An urban re-activation project developed by Itinerant Office in San Sepolcro, a working-class neighbourhood in Piacenza, Italy.
“Rigenerare il Ciano” is an urban re-activation project developed by Itinerant Office in San Sepolcro, also known as ‘Costanzo Ciano’, a working-class neighbourhood in Piacenza, Italy.
The programme included a participatory process involving the inhabitants, a design workshop with students of the school of architecture of the Politecnico di Milano University- Polo di Piacenza, public lectures, the construction of a temporary installation and a video-documentary.
Itinerant Office was awarded by the Mibac – the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities in Italy – within the framework of the “Creative Living Lab” initiative. The proposal, in collaboration with UCTAT – Urban Curator TAT and ACER Piacenza was developed from March to June 2019.
‘Costanzo Ciano’ is one of the multiple neighbourhoods built by the Istituto Fascisa delle Case Popolari in Italy. With more than 70 years of history, it has seen the passage of many families who have inhabited the more than 200 dwellings that configure the 14 buildings, organised along a rectangular enclosed perimeter. Today, the neighbourhood experiences strong ethnic and cultural contrasts, but its people have been able to combine a spirit of adaptation and solidarity with a strong sense of pride and belonging.
Through this project, we intervened in the open spaces of the neighbourhood, reactivating them through initiatives and events with a social and environmental impact which encouraged interaction and social cohesion among the inhabitants.
From the 9th to the 11th of April we developed a design workshop with students of architecture from Politecnico di Milano- Polo di Piacenza- with the intention of coming up with a proposal for a temporary pavilion in the open spaces of “Il Ciano”.
We invited international guests who gave lectures and carried out critique sessions with the students, including Annalaura Ciampi and Luca Vandini- (co-founders of Kiez.agency), Esaú Acosta (co-founder of Vivero de iniciativas ciudadanas and Studio SIC), Mario Paris (Architect, researcher and professor), Alice Buoli (Planum. The Journal of Urbanism), Matteo Pettinaroli (co-founder of Needle agopuntura urbana), and Daniele Fanzini and Maria Vittoria Capitanucci (professors at Politecnico di Milano).
On April 12th, the students presented their proposals to the inhabitants of the ‘Costanzo Ciano’ neighbourhood. After feedback from the assisting neighbours, we were able to define a final proposal that integrated the potentials of each project. The final proposal was a wooden pavilion that resembled the internal configuration of the dwellings in the neighbourhood so that the inhabitants of the area could recognise their own private spaces in a common ground and share it with the rest of the dwellers.
In the second week of June, we developed a construction workshop with some of the architecture students involved in the design phase of the workshop, teachers from the Politecnico di Milano, and neighbours of ‘Il Ciano’. For five days, we cut, painted and assembled the wooden elements of the temporary pavilion. On June 12th, we finally inaugurated the pavilion with the presence of the neighbours and people involved in the process.
As part of the ‘Rigenerare Il Ciano’ project and along with Davide Curatola Soprana – Urban Reports, we developed a video-documentary that narrates the essence of the project using images. The documentary registers the neighbourhood, the common garden, the dwellings and their relationship with the new pavilion, revealing the boundary between the public and the domestic prevailing in the neighbourhood.