The Peer review has evaluated this group as Average
The research group proposes an approach to urban and territorial planning that is based on the ability to bring together points of views those aimed at space and those aimed at policies. In that it recognises the multi-dimensional nature of territorial transformations and the multiplicity of social processes from which they result (RP 1, RP 2). The planning activities tend to reinterpret the tradition within which urban planning knowledge is formed, in order to develop experiences of a hybrid nature and new professional profiles. The expert has to mobilise specific skills in different fields, which must be met by adequate surveying, planning and communications instruments. Tradition must also be the subject of a deep and critical understanding (www.rapu.it- RP 8). The idea is that the urbanist and planner both operate simultaneously and this increases the effectiveness of their activity (RP 5). This leads to the conceptualising of the project as a process of social interaction, not an exclusive technical field, like an arena in which planners are actors among other actors. The object of the planning changes: it is no longer the mere elaboration of a solution, dealing with a given problem, but the process itself through which the problem is constructed, the solution is planned and then transformed into reality. Placed at the centre of the planning activity is the quality of the habitable space, which is a combination of values and opportunities, with input from both aspects which are necessarily mutually interdependent (FRP 1-3-7-8- www.gafs.it/lcp/). This approach: - the design of space and its organisation are to be seen as an instrument for building and rendering more effective that process of social interaction that we call planning and not just its outcome (FRP 5-6). - The planning activity should not produce “solutions”, but have characteristics of openness, versatility and manipulability, it should be used in an interlocutory and exploratory manner. - A role for non expert knowledge will be recognised (“local knowledge” and forms of “participation”) in the planning process (FRP 3-7-8). - Strategic value will be placed upon vision. The planner will use interpretations – even radical ones – for the purpose of stimulating learning processes, encouraging interaction within the processes, contributing towards social planning through visions of the future (http://web.tiscali.it/scenariosandonato/). The exploration of these consequences leads to the study of certain matters that seem relevant in relation to numerous questions, fields of work and development perspectives, in relation to the effectiveness of the projects, their form, the role that they assume in the processes of social interaction, the way in which they are used. For example: - the drawing up of “planning explorations”, “interpretative pictures of the present” and “strategic scenarios of territorial transformation” as activities that produce an understanding in relation to the possibilities for transformation of the context: an 6 5 interactive learning dimension, with the role of setting up a constructive dialectic relationship between those involved in the planning process. - The different forms of the project as response to the plural necessities for communication between different moments in the transformation processes (http://www.comune.milano.it/concorsi progettazione/index.html). - A different way of understanding and practicing the “traditional” task of the urbanist in creating projects for cities and areas, which become a form of government, a regulation for the community, recognisable in its specific form and recognised in the institutional forms established (RP 4). The question that it opens up is that of a new urban planning context which studies the local community, its development, its resources and its enduring features; studies the different legislative frameworks; takes into account the opportunities that open up for funding, events, opportunities; looks at the many different kinds of contemporary urban form, namely ways of living that distinguish spaces with their particular facilities and services, memories and urban history, marked by the ways of different populations (permanent, temporary and nomad; young, mature, elderly; native-born and immigrant…), spaces that are perceived and perceivable in different ways and which open up different possibilities for transformation to meet specific conditions (RP 9). Cities and territorial areas, in this respect, demonstrate their many facets and are adaptable to different solutions in terms of structure and organisation, in order to create and construct entirely new concepts of “city” within the continuous, apparently amorphous and homogenous contemporary territorial landscape. These “multiple cities” are urban forms that no longer follow the established urban model (city-countryside, centre-suburb, large town-small town, historic city-modern city…) but which take form and sense by crossing over ancient and recent urban situations, working them and reconstructing them transversally, looking at the peculiarities of each context (RP 6). This different way of understanding urban design requires the development of specially created technical products (plans, projects, programmes and their hybrids), building upon tradition and introducing convincing innovations, as indicated by the practices and theoretical fragments emerging from the current widespread experimentation, learning from the progressive change in urban planning.
Matteo Bolocan Goldstein
Giuseppe Bertrando Bonfantini