern European countries, subsequently spreading firstly in the United States and later in southern Europe. In spite of the ten-year course, the cohousing is a quantitative very limited phenomenon. All the same, for example in Italy, it is surrounded by an increasing public interest: this paper sketches out an analysis work of the situation useful to highlight not only the positive elements, but also those of criticity. Definition and features The peculiarities that are defined typical of the phenomenon are usually four (McCamant, Durrett 1994): – spatial features: the planning follows a set of customary rules that try to support the maximum of the social integration however keeping a determined degree of privacy and individual independence (Williams 2005). The different cohousing experiences are in this way established by small dimension interventions (included from 15 to 40 houses), usually of urban or periurban location; private houses are normally of 5-15% reduced dimensions as regards the average, with the prevailing intention of favouring a greater use of common areas; – trial features: insistence on shared planning, or rather on the participation (different for degrees and forms according to the situations) of the future residents in the devising and defining process of the physical and organizational structure of the community; – Managerial features (and legal-owners): the management of the different life aspects in the community occurs through meeting processes that require the participation on equal terms of all the residents statutorily gathered in an association. All this occurs independently of any different legal-owners forms the cohousing can assume, that can be a freehold or an undivided property, or made up of mixed forms that integrate both private property of the lodgings and collective ownership of common areas; – functional features: copresence of both residential functions and collective services, the latter are almost exclusively addressed to the members of the community and, generally, directly managed by the same people. A taxonomical analysis of cohousing After giving, in the first part of the text, a descriptive picture of the phenomenon, in the second part the paper tries to find out the cohousing’s peculiarities beginning from the specificity of its constitutive features. The matter is not irrelevant: the (supposed) specificity of cohousing, in fact, and a positive judgment about the same, are at the base of a series of public encouraging politics to carry out these settlements. In this part of the paper subject that, in my opinion, the cohousing is only one of the possible developments

of the ‘contractual communities’, or rather “organizing forms with a territorial base of private nature – able both to control and autonomally to provide itself with infrastructures and services” (Brunetta, Moroni 2008), such as, for example, the gated communities, sharing with the latter a great part of the complexities already highlighted by the literature dealing with this phenomenon. For doing this I’ll formulate and use the following taxonomical classification: Family: settling areas with a residential character; Genus: contractual communities (features: members selection, communitarian multifunctionality, constitutive rules of private nature); Species: residential associations (features: collective possession of both sites and equipment for a shared use, participation to the decisions concerning both the management of these areas and the community organization). Variety: [X] Cohousing (features: informal selection, environmentalist-communitarian ideological characterization, self-management of services, shared planning, pro community design); [Y] Gated communities (features: formal selection, ideological characterization based on personal security, accesses control). Taxa and both genus and species characteristics Selectivity (taxon: genus). One of the peculiarities of the different contractual communities is the possibility to select not only the access both to the area and to the services of communitarian character (as well as the behaviours there must be kept), but also the same residents, by virtue of the spatial and organizing form’s private nature (Le Goix 2002). A differentiation element between X and Y is related to the formalization level of this selection: in the X instance it is ex ante opened, to choose the community future members (‘elective neighbourhood’) and it is based on informal mechanisms; in Y case instead it is based on a collection of formal, impersonal and mainly indirect rules (principally the income). Communitarian Multifunctionality (taxon: genus). Characteristic feature of all the contractual communities is a certain degree of copresence, both of residential functions and community services, whose utilization is intended for the members of the settlement. Also in this case neither quality nor quantity of services are an element of a clear differentiation between X and Y. Constitutional and operative rules of private law (taxon: genus) with both a communitarian devising and management (taxon: species). Typical of all the contractual communities is still their organizing form: these settlements, in fact, are ruled not only by the common norms of public law relating to the particular territory portion where they are used, but also by a rules system of private law, introduced by the members of the community to guarantee its specificity and its functioning. A differentiation between cohousing and gated communities exists only in the organizing degree and in the formalization of Urbanistica www.planum.net

4


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

this kind of structure: very low for X, and mainly based on customary and informal norms, while it is often very high and finely detailed for Y in the official documents of the association. The variety taxon: the value element. A characteristic that does not directly belong to all the residential associations, but that is typical of both X and Y, is an explicit ex ante value component as the beginning of the community formation. So, it is only the value type expressed, but not the value-ideological characterization itself, to be a differentiation element between X and Y. Challenges, potentialities, risks If we read the cohousing within a taxonomical background it loses a large part of its supposed peculiarity, and reveals of sharing with the gated communities lots of the criticities fully highlighted by the literature dealing with the contractual communities. For example, one of the problematical features that must be taken into account when we talk about the cohousing (as for any other type of contractual community) is the social (but also spatial) segmentation that these settling forms can favour. In fact it is difficult to explain how much in the cohousing the emphasized reconstruction of a kind of community and of a collective responsibility is just a progressive reaction to the increasing social atomization, and how much, instead, it is (or can easily become) a neocommunitarian reply that just deepens the fragmentation of the urbanized panorama. What is clear is that there is not such a profound difference between gated communities and cohousing as to justify, in relation to the government territory range, a difference in the public treatment.

Gender auditing in spatial planning: the case of Rome’s provincial plan Silvia Macchi, Angela D’Orazio The work presents the results of a pilot study of gender auditing in spatial planning conducted in frame of the gender budgeting of the Province of Rome (Ccidd 2009). The proposed methodology builds on the Amartya Sen’s capability approach to ‘human development’ (Sen 1985, 1987), adding to it the contribution of feminist economics (Picchio 1992, 2003), particularly in what concerns the role of unpaid caring work for the very existence of market activities. According to the informal Network of experts on gender budgeting at the European council, a gender budget ‘entails a gender-based assessment of budgets, incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditures in order to promote gender equality’ (European Parliament, 2003, p. 3). In Italy, a national directive officially introduces gender budgeting in 2007 (Mripa, Mdpo 2007), but a series of experiments have been carried out from the early 2000s at local level (Macchi, Catemario 2008) where GenderCapp developed its methodology from the capabilities approach (Addabbo et al. 2008). Sen’s theory is based on two concepts: capability and functioning. ‘A functioning is an achievement, whereas a capability is the ability to achieve. Functionings are, in a sense, more directly related to living conditions, since they are different aspects of living conditions. Capabilities, in contrast, are notions of freedom, in the positive sense: what real opportunities you have regarding the life you may lead’. (Sen 1987, p. 36) A person’s capability set depends on the means offered by the context where she lives that include goods and services (or ‘resources’ to some) and a series of factors that determine to what extent that person can access those goods and services. Sen (1985) recognizes three categories of conversion factors: those linked to a person’s individual characteristics (e.g. metabolism, physical condition, sex, reading skills, intelligence), those linked to the social group a person belongs to (e.g. public policies, social norms, discriminating practises, gender roles, societal hierarchies, power relations) and those linked to the characteristics of the environment where a person lives (e.g. climate, geographical location). It follows that different people convert goods and services into well-being at different rates; that is, they do not all enjoy the same freedom to choose the kind of life that they value. Communing with Sen’s ethical commitments, the aim of public policy is to widen people’s opportunities to be and do what they value to be and do. The focus shifts from effective functioning to the conditions of its achievement, i.e. the capabilities as the outcome of resource conversion processes. Urbanistica www.planum.net

5


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

The purpose of the pilot study reported here was to develop a methodology for gender auditing specific to spatial planning and based on this theoretical approach. A territorial plan such as the Rome’s Ptpg is first and foremost a policy coordination instrument that deals with processes of spatial differentiation. The question was: what spatial differences the Ptpg focuses on and what would be if the capabilities approach is incorporated, that is, if we conceive the territory as a meta-conversion factor of goods and facilities into well-being? To address this question, firstly the content of the Ptpg has been reviewed particularly in what concerns the variables selected for outlining the planning scenarios (Province of Rome, 2007a). Secondly, a model of interpreting the territory consistent with the capability approach has been developed. The guiding assumption was that t the omission of unpaid work and its related gender distribution hinders to see the effective division of productive and reproductive roles between the state, the market and the household (Picchio 1992). As a result, the impact that a biased attribution of reproductive activities towards the family has on the impairment of women capabilities, compromising their freedom and well-being, remains concealed. Looking at the Ptgp through ‘our’ territorial interpretation model has allowed us to select those planning categories of ‘practical’ or ‘strategic’ (Moser 1993, Kabeer 1999) interest to the women of the Province of Rome. These categories define the priorities of our work in auditing the Ptpg from a gender perspective, helping us to identify and measure the implications of the Plan’s choices for the well-being of men and women. The categories in question gravitate around one of the main ideas of the Ptpg, i.e. to reconfigure people’s living space through an alternative distribution of productive activities, public facilities and transport infrastructure. These three are therefore the variables we focused on for drawing a map of spatial constraints that limit women’s capabilities in the province of Rome. The map constitutes a baseline for monitoring the Ptpg’s gender impact, providing a tool for the gender accountability of the Province’s planning policy. The Ptpg proposal is based on the 2005-15 projections of the current trends in three main variables: population, economic activity and real estate market. Both the Gdp and the population are expected maintaining the same positive growth as in the early 2000s. Furthermore, the Plan interprets the current demographic movement from Rome to other provincial areas as a positive factor of territorial re-balancing. On these premises, the Plan commits to assist the ongoing processes with a series of actions aimed at guiding the process of relocation of people and functions to be more compatible with the natural and historical environment. The Ptpg ambition of ‘managing spontaneous processes in order to attenuate the unwanted byproducts of growth’ (Province of Rome, 2007b, p. 36) is in itself a realistic one, since it considers the very limited powers

of the Province to influence the policies of the Capital. Nevertheless, if it is agreed that the ethical commitment of the Plan is the people’s well-being, the costs related to this choice, either public or private, both for men and women, must be evaluated. We tried to identify those elements relevant to an assessment of such costs through the analysis of some of the Ptpg’s core choices. Specifically, we focused on three of the Plan’s fundaments: the spatial unit utilized for the analysis of the main scenarios’ variables (population, economic activity and real estate market); the relation between economic activity and population, with particular attention to social reproduction’s issues; the relation between real estate market and housing needs. The analysis of the Plan’s documents lead us to the conclusion that an effort should be made to develop tools for engendering the spatial planning making. One of the instruments we proposed is a map of the spatial characteristics that affects the capability set of people with caring responsibilities. A very simplified view of both the everyday life of these persons, and the variables impacting on their effective achievements, is assumed. The experiment simply wants to prove that it is possible, even with the small data available and some basic analysis, to guide the territorial planning towards choices that are aware of gender differences and explicitly aimed at people’s well-being. To conclude, the suggestion is made that spatial planning should abandon two main prejudices: first, to indentify ‘people with caring responsibilities’ with women; second, to consider the caring burden as only concerning the state and the household, completely excluding any ‘obligation’ of the market. Incorporating the identification of woman with carer in the political discourse means to ‘naturalize’ a cultural system that relegates women to reproductive roles and men to productive ones, denying for both of them multidimensional life projects. Moreover it relegates the issue of care to the confines of family and living space. Unfortunately, the consequences of these misconceptions of social reproduction have already compromised the innovative power of some proposals put forward by women’s movements. As for the second point, public policies are still ignoring the complex relations that link productive to reproductive work, resulting in relieving the market from its ‘obligation’ to contribute with reproduction. The recent financial meltdown offers an opportunity for change. As for spatial planning, the raising question is: may urban development help in containing the effects of the current financial crisis and its inevitable spill over to local finances? (Hall 2009). The Rome’s Ptpg contemplates new residential areas, firms relocation and railways’ improvement. All these require public investment that in the middle term will result in more fiscal revenues, while in the short term will increase the demand of workers and improve the settlement’s quality. The public interest on these investments Urbanistica www.planum.net

6


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

goes together with that of landlords, as it is confirmed by recent land banking initiatives in the outskirts of Rome. If this is true, there is no financial reason to postpone once again the public commitment to provide decent conditions of life to people. The province needs only to fulfill its statutory responsibilities by guiding and coordinating the local councils in mediating between the market and the interest of its citizen.

New labyrinths Rosario Pavia Before being a construction, the labyrinth was probably an open space where, through the movement of the dance, the dancers instinctively appropriated the sense of life. Homer, in his description of the shield of Achilles, speaks of Dedalus as the creator of a place for dances. The thread of Ariadne was nothing other than a cord that enabled the dancers to move in harmony, led by a guide (the geranulkos ‘he who pulls along the cranes’), following a spiral pattern, winding forward constantly then, at a very definite point and moment, changing direction to return. The dancing rite expresses the circularity of life and of death. Only later, in Crete, the place of dance was to become the constructed labyrinth, only later was the winding movement to be transformed into the tangle of confusing intersecting corridors. The thread of Ariadne is a metaphor which reflects traversal of the labyrinth-like metropolis following an itinerary that is legible both spatially and as a narration. The threads of Ariadne, as paths which link places and complex nodes, restore our sense of orientation and an understanding of urban structures. Bigger and smaller networks, pedestrian paths, sequences of public spaces, but also tracks and integrated infrastructural nodes, in continuity with the city and the territory. This working hypothesis should be developed in investigating strategies for intervention, but now, analyzing the origin of the labyrinth as a dancing traversal, we discover a new approach for understanding and charting the contemporary city. Is it possible to recover an aesthetic dimension in passage through the city, one enabling us to participate more in our surroundings, to be more aware of our body and our senses, more willing to expose ourselves to contact with others? Is it possible to break the inertia and solitude, the opacity and passive alienation of our urban condition? How can we give movement through the city the lightness and profundity of dance? The dance through the labyrinth was nothing other than one of the many ritual forms of the Dionysian processions. Ariadne is inside this rite, the dances in the space of her labyrinth are dedicated to Dionysius. Through dance and music, the participants enter into an integral relation with the surrounding space, they are reconciled with the forces of nature, they get its deep meaning instinctively. Something of the dancing labyrinth has survived, however; we can glimpse its traces in peasant feasts, in carnival processions, in the wandering of the flâneurs of modernity and the nomadic ways of the situationist avant-garde, in the ephemeral rites of the ‘white night’ celebrations. The dancing labyrinth is an absolute and timeless metaphor. Transferred to the contemporary city, its myth Urbanistica www.planum.net

7


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

signifies not only our reorientation, giving meaning to the traversal, but also showing ourselves to others in a different and continuous public space, one able to engage us and free our imagination, our creativity. To move through it dancing is an appeal for freedom, for safety, for individuality and participation; it is a appeal for understanding. In reality, the urban spectacle is no longer a cognitive learning experience, it is no longer a Dionysian emotion nor even an Apollonian dream, today it is only evasion, shock, alienation. In reality, dancing traversal of a city is an aesthetic and learning experience that does not exist. The contemporary city negates it. Its labyrinthine form is the result of physical obstacles, of barriers, of exclusions. The space of the metropolis is born of the violence of social contradictions, of urban conflicts and oppression, of irreconcilable differences. Its tangle seems to lead to death. The labyrinth is not synonymous with death, it is rather an aspiration to life, reproducing the infinite circularity of a path which always brings us back from the abyss to the beginning. Will it be possible to dance once again in the labyrinth of the city? There are no definite strategies, only questions. Only the beginning of a hope that does not want to give up the plan as a utopia, as the search for a way out. The labyrinth of Egypt visited by Herodotus in ancient Shedit, whose ruins can be seen now north of MedinetEl-Faiyum, appeared to the writer of The History ‘‘superior to all descriptions ... in it there are twelve covered courtyards, with doors facing one another; six toward the north, six toward the south; and the courtyards are contiguous, and a single wall encloses them from the outside. There are two orders of rooms, one order underground, one above: they number 3000, 1500 per order. We ourselves saw the upper rooms, passing from one to another … but concerning the subterranean ones we only have hearsay information: because the Egyptians who supervise those did not want us to see them, saying that there are the tombs of the kings”. A geometrical labyrinth that was symmetrical but endlessly immense and repetitive; it was precisely this redundancy and spatial amplification that induced wonder and stupefaction. Underneath lay a secret labyrinth, most likely identical in form and structure to the one above. The labyrinth of Egypt was the result of two strata, but while the first was accessible and practicable, albeit with difficulty, the second was visible only to the priests keeping watch on the tombs of the kings. In the Greek labyrinth, the dance stopped at the brink of the abyss of the underworld; only heroes and divinities could venture beyond into the dark subterranean maze. Dionysius was also known as Chthonos, the subterranean one, the god who traveled between above and below. A relation between the surface and the underground characterized architecture for a long time, not only in the great funeral constructions of antiquity, but also, beginning with St. Peter’s, in Christian churches, in the important renaissance palaces like the ducal complex of Urbino, as well as in the construction of fortification walls,

like those of Perugia arranged by the younger Sangallo, who then in Orvieto dug the well of St. Patrick, which is nothing other than a tower turned upside down. The subterranean is present in the engravings of ancient monuments and in the dark spaces of the prisons of Piranesi, and it is part of the great utopian constructions of enlightenment architects like Boullée. It emerges powerfully in the modern city, whose reorganization began underground with the introduction of sewer systems and the tunnels of the early subway systems. The dark belly of the subterranean city entered rapidly into the collective and literary imagination, becoming the negative other side of the urban surface in many 19th and 20th century novels. Eugene Henard was the first to theorize about the need for an artificial urban ground under which the complex technological networks of the city could be reorganized. With Perret and Le Corbusier, the artificial ground became a recurrent theme of the modern-functionalist project and was reflected, almost at the end of a cycle of research efforts, in the proposals of Edouard Utudjian for L’urbanisme souterrain. The city as a futurist building site, the city which Antonio Sant’Elia sinks deep underground, comes back on the scene in the provocative 1960s work of architects like Paul Rudolph, Archigram and Hans Hollein, who organized the new city’s megastructures as though they were aircraft carriers sunk and buried in the landscape. Of the great urban utopias of that period, Mesa City and Arcopoly of Paolo Soleri are those that most tried to integrate the surface ambient with the spaces created below by giant organic structures which plunge their roots deep underground. The utopias of the 1960s and 1970s were the last vital attempts of modernist planning to find a new design for the city and the territory in infrastructure networks. Infrastructure’s etymological root itself shows the subterranean vocation such a reorganization implies. But that reorganization did not take place, and in those same years a deep split began to divide architecture and city planning, the city and its infrastructure, and the fragile relation between ground and underground was progressively weakened further. The city’s surface became an inextricable labyrinth, while at the same time the underground too turned into an endless but disconnected morass, a dark labyrinth of tunnels and pipes and nodes and networks. These networks are disconnected on the surface and even more so below. The underground infrastructure continuously increases in its density, in its entanglement, and also in its autonomy. The separation between aboveground and underground sharpens and consolidates. While in the first modern period there was a visible and planned relation between the built settlement on the surface and the underground (consider how the sewer system’s placement affected the first urban plans), in the contemporary city the weave of the surface city appears completely independent of subterranean networks. In some big cities like London, Paris, New York, the tunUrbanistica www.planum.net

8


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

nel systems for trains and subways still maintain a link between above and below, but elsewhere that relation has been completely dissolved. Under the streets there is a maze of electrical conduits, gas and water pipes, telephone and communication cables, and sewers, piled up without any order. In the underground, hollow spaces, built stratifications, archeological remains, tunnels, necropolises, and channeled or piped watercourses constitute a hodgepodge that only with difficulty can be charted or represented. Below the surface, there are systems of gas and oil pipelines, underpasses and railway tunnels, hydroelectric channels and buried cables haphazardly traversing the territory. Whole regions are disseminated with mines and oil wells, with garbage dumps and underground natural gas storage depots. This maze of subterranean networks is in conflict with the delicate underground balance, with the fertility of the soil, with the fragile aquifers, with the mineral deposits. Underground is a labyrinth, like above. The contemporary world is made up of superimposed labyrinths without any visible link. Not two geometrical and symmetrical realities as in the Egyptian labyrinth, but two infinite and non-communicating labyrinths. Perhaps it is precisely from this division that it is necessary to begin. On this unresolved knot depends our environmental equilibrium, our survival, our way of perceiving the world and orienting ourselves in space. To traverse the labyrinth signifies this as well: to try to reestablish a link with the earth, with the thickness of its crust, with above and below, identifying new forms of integration and correspondence. How can this relationship be made visible in the processes of urban transformation? How can a greater environmental equilibrium between the two parts be promoted? What threads of Ariadne will make it possible to reconnect the two labyrinths? New paths of research and intervention are opening up for planning and design.

Housing plan and historical centres: regional declinations of the State-Regions Agreement Roberta Lazzarotti

The signature, on March 31st 2009, of the State-Regions Agreement on the so-called “Housing Plan” produced a state of expectation for the Regional implementation laws. Now thaths most Regions have taken legislative action, it is possible to strike a first balance. Regional laws are a variegated whole, and they shows two surprising outcomes: – many Rregions have set their law within a larger policy territory management, in order to either ‘dam’ or exalt (according to different ideological and political positions) the potentials of the policy proposed by the Government; – in general, the local enactment of the measures was not successful as expected. In one case, that can be explained by the fact that by limiting the applicability of the remunerating mechanism, Regional bills have reduced their appeal on local operators. It is more difficult to understand the weak response in those cases in which a Regional compliance to the Agreement was more convinced and unconditional. The Agreement aims to encourage initiatives for the boosting of the economy, to answer housing needs of the families and to take incisive measures for the procedural simplification in building activities. Regional laws declared similar goals from their beginning, too. Recurrent items, include firstly the goals of the ‘boosting of the economy/support to building industry’ and the ‘architectural and residential quality improvement’. The need for housing, that should justify the name of ‘Housing Plan’ –. would show at the bottom. Another interesting aspect is the minor relevance of the urban scale compared to the building one, that reveals the little importance attributed to the interventions at the urban and territorial level. Which makes it impossible using the incentives as a tool of urban renewal. Finally, the widespread eligibility of interventions on non residential buildings, is not very coherent in a Housing Plan. The Agreement clearly envisaged the exclusion of historical centres from the Plan. However, the Regional transpositions enlarges this concept; in most cases by extending it to other comparable categories of goods, in other cases by including – under specific conditions – protected areas, too. The first group of laws hides a strong mistrust in the basis of the governmental initiative, and there is an effort to ‘armour’ the territories, often taxonomically looking for the ‘beautiful’ and the ‘ugly’, to save the first one by ‘extracting’ it and to sacrifice the second one on the altar of the support to the construction industry. The four Regions that belong to the second group show a wider level of openness: Urbanistica www.planum.net

9


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

– Bolzano, where only alpine wooded areas are not included and either A zones (historical centres) or other kinds of protected areas are not clearly excluded; it’s only specified that “the particular features that originated the protection and destination must be considered”; – Sardinia, where in enlargement, demolition and reconstruction interventions the possibility of acting inside A zones is excluded, with the exception of those buildings that are less than fifty years old and are conflicting with architectural and typological contextual features; – Lombardy, where it is possible to replace single residential buildings if incoherent with historical, architectural, landscape and environmental features of the context; – Molise, that allows interventions on protected heritage under the condition that they are expressly approved by the authority which is responsible for the preservation. The overview offered by the different Regional laws is not a mere opposition between cautioners and liberals, and we can not associate the first ones (as it happens very often) with the primacy of landscape preservation. After the European Landscape Convention we know, that a strongly protectionist attitude does not ensure valorisation of the territory, so we cannot consider imprudent the positions of those Regions. Another important question, for which differences among ‘protectionists’ can be considered relevant, is the definition of historical centre. Only few Regions, haves limited the protection to A zones, as set in local plans; most Regions have decided to exclude from the eligibility a wide category of historical realities. The very definition ‘historical centre’ proves to be too much constraining, while there is a trend towards considering of testimonial value a plurality of resources, that Regional lawmakers attempted to individuate, and that in their complex help to provide a good definition of historical landscape. The outcomes of this effort are located at different levels in a scale of complexity in urban reading. In some cases, the attempt consists in the exclusion of all the buildings (therefore as single goods) recognized, in different ways, of historical interest by local or Regional plans or by specific Regional catalogues. At a second level of complexity, a vision of the territory as a place of centres, major or minor, is asserted; it is therefore possible to find zones, tissues, external nuclei from historical centres, even if not clearly protected. Last but not least question is the use of incentives as a strategy. The application of incentives of recent urbanism makes, public/private exchange visible; in these experiences the deal made clear. The Housing Plan deliberately puts aside the possibility of an exchange, to serve the emergency aims of the law:, mainly the building industry revitalization. The real possibility of these measures to achieve territory enhancement must be evaluated, vis-à-vis what can otherwise seem to be an unjustified “gift” to private operators. Historical centres, rural territories, landscape must and can be the most important beneficiaries of the Housing

Plan, that can distribute urban weights according to more effective logics. In this sense, the relocation tool could have been used with more courage.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

10


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

Gaston Bardet’s Rome: the view of a French town planner in the thirthies of the 20th century Luigi Manzione

Author still unknown in Italy, Gaston Bardet represents one of the most important theorists of French town planning in the 20th Century. As Marcel Poëte’s disciple, Bardet holds a thesis on the urbanism of fascist Rome at the École des hautes études urbaines in Paris in 1932, La Rome de Mussolini, Contribution à l’étude du plan régulateur 1931, which we will examine in this paper. In the book, published in 1937, Bardet outlines the formation and the evolution of the city, with a clear interest in the urban history, developed under the influence of Poëte. However, his is an approach as an urbanist, rather then as a town historian. It would be said that the reflection of Poëte on the use of the iconographic sources for town history has a first attempt of operative translation in La Rome de Mussolini. In the line of that tradition, Bardet does not limit himself to treat the urban development under a morphological point of view, but he ventures on the ground of political and social history. The sympathy for its study’s object is explicit: in fact, the myth of the ‘Third Rome’ does not leave him indifferent, not only for what the town planning practices are concerned, but also from the point of view of the socio-economic organization of the regime. La Rome de Mussolini has been defined as an apology of the urban policy led by the regime in Italy. The reading proposed intends to verify if it is an apology, even though a little faded, of fascist Rome or, instead, the point of view, together participant and critical, of a French town planner on the state and the perspectives of the capital of a foreign country, that he admires without any doubt. The study of the formation and evolution appears marginal when compared to the analysis of the contemporary urban and territorial planning. Bardet shows to be already able to ‘take down’ with ease the mechanism of the city and to read its parts and relations. His reflections are supported by the undeniable curiosity of an observer in front of a scene in effervescence. The problems of the Rome de Mussolini require solutions to be searched, according to Bardet, starting from the analysis of the existing city, making use of the data collected by demography, graphic statistics, economic projections. Bardet catches the substance and references of the main proposals for the capital: the plan of the gruppo urbanisti romani coordinated by Marcello Piacentini and the plan of the gruppo La Burbera directed by Gustavo Giovannoni. He identifies the key point in the conservation of the centre: in referring to Piacentini, Bardet outlines a notion of museum-city, ‘tabernacle’ of the spiritual life of the city, anticipating of half century a theme which will be at the core of the European debate. The French town planner’s attention concentrates on the main operations in the capital: the trident of via del Babuino-via del Corso-via di Ripetta, the liberation of the Au-

gusteo and the reorganization of piazza Venezia. Even though he admir the urbanism of Rome, Bardet does not spare criticism to the liberation and the rarefaction of the urban tissues, in compliance with the ideas of Giovannoni on the complementarity between architecture and context, with a great interest in the current italian debate on the urban restoration and the interventions in the old centres of cities. Even if it is an early work, La Rome de Mussolini shows as a whole a remarkable knowledge of the methods and techniques of town planning. The author does not limits himself to mentioning the most important designers and implementation. He also prefigures some original hypotheses, with reference to the idea developed for Great Paris in 1935, and even establishes a circularity in the relationship between the italian and french capitals. As Piccinato, but without mentioning the italian architect, Bardet affirms the importance of the design and the localization of the green spaces for the definition of the structure of thea city plan. According to Bardet, to solve the problems of the ‘third Rome’ the ‘issues of grandeur’ haves priority fover the ‘issues of necessity’, in order for it to assume the identity of a capital, with the organization of the archaeological areas, the main connections to the region, the ‘embellissements’. However, unlike the archaeologists, Bardet thinks that the archaeological arrangements become objects of aesthetization not only because of their scientific value, but also for their capacity to estabilish a connection with the urban context and, as such, they require a careful evaluation from the point of view of the town planner. Placing the archaeology of the italian capital in relation to the urban development, Bardet connects the settlement of imperial Forums area to the destiny of the city in its entirety. Therefore, the solution of the problems of symbolic representation combines with a strategic vision of the future of Rome as a metropolis. In parallel to the prefiguration of metropolis form, the reading of La Rome de Mussolini allows us to recognize the sources of a certain antiurban tendency, prone to ruralism. The ‘rural and regional problems’ cannot be disjoined by the expansion models, by the infrastructures and transport networks and zoning on a territorial scale. In connection to his researches on the multiplication of the high-speed suburban transports, Bardet preconizes preconizes a reorganization on the metropolis model, with a main centre surrounded by autonomous small towns from the economic and administrative point of view, with some analogy with the structure given by Piccinato to the new town of Sabaudia. Decentralization, disurbanism, ruralism, themes on which the reflection of regime theorists as well as Bardet’s discourse converges, become the tools to restore an order through the ‘return to the earth’. Urbanism versus ruralism: the therapy, called ‘urbanisme rural’, resides in the folds of this opposition, of which Bardet wishes the use not only under a totalitarian regime. La Rome de Mussolini received several reviews on maUrbanistica www.planum.net

11


Profiles and practices

U

141/10

gazines and newspapers of the epoch. The book was also the object of a controversy on the state of town planning in Italy and France, in which Léandre Vaillat and Silvio Ardy took part. Despite the enthusiasm on both fronts, this polemic did not last long. That which could lead to the opposition, but also to the comparison, between two national ways to conceive urbanism and the transformations of the centres reduces himself, in the end, in a dispute of poor interest of which La Rome de Mussolini is only a pretext. If the Bardet book does not succeed, in substance, to provoke an international debate, it anyhow reveals itself to be essential for the next reflection on parisian urbanism. In Paris, as in Rome, the growth has blurred the traditional figure with the globular contour, so that the city overflows in tentacular form in the region. The Prost Plan (1928-35) is not able to exceed the structural continuity of the undifferentiated agglomeration, defined by Bardet like a “kind of galaxy, with a court of globular mass and star nebulae, with different volumes and density”. To carry out this overcoming, it is necessary to think over once more growth globally, intervening in the first banlieue ring, by a territorial readjustment policy, and aiming at the drastic reduction of the attraction exercised by the metropolis. This process appears to be possible, as Bardet had already asserted in case of Rome, only in the context of a total strategy established by a regional plan, with “a wide ring of open spaces” and, at a distance, a ‘chain of taches-déversoirs-satellites’. In the end of the thirties, Bardet prefigures an original model of settlements dispersion on the territory. Already he feels the necessity of reworking a corpus for the town planning, and of rethinking his principles and techniques. Bardet will do it at the beginning of the 1940s in Problèmes d’urbanisme, his first general book on urbanism, in which he outlines an original vision of the ‘urban science’, based on the emergence of the social space and the centrality of a humanist point of view, of which La Rome de Mussolini may be regarded as the prologue.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

12


Urbanistica n. 141 January-March 2010

Distribution by www.planum.net

Index and english translation of the articles Pierluigi Properzi

Projects and implementation

Problems, policies and research

Luigi Acito edited by Corinna Morandi Antonio Font, Lorena Vecslir Marco Guerzoni Corinna Morandi Corinna Morandi

edited by Domenico Cecchini, Giordana Castelli Domenico Cecchini Carlo Vigevano Francesco Bigi Cinzia Abbate Giordana Castelli Giordana Castelli Francesco Prosperetti

Valeria Erba, Mina Di Marino

Methods and tools

Profiles and practices

Francesco Chiodelli Silvia Macchi, Angela D’Orazio Rosario Pavia Roberta Lazzarotti Luigi Manzione

Valeria Di Blasio

Back to Matera The Sassi of Matera. A story of urban restoration Commerce and the large scale: common themes from three different experiences New spaces of production, commerce and production in the Barcelona metropolitan region A territorial project for Bologna’s commercial system Commerce in the milanese territory: the geography of supply and main lines of governance and enhancement Retail development ambits

Esperiences of sustainable neighborhoods in Europe A new season The model Hammerby in Stockholm: strength and quality of an integrated approach A sustainable neighborhood instead of gasometers BedZed: eight year later Solar City of Linz Valdespartra in Zaragoza: the city of water and wind captures the sun Sustainable neighborhoods and new urban landscapes, an opportunity for the Italian city Ecological networks in the urban planning. Strategies and action plans in the case studies research of Montreal, Milan and Rome Cohousing Vs gated communities? A taxonomical analysis of cohousing Gender auditing in spatial planning: the case of Rome’s provincial plan New labyrinths Housing plan and historical centres: regional declinations of the State-Regions Agreement Gaston Bardet’s Rome: the view of a French town planner in the thirtie of the 20th century

Cities beyond the car


Methods and tools

U

141/10

Cities beyond the car Valeria Di Blasio The level of environmental, economic and social unsustainability of the actual urban mobility system based on the car, has reached such a level that a radical and immediate change of direction is required. During a century car from a freedom, speed and progress symbol has become the sign of a new slavery and traffic by now is an integral part of the urban life: it influences our habits, subtracts time to social relations, causes stress, is harmful to health because of accidents, environmental and acoustic pollution; it wastes family income, erodes the public space. Cities themselves are no more able to bear masses of circulating vehicles, particularly in Italy, where the motorisation rate is among the highest in the world. The analysis of some data shows evidently how the urban mobility issue in our country must be faced through a resolving and systematic approach: – every day 14 people die due to road accidents and about 900 injured. The social costs evaluation of road accidents for the year 2007 amounts to 30 billion euro, equivalent approximately to 2% of Gdp of the same year; – in the most important Italian cities up to 11 days per year are spent in queue, that is about 260 hours; according to a research of Aci (Automobil club d’Italia), the economic value of the time lost in traffic is about 40 billion euro per year; – World health organisation estimates that people lives shorten by 9 months due to particulate matter emitted by motor vehicles, while in almost all the large cities the overcoming of Pm10 limits set by the 1999/30/EC directive relating to air quality occurs a number of days twice over the maximum level allowed; - transport come out as one of the sectors mainly responsible of the greenhouse gases emission (28% of the total, mostly caused by the road transport), as well as the one where the growing rate is higher, against the trend with respect to the objectives fixed by the Kyoto Protocol. Car is the most utilised transport mean in Italy and the rate of people movement by public transport is really marginal (about 13%), above all because of an heavy deficit of public transport, particularly by rail. This general crisis of urban mobility system calls into question the city organisation itself that affects the transport model of people and goods. Mass motorisation and urban diffusion have increased hand in hand: car allowed in fact the dispersion of housing density with disastrous effects on environment, territory consumption and social inclusion. The separation, long lasting in Italy from decades, among territorial policies, urban planning and transportinfrastructure policies, determined an increasing dependence by private motorised transport; moreover during

last years the global request of mobility has been further on increasing due to phenomena of cities expansion and metropolization. From the European Union are coming several signals of attention to urban mobility problems. ‘Towards a thematic strategy on the urban environment’ highlights the need of an holistic planning that considers all the territorial components and the green book of 2007 ‘Towards a new culture for urban mobility’ defines the issue of cities mobility as ‘of vital importance’ and it affirms the crucial role of analysis, proposal and mobilisation of European union in supporting local policies. It is therefore necessary to overrun the national and European agenda of transport policy, emphasising not only great works and international connections but paying more attention to the local public transport. The mobility urban Plans must be implemented also at provincial and regional level, making them indispensable to access to financial support and binding with respect to other planning instruments. Climate emergency requires an acceleration towards the change of mobility model and city planning can accomplish in this sense a fundamental task, by integrating territorial usage with transport offer and promoting a compact city model, more efficient relating to time and energy saving in people movement and more sustainable thanks to less land consuming. To enhance better conditions of urban accessibility it is necessary to reduce road and foster the transition towards an alternative system of urban mobility, founded on the strengthening of all the forms of local collective public transport, on the diffusion of shared transport (bus on demand, collective taxi, car and bike sharing, etc.), on easy conditions for people movement by foot and by bike, and finally based on the reorganisation of goods transport in the cities and the adoption of ‘city logistics’ projects. To do all that a new system approach is needed; the few existing cases of good practise are not sufficient, since they appear unfit in respect to the issue dimension, to its evolution, to the exponential increasing of negative effects. Occasional stops provided for vehicles with high (low) level of pollution emissions, or traffic restriction measures, as the alternation of numbered licence plates, don’t help to clear the city air. Initiatives aiming at the rationalisation of private transport means, based on the closing of specific city zones (limited traffic zones) or on the parking management (limited parking zones) brought poor results, above all in large cities. Another measure adopted by some administration authorities concerns the introduction of ‘ticket’ to be paid by private vehicles to enter the city or the most trafficcongested zones. However the economic management of mobility demand could be unfair because it hits behaviours, regardless of people income and different opportunities to access to goods and services. Beyond little steps made by some administration authoUrbanistica www.planum.net

2


Methods and tools

U

141/10

rities, it is necessary an extraordinary effort to determine an inversion of the modal choice in favour of collective transport, through a quality and quantity jump in the offer of train, tramway, bus, subway. Car sharing, car pooling and bike sharing represent valid solutions, but to become really effective they must go beyond the experimentation level. To project a new mobility system and development solutions fit for the issue, it is required to start from the knowledge and awareness of the state of things, from the transparency of decisions, from the clearness of objectives and from the verifiability of results. To notify the data about the actual state of mobility and make it possible to compare them with the future situation, each administration authority should adopt an Environmental and social mobility budget, providing all data, periodically updated, concerning the mobility situation and the damages caused by it: environmental and acoustic pollution, accidents rate, linked health costs, energy consumption by the sector, congestion, economic costs. It is fundamental to provide structured procedures of people participation that allow them to determine the objective priorities and to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the adopted measures. As much important is the diffusion of new cultural values and new life styles that permit a gradual achievement of solutions alternative in respect to private cars. It must not be expected that the ‘invisible hand’ will be able to trigger and manage this transition process. Participation, public debate, cultural confrontation are rather the bases of a possible and necessary change.

Urbanistica www.planum.net

3


Urbanistica n.141-2010 by Planum I(2010)  

ssue no.141/2010, Journal 'Urbanistica', published by INU Edizioni.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you