Community youth engagement as an acupuncture needle for placemaking.
Open space revitalization in Artena, Rome
Open space revitalization in Artena had the aim of introducing a design element that would serve as a catalyst for future interventions by the local community. As ISB students of Neuroergonomics and Urban Placemaking, we planned to achieve this through two tools and an acupuncture ‘needle’. The intent was in establishing a space that would appeal to the greater community and encourage interaction, followed by conceiving of an event, a small intervention that would awaken the potential of the space to the people of Artena; and perpetuated by the presence of a mobile kiosk that could be used for supporting any number of community activities.
The well-intended project was limited by time, materials and terrain, unexpectedly leading to a more powerful intervention than what was originally envisioned. Girls of fourteen, and of their own accord, took ownership of the revitalization effort to make the open space into a place for social interaction and activity.
Key words: Artena, urban acupuncture, placemaking, open space revitalization, youth engagement.
Sound as an acupuncture needle of placemaking.
Soundscape design in Artena, Rome
The paper presents a project based on the theories of Urban acupuncture and Placemaking, incorporated with the concept of Soundscape. The intention of this project was to move away from traditional placemaking strategies that usually result in visible improvement of the space. The aural environment, i.e., the soundscape in Artena was designed by introducing a specific sound into the local soundscape, the bell rings along with the mules’ movement. The bell ring was recognized as not only a pleasant sound that could change the atmosphere in the village, but also as an information source, a local seniors’ social care media. The bell ring also has the potential to become a soundmark of Artena, which could become incorporated in the cultural identity. A design concept for the bell of Artena was also proposed.
Keywords: Placemaking, urban acupuncture, sound, soundscape, soundmark, bell ring, mule, Artena.
Life bearing rocks
Landed in the city of Artena for the International Society of Bioburanism’s summer school, we were immediately challenged to understand its environment at a level that would permit us to recognize not only its individual parts, but more importantly, how these parts are organized into a pattern (Lynch, 1960) which forms Artena’s unique identity. Following the Biourbanism approach, we aimed to decipher and point out the existing patterns and their interrelations. The project ‘Life Bearing Rocks’, focuses on the sequence of patterns that are manifested in the city’s rock cracks, bringing life in through the complexity of emerging buildings, movement flows, vegetation, and people. Using the tool of biourban acupuncture (Casagrande, 2013) we tried to give prominence to the wholeness that nature creates in the body of Artena through its discreet presence in the rocks’ cracks, by planting and cleaning the soil of small nodal points.
Key words: Biourbanism, biourban acupuncture, patterns, rock cracks.
Aggeliki Lymperopoulou, firstname.lastname@example.org
The theory of Biourbanism considers the urban body as a complex living organism, since it represents humans’ living environment. Thus, combined with the designing tool of Urban Acupuncture that pinpoints areas in need of repair (Casagrande, 2013), it is able to relieve stress through the living space, in the human species. Using these theories, the “green reminiscence” project held in an historical area of Artena’s location, brings in a symbol in order to stimulate the habitants. Using local materials and local patterns, it creates everlasting fractals that make the dwellers familiar with the Gaia Hypothesis, the humans’ subconscious connection with Earth, which exists under each and every man-made action.
Key words: Biourbanism, Urban Acupuncture, Gaia Hypothesis, local pattern, fractal, self-similarity
The Artena’s “Case Spallate”
The historical identity of Artena has strong texture and natural spaces that give the town a strong potentiality for social life. Nevertheless the town lacks an effective, recreation area. We identified an unlinked free space used as a weak green garbage area. Our aim is returning that potential area into life, by linking it to a green recreational function, i.e. by making it a meeting and vista point.
Key words: potential, strong texture, stone, link, meeting point, unique, turn into alive place, vista point
Rethinking “Case Spallate”
Sira Savoldi, email@example.com
During the Summer School in Artena, one of the proposed exercises was about resetting the so-called “Case spallate” – an area below the small Piazza Don Amedeo Vitelli, consisting of two terraces without access from the street. This empty urban space is the result of war bombing, and it is underutilized and neglected until now.
Several proposals were made, in order of summarizing wishes and demands of the population, but they have been gradually dropped during the construction. Trying to overcome the difficulties of the place and to emphasize its potentialities was one thing on paper. On the other hand, going on the field revealed the “essence of the place”, who prevailed over the will of designers. For example, benches for admiring the view were added, which were not previously thought of before our survey. Upon project completion some structures were created: an access path, a “waterway” to collect meteoric waters, a space which can work as a water pool or an entertainment area, according to the time of year.
In the final phase of the work, which lasted a couple of days, the population began to take interest in the re-qualified space, and to reclaim it.
Key words: redevelopment, re-evaluation, meeting place, belvedere, events, participation of the population, biourban acupuncture.
Uncovering social needs and values in Artena, Rome
A community values mapping approach
The following paper describes a community values mapping approach designed to explore social needs and values as well as hotspots of activity in the small village of Artena, Italy. The research was conducted during the course of the 2013 Biourbanism Summer School, and designed to form the socio-cultural context for small intervention projects conceived as part of a revitalization strategy for the town. Short semi-structured interviews were carried out with a random sample of 26 residents of the town using paper-based maps to locate important meeting areas and walking routes, places of meaning, and places of opportunity. The research indicated that the most activity-rich and meaningful areas of town lie on its outer edges, whereas areas most needing improvement are concentrated in the middle of town, particularly in bombed out vacant lots. The community values mapping approach used proved to be a useful tool for highlighting important elements of the social context of a community as well as for providing a voice to community residents who are frustrated at the lack of municipal attention to town concerns. The potential application of the tool as an aspect of biourbanism research and design are highlighted.
Key words: community values mapping; participatory planning; biophilic design, urban revitalization, biourbanism, urban planning, human well-being, mental mapping