On May 22 EURO INNOVANET attended the “Biennial of Public Space”, an event that gathers in Rome academics, professionals, institution representatives, citizenship organizations at international and national level in order to share experiences and discuss about the quality of life in the modern cities away from the problem related to their liveableness (appropriate/inappropriate use of the space, urban décor, mobility etc.) and the different ways to implement it.

This years the focus was on the “Quality of public space” through four topics: Rules, Project, Accomplishment, Management.

We presented the PFR conclusive result of the Italian real-life project: the redevelopment of the Pigneto square’s garden during a crowded workshop which was attended members of academic circles, institutions, citizens organizations. We described the methodological process, the intermediate and final results, the good relationships with the residents and the cooperation with the local institutional bodies, the V Municipality of Rome and the Environment Dept. and Participation Dpt. of City Hall. The comparison with other national outgoing experiences and methodologies highlighted the PFR methodology effectiveness with regard to four crucial issues: the democratic procedure bottom up, the progressive construction of a real consent, the high involvement of the residents, the reasonable and meaningful project of redevelopment.

Moreover, there is a fifth issue that we want to point out because it has very much impressed the audience: the PFR process is able to induce the participants to take responsibility for the redevelopment project and so to form a group of “active citizens” that will monitor the implementation and take care of small maintenance and management of the garden voluntarily. As if the PFR methodology could be a real “school of active citizenship” and guide the participants to play an important role for the Common Goods.

In Italy, the protection/management of Common Goods and the contribution of the citizens are increasingly becoming key-issues and many energies are being applied on them. Throughout the workshop, we have compared with a lot of other significant experiences scattered around the country. However, only the PFR methodology appears be able of arousing awareness because the project comes from the creativity of all the participants, each of them feels it as his own creation. In our opinion, awareness and responsibility comes from this original feature.

From this point of view, we can say that our “adventure” in Pigneto neighborhood was greatly appreciated and mentioned several times in conclusive speeches, especially about the two topics Project and Management. We shared with all the other experiences some weaknesses related to the Accomplishment and Rules: there are indeed heavy public budget cuts; regarding sponsorship/ private funding – as well as the participatory urban redevelopment and the status of the citizens who takes care of Common Goods – Italian legislation is still lacking or disadvantageous.
The Italian PFR real-project has also offered significant suggestions on these problems.


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