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Reframing the reactivation of historic urban landscapes with processes of social inclusion of migrants and local communities

Wulff, Federico 2018. Reframing the reactivation of historic urban landscapes with processes of social inclusion of migrants and local communities. Presented at: Heritage Across Borders, Association of Critical Heritage Studies 4th Biennial Conference 2018 (ACHS 2018)., Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China., 1-6th September 2018. Heritage Accross Borders. Association of Critical Heritage Studies, 4th Biennial Conference. Hangzhou, China: Zhejiang University, p. 222.

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Abstract

In recent years, there has been an unprecedented exodus of persons displaced from conflict torn regions to Europe. In the third quarter of 2016, about 183,000 people were granted protection status by the European Union member states (Eurostat, 2017) that allowed them to become refugees. This is by far the most significant influx of people the European continent has experienced since WWII. So far, current European urban and architectural adaptive reuse design methodologies for degraded heritage contexts have proven to be unable to give creative, dynamic and sustainable responses to this complex and rapidly evolving crisis. In this context, it is crucial to reframe the role of architecture and spatial practices in historical urban landscapes, as agents of social and spatial inclusion and regeneration at different scales. We are interested in analysing how participatory design strategies, focusing on social values of heritage related to identity and memory, might facilitate a collective engagement of diverse communities in the regeneration of their historical built environment.A key aspect is how these dynamics could foster the production of local social capital (Gaunlett 2011), nurturing empathetic communities and delivering ‘collaborative inclusion’ (Manzini, 2015) as a mean to assert their civic identity. Sicily, as most of the South of Italy, has been exposed to massive waves of immigration; with 300,000 immigrants disembarking in 2015-2016. Palermo, the Sicilian capital, has adopted a welcoming approach towards the refugees, from its society to its municipal government. LeolucaOrlando, the Mayor of Palermo, conceived the “Charter of Palermo” at the core of its political agenda, framing migration as an inalienable human right. It affirms the right to work, health care, social assistance, and housing to all refugees and migrants that are arriving to the city. Palermo presents a unique scenario to explore how the issues related to migration and urban, social and economic stagnation could be turned into opportunities to re-think innovative strategies for the regeneration of this historic city and the reactivation of underused or degraded heritage buildings and public spaces that could become new nodes for social integration and civic engagement. This paper proposes to explore how the dilapidated urban fabric and heritage of the Albergheria district in the historic city centre of Palermo, with its complex multi-layered and multicultural identity and vibrancy, which origins dates back from Phoenician times and was a cultural crossroad of Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Angevines, Spanish and Italians, could be reactivated through participatory design strategies,where memory and identity will play a crucial role. Theaim will be to explore the potential that social values of heritage could have in informing tactical placemakingfor the articulation of inclusive processes of spatial production in the historical public realm.This might enable migrants, refugees and locals in risk of social and spatial exclusion, to participate in the (re)definition and (co)production of social space in these deprived heritage contexts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Publisher: Zhejiang University
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2020 14:30
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/129250

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