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The workshop’s intention is to focus on the spatial and social connections within this area and between this area and its surroundings, as well as on the links among the various social groups and spatial patterns. Our goal is to investigate different typologies of urban fabric and production of urban space and to explore new modes of intervention. Planning, design and the strengthening of public and common spaces are crucial tools in order to deal with the fragmentation of the city.


Our concern will not lie on the major public spaces of the city, but rather on the open, common-use, public or semi-public spaces within the urban fabric of the residential areas, the sometimes-leftover spaces, where the everyday activities take place, or the spaces in between the buildings and in their relation to the streets, the vacant land and the various urban programs. The workshop will also draw particular attention to issues of social, spatial and temporal boundaries and urban juxtapositions with a significant spatial impact, such as:


  • Formal - Informal
  • Public (space) - Private (space)
  • Collective - individual
  • Continuities - Discontinuities
  • Past - Present - Future
  • Center - Periphery
  • Borders (internal and external)



Students are encouraged to organize their work through one of the following points of view:


Nature and green spaces. A variety of natural elements, namely the bank of Lana river, enclaves of trees, uncultivated agricultural land and pockets of greenery, constitute a key asset for the study area. What types of green spaces are there? What are their characteristics? How are they lived by local people? Are there any connections between them or with green spaces outside the study area? How could a system of interconnected green spaces at various scales contribute to overcome spatial and social fragmentation? 



Centrality and articulation of scales. What types of central functions are noted in the area, e.g. a big shopping center, a local commercial street, a small playground, a transport hub, etc? Under what processes have they been created and how do they fit into their surroundings? What is their meaning for different groups of people? Do these centralities link different fragments of urban space or not? If yes, how? How can we improve urban form and structure by articulating centralities through intervening in public spaces?



Local cultures and public space. How do different social groups appropriate public, common and semi-public spaces? What forms of public life and cultures appear, e.g. exchange of home visits, religion festivals, evening walk along the main street, Sunday football game, outdoor cooking, etc? How do people live and intervene on public and common space? How do they conceive “public” and “common” space? How could it be possible to maintain cultural diversity and enhance social interaction among different groups?



Productive activities in the urban tissue. Although the study area is mainly a residential area, several small and medium scale enterprises can be found scattered in and around it (e.g. car-services, workshops, small scale farming, wholesale activities, light industry, etc). How are these activities distributed in the urban tissue? How important are they for the socioeconomic structure of the area and how do they shape the character of public or common spaces? To what extent do they form part of wider productive networks linking the area with the rest of the city? Could you imagine any spatial intervention, particularly in open space, that would improve the integration of productive activities in the urban tissue without limiting their economic dynamism?



Forms of mobility. The street network is characterized by discontinuities reflecting the conditions under which the urban fabric is being produced. How do people move inside the area? How do they travel from / to the area? How do urban itineraries shape urban structure and land uses? How is public space affected by practices of mobility? Here we could reflect on the use of private cars, public transportation, cycling and walking, either separately or as a system as well as spatial interventions in order to improve the conditions of vehicular and pedestrian circulation. What forms of mobility could create new spatial connections inside urban fabric and how? 



Social networks, livelihoods and everyday life. Select one particular social group, e.g. children, women, older people, etc. How does this group live and experience public and common space? How are everyday practices and social networks inscribed in public and common space? What kind of interventions in open space could open new challenges to this group? What kind of public services and amenities could be introduced in order to support existing social networks? 























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