> THE REASONS BEHIND THE PROJECT
> A MODEL OF SUSTAINABLE
“WALKING IN THE CITIZENS’ SHOES”
A city is like a forest or perhaps a garden; whenever neglected or left to its fate, it grows uncontrollably. If no one controls or regulates this development we are likely to witness continuous deformation or alteration on the urban landscape, with both ornamental and communicative additions which become consolidated or permanent with time. Just like in a forest, the atmospheric agents on one side and the land features on the other, drive a city to change and to its transformation. On the other side, the uncontrolled, disorganized and extemporaneous action of individuals who live and work within it, leads to degradation or change the urban landscape into unrecognizable shapes- unfit for the historical and artistic context of that place.
Whereas this change in a broader city context - suburbs, new organized settlements and connecting routes- remains overall defined because the details are lost compared to the size and the broader landscape context, in smaller historic centers - where everything is closer - the perception of the place appears in a much smaller scale. In the case of an old town consisting of narrow arteries clamped between the houses, squares of modest size and green areas mainly visible along the city walls, the details of road signs, advertising signs, decorations, shop windows, flooring and lighting, play a key role in the perception of the place. For this reason, historic cities need a different approach both in terms of analysis and in terms of planning and space organization. To intervene in case of an emergency or to recover degraded areas is not enough. Same goes for acting to meet needs and functions. We need to reconsider the city as a whole, in an holistic manner, i.e. with an integrated project. It is necessary to address its issues through several points of view: organizational, social, visual, perceptual, etc. We must consider city interventions in a different way by introducing a new design concept which we shall call "system project", that is something that repeats itself methodologically, changes and develops over time. A permanent system of actions on site that focuses on developing control solutions and interventions in a consistent manner, according to precise and shared logical guidelines.
A city is made up of fixed physical elements such as roads, buildings, monuments, etc. and mobile elements, such as people and what they do. The addition of any intangible items such as behaviors, traditions, culture, hospitality , taste etc. to this perception of space determines what can be called "place identity". The identity of place is therefore what we see or perceive and it is first and foremost the fundamental value for all those that were born or live in that place because it interacts with its personal identity. However, it is indeed as important for all those interacting with it for tourism or business, or for those who live there temporarily, since it influences the judgment and the reasons to return or to stay permanently.
The project has followed some guidelines:
1 ) the historical, artistic and architectural heritage is the core identity of a place. What has been handed down is the only true capital and its appreciation is an historical, cultural, social and economical duty.
2 ) the development and implementation of an harmonious urban environment is a daily source of enjoyment for those who live there and is an essential life-anchor for every individual.
3) to support and promote the identity of a place can be a powerful tool for a city’s economical growth.
4 ) a strong place identity, arising from the enhancement of its historical, artistic and architectural heritage clearly expresses the value of diversity and uniqueness .
These are essential values for a possible marketing strategy and promotion process of a territorial system. Sustainable urban development, heritage enhancement and promotion of place identity is an ongoing process, a continuous succession of stages where public intervention is necessary and indispensable. Cities need attention and constant maintenance; this project is meant to be a model of reference so that this process shall continue and support itself over time.
URBAN SCENOGRAPHY & SUSTAINABILITY