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SPAZIO PUBBLICO COME SFIDA PER IL SETTORE PUBBLICO
ONLINE LAB#7: SPAZIO PUBBLICO COME SFIDA PER IL SETTORE PUBBLICOpotrete trovare contributi e riflessioni anche nelle altre pagine nell'Indice sulla destra
BUONA GOVERNANCE DELLE CITTA’ PER BUONI SPAZI PUBBLICI


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(ENGLISH TEXT ON NEXT PAGE)
Una conversazione pubblica online per offrire un contributo alle deliberazioni dell’edizione 2017 della Biennale dello Spazio Pubblico

Uno dei motivi per cui lo spazio pubblico è tema interdisciplinare e non solo una palestra progettuale per urbanisti e architetti è che in un mondo urbano dove tutto o quasi è merce ed ove quindi la qualità della vita di ognuno è in funzione del potere d’acquisto di cui dispongono i singoli individui, lo spazio pubblico urbano rimane un bene comune ed una componente insostituibile del “diritto alla città”.
In aggiunta a ciò, lo spazio pubblico inteso nel senso restrittivo di suolo attrezzato per l’uso ed il godimento di tutti è, a differenza di altri beni comuni come l’aria e l’illuminazione pubblica, costantemente minacciato dall’appropriazione da parte di interessi privati.
In definitiva quindi, questa ipotesi di lavoro configura lo spazio pubblico come unica risorsa urbana dedicata al benessere di tutti e per di più sottoposta a sfide e pericoli continui.[1]
L’unico ostacolo all’appropriazione privata dello spazio pubblico, esistente e possibile, ed ai fenomeni di degrado che lo rendono spesso inutilizzabile, è un “settore pubblico” efficiente.
Anche questa è una battaglia difficile. Infatti il pensiero neoliberista si poggia anche sulla demonizzazione del settore pubblico (“corrotto”, “inefficiente”), ed alla sua contrapposizione alle virtu’ del settore privato (saggio ed “efficiente”).
Stranamente, o forse non a caso, la BISP – a differenza di UN-Habitat[2] e dell’organizzazione delle Città e Governi Locali Uniti”[3] non ha mai affrontato compiutamente questo problema. Anzi, gran parte delle sue attenzioni sono state dedicate a modalità sostitutive di cura e manutenzione dello spazio pubblico imperniate su lodevoli iniziative di gruppi di cittadini e di residenti (‘cittadinanza attiva”) o ad esperienze progettuali episodiche ed a costo zero (tipico l’approccio “placemaker”, che si traduce nell’abbellimento di luoghi urbani spesso già ad alta vocazione di godimento). Va rilevato come entrambe le risposte si collochino inevitabilmente in modalità alternative al pubblico anch’esse tipiche della dottrina neoliberista.
Si propone quindi di mettere in piedi un “laboratorio tematico online” che, a partire dagli ostacoli tratteggiati nella Carta dello Spazio Pubblico, raccolga esperienze significative di progettazione, realizzazione e gestione pubblica dello spazio pubblico. Si tratterà però non di evidenziare progetti o realizzazioni, ma di dimostrare come il settore pubblico possa amministrare in maniera efficiente e sostenibile lo spazio pubblico urbano.
La raccolta di esperienze positive e significative porterà all’elaborazioni di raccomandazioni da sottoporre all’attenzione delle tre giornate conclusive della Biennale 2017 (25-26-27 maggio).
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[1] * Google: “Carta dello Spazio Pubblico” Charter of Public Space
[2] Google: “Global Public Space Toolkit”
[3] * V. P.Garau, Public Space: A Strategy for Achieving the Equitable City, UCLG, Barcelona 2015


BIENNIAL OF PUBLIC SPACE 2017
ONLINE LAB#7: PUBLIC SPACE AS A CHALLENGE FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR
GOOD CITY GOVERNANCE FOR GOOD PUBLIC SPACE
An online public conversation to offer a contribution to the deliberations of the 2017 edition of Biennial of Public Space

One of the reasons why public space is an interdisciplinary challenge and not just a terrain for physical design is that in today’s urban world almost everything is a commodity and therefore the quality of life of individuals depends on one’s purchasing power. The one possible exception is public space, which remains a common good and an essential component of the “right to the city”.
However, and unlike other common goods such as air and public lighting, public space intended in the sense of urban space devoted to unrestricted use and enjoyment by all is constantly threatened by encroachment for private ends. *
Therefore, this approach treats public space as the only urban resource devoted to everybody’s wellbeing, and one that is continuously challenged and imperilled.
The only obstacle to the private appropriation of public space, both existing and likely to become one, as well as the deterioration processes that can make it unusable, is an efficient public sector.
This is also a difficult battle. Neoliberal thought also predicates the demonization of the public sector (e.g. “corrupt”, “inefficient”) as opposed to the virtues of the private sector (“wise” and “efficient”).
So far, and perhaps not by accident, the Biennial of Public Space – unlike UN-Habitat and the United Cities and Local Governments organization*- has not devoted much attention to this aspect. In fact, much more emphasis has been given to substitutive modalities for the care and management of public space. Among them are laudable initiatives on the part of citizens and residents (“active citizenry”) and episodical, zero-investment actions (such as the “placemaking approach”, which is often limited to the embellishment of urban places already possessing a high location potential).
Both responses, in fact, can be considered congruent to the “anti-public sector” stand of neo-liberal doctrine.
Starting from the obstacles listed in the Charter of Public Space, we therefore propose to activate a “thematic online lab” to collect meaningful experiences of design, implementation and management of public space on the part of the public sector. Rather than describing projects and achievements, the focus will be on demonstrating how the public sector can govern urban public space in an efficient and sustainable manner.
The collection of these experiences will lead to recommendations to submit at the concluding event of the 2007 Biennial of Public Space on 25-26-27 May.
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  • Google: “Carta dello Spazio Pubblico” Charter of Public Space
Google: “Global Public Space Toolkit”
  • V. P.Garau, Public Space: A Strategy for Achieving the Equitable City, UCLG, Barcelona 20



GLI OSTACOLI (26.3.2017)

(ENGLISH TEXT BELOW)

Come accennato nella presentazione di cui sopra, un punto di partenza può' essere l'elenco degli ostacoli alla creazione, alla gestione ed alla fruizione di buoni spazi pubblici nelle nostre città' elencati nella "Carta dello Spazio Pubblico" approvata dalla Biennale nel maggio 2013.
Chiediamo a chi si vorrà' unire al nostro dialogo online, etra essi, soprattutto agli amministratori locali:
- ritenete questi punti rilevanti? E se si', come si possono affrontare? Avete esperienze da citare (vostre o di altri) che dimostrino come qualcuno di essi sia stato affrontato e superato?
- potete elencare altri ostacoli non rilevati all'epoca della redazione della Carta? E se si', quali? Avete esperienze da citare (vostre o di altri) che dimostrino come qualcuno di essi sia stato affrontato e superato?


(DALLA CARTA DELLO SPAZIO PUBBLICO):

IV. Ostacoli alla creazione, gestione e fruizione di buoni spazi pubblici

31.Costituiscono ostacoli alla creazione, gestione e fruizione di buoni spazi pubblici:
a. La mercificazione della socialità urbana (come la proliferazione di poli specializzati per lo shopping ed il tempo libero,le attrezzature sportive private,etc.);
b. La diminuzione delle risorse disponibili per la creazione e la manutenzione di spazi pubblici dovuta all’indebolimento delle entrate fiscali e alla frequente inefficienza delle politiche di spesa);
c. La declinante capacità rivendicativa dei cittadini;
d. L’indebolimento della coesione sociale, la mancanza di rispetto da parte di ampie asce di cittadini nei confronti dei beni di proprietà pubblica,e la crescente frequenza di atti di vandalismo;
e. Le pressioni esercitate dagli interessi speculativi;
f. Modalitàdiprogettazionecheignorano criteridi polifunzionalitàedi connessioni funzionali;
g. Le difficoltà di molti enti locali ad assumere un ruolo efficace di regia pubblica;
h. La settorializzazione della struttura amministrativa e la frequente incomunicabilità tra gli uffici;
i. La vulnerabilità di molti spazi pubblici ad utilizzazioni improprie, dovuta, ad esempio, alla trasformazione di piazze in parcheggi di superficie, all’occupazione veicolare di spazi di passaggio pedonale, alle occupazioni di suolo pubblico per attività commerciali o di ristorazione in eccesso rispetto allo spazio consentito;
j. Insicurezza reale o percepita degli spazi pubblici, con conseguenti effetti di scarsa frequentazione, di abbandono e di degrado;
k. La concezione secondo cui la “rete” e i “social network” siano diventati i “nuovi spazi pubblici”, al punto da decretare la fine o comunque il superamento di quelli tradizionali;
l. L’assenza di indicazioni e riferimenti, che può provocare una condizione di profondo disorientamento nei fruitori dello spazio urbano.



FROM THE CHARTER OF PUBLIC SPACE (Source: Global Public Space Toolkit)

As mentioned in the lab’s presentation above, a starting point can be the obstacles to the creation management and enjoyment of good public spaces in our cities listed in the “Charter of Public Space” adopted by the Bienniale in May 2013.
We would like to ask those who will choose to join this online lab, and first of all local government actors:
-Do you find these obstacles relevant? And if so, how can they be overcome? Can you share experiences (yours own, or others you are aware of) that demonstrate how any of them have been met and resolved?
-Can you mention other obstacles that were not identified at the time the Charter was adopted? If so, which ones? Can you share experiences (yours own, or others you are aware of) that demonstrate how any of them have been met and resolved?

IV. CONSTRAINTS ON THE CREATION, MANAGEMENT AND ENJOYMENT OF GOOD PUBLIC SPACES **
31. The following can be considered constraints on the creation, management and enjoyment of good public spaces:
a. The commoditisation of urban sociality such as the proliferation of specialized facilities for shopping and leisure, private sports facilities, and so on
  1. b. Decreasing resources for the creation 
and maintenance of public spaces due to weakened scal revenues and the frequent inef ciency of public spending 

c.The declining inclination of citizens to affirm their rights 

  1. d. The weakening of social cohesion, the little regard for public goods on the part of large portions of the citizenry and the increasing frequency of acts of vandalism 

e.The pressures exercised by speculative real estate interests 

  1. f. Design choices that ignore multi-functional criteria and structural connections 

g.The difficulties encountered by many local authorities in exercising a role of effective public leadership 

h.The sectoralization of administrative structures and the frequent lack of communication between various departments 

  1. i. The vulnerability of many public spaces to improper uses such as the transformation of public squares into parking lots, the vehicular occupation of spaces reserved
for pedestrians, the encroachment on public spaces by restaurant and commercial activities outside permitted areas 

j. Perceived or real insecurity in public spaces, with consequent effects of limited use, abandonment and decline 

k. The conviction that the Web and social networks have become ‘the new public spaces’, to the extent that the traditional ones are regarded as irrelevant or, at the very least, outmoded. 

l. The absence of directions and references, which may cause a condition of deep disorientation in users of urban space.


https://www.routledge.com/Public-Space-and-the-Challenges-of-Urban-Transformation-in-Europe/Madanipour-Knierbein-Degros/p/book/9780415638340

His comment:

The Rome Biennial is a commendable initiative, and it is good to see that it continues its work. The points that have been identified about the role of public agencies in the development and management of public spaces are important. The point that would also be good to discuss is about the implications of a heightened attention to public spaces. Are public spaces equally considered for improvement across all urban areas or are they given priority in some areas? Moreover, is this attention to public spaces an alternative to paying attention to other equally important public needs and services, or are they given appropriate treatment without neglecting other important tasks? In a word, the question would be about the equality of treatment across space and services: encouraging and expecting public authorities to ensure that all areas have good public spaces, and that attention to public spaces is not a replacement for other important services and community needs.


Ali Madanipour


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PietroGarau May 24, 2017Hola. Su opinion apunta a uno de los temas de mayor debate para los gobiernos urbanos hoy dia dadas sus enormes limitaciones para resolver los problemas estructurales de la ciudad en el plazo de gobierno y con las restricciones del presupuesto publico. Lo anterior casi que obliga, si se ejecuta una politica urbana responsable, a priorizar algunas areas pobres y resolver allí las necesidades básicas de la población. Pero es un error plantear una competencia entre espacio publico y servicios sociales básicos dado que ambos son necesarios para mejorar la calidad de vida urbana. Precisamente algunas experiencias en Latinoamérica en la decada de los 70's y 80's mostraron que proveer servicios sociales básicos como transporte publico, salud, educación o vivienda no fueron suficientes para mejorar los indicadores de calidad de vida urbana. Fue necesario aumentar y mejorar el espacio publico para lograr un verdadero cambio que se tradujo en menores indices de criminalidad, aumento de los precios del suelo y aparición de actividades culturales.


Nelson Yovany Jimenez desde el Computador de Pietro Garau....
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Go to item "NEWS" in the main page's right column

PietroGarau May 5, 2017
See "A PUBLIC SPACE DISPATCH FROM NEW YORK"
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econowit May 14, 2017There is no question about the importance of public space and cities. The problem today is that as neoliberal public policy has sought to reduce the role of an activist state in promoting democratic access to the public good of urban space, cities like New York have become challenge to literally sell their air or effectively up zone the city in exchange for payments from private investors. Bryant Park is certainly a far more desirable place than it was three or four decades ago, but so is virtually all of New York. The challenge here is how one sells higher density and improved adjacent amenities like Bryant Park to lock-in the higher investment returns of the higher surrounding density and still maintain the park as a public good as something substantial and not just something public in name but not in use. How we answer this question has powerful implications for the future of a democratic urbanization and urbanism.
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PietroGarau May 28, 2017The Biennale and its International Spirit*

Once again, in 2017 the Biennale reaffirmed its partnership with its first international partner, UN-HABITAT, which co-organized this year’s two workshops on public space and international co-operation following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and of the New Urban Agenda. We welcomed the renewal of established partnerships, starting from the United Cities and Local Governments organization and the City of Bogota’, and welcomed new ones, ranging from innovative architects, planners, academics and city officials bringing experiences from Japan, India, Colombia, Guatemala, Poland, Sweden, Spain, the UK, South Africa, the US and the Netherlands, and the EU (the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre).

As announced yesterday, over the next few days we shall work together on the identification of the leitmotifs and keywords we can draw from the 26 workshops we held at this 2017 edition. One that comes to mind is overcoming barriers. We attempted to break the language barrier by offering simultaneous interpretation in all our plenary sessions; physical barriers, with particular regard to access to public space on the part of people with disabilities; gender barriers, emphasizing the importance of creating cities that are, first of all, friendly to young girls; age barriers, by opening a multigenerational dimension to public space analysis, planning and design; disciplinary barriers such as the ones between planning and design and popular participation, administrators and citizens; communication barriers, between physical and virtual public space; social barriers between injustice and equality; and knowledge barriers, by trying to rediscover a shared notion of public space in the wake of the Charter of Public Space’s classical and internationally accepted definition .

But perhaps the most unexpected barrier that in a way “collapsed by itself” over these last three days was the wall between “national” and “international”. We can see this from the sisterhood of vision, if you like, that emerged from the conclusions of the workshops on international cooperation and the other 24 thematic workshops the Biennale hosted. Similar words echoed in different rooms where different languages were spoken, and they were about breaking additional barriers - institutional barriers, both vertical and horizontal; conceptual barriers, between expediency and fun and beauty; and most of all the barrier between doing things in the usual, accepted way and devising and applying new approaches that see the conventional “beneficiaries” of public space on the driving seat of rediscovery, invention, creation, and enjoyment.

Perhaps the most tangible example of this coming together of the Biennale’s national and international dimensions is the decision of the “The Country I Would Like” workshop to prepare and publish an “Italian version” of the Global Public Space Toolkit, in order to honour a still unfulfilled promise of the Biennale – offering to the rest of the world the best experiences from the Biennale’s host country on the creation and regeneration of public space.

Understandably, the international cooperation workshops devoted considerable attention to the theme of how to reach, and measure, the universally endorsed 2030 target 11.7 of “providing universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities”. But in line with the irreverent spirit that has consistently punctuated this event, the question emerged that in order to measure progress in this direction we must clarify the target itself.. Some interesting questions emerged. First, can we be serious about that “for all” if we do not give sole priority to that portion of the “all” who risk being left behind even more? And second: where does that operative verb “provide” leave us when we know that in addition to delivering new municipal parks and playgrounds to citizens we have to develop a comprehensive, shared vision that adopts public space as the structuring element of a city that is more just, equitable and humane? And thirdly: should we not emphasize the role of municipalities and local governments as the prime, natural actors and monitors of international commitments like SDG 11 and related objectives and the New Urban Agenda?

The door is not shut, and barriers are being opened. Even in this area, our voices can still be heard. Our Biennale will be one more voice – both in the national and international debate - on how to reach, and measure, an unprecedented milestone - the incorporation of public space as an integral part of sustainable development.

Drafted in Rome by P. Garau and shared with Laura Petrella, UN-Habitat, at the outset of the final “Keynote Segment” of the 2017 Biennial of Public Space, 27 May 2017.