Agatino Rizzo
Cityleft is a network of people working in/and for urban issues. Funded in 2005, after having incubated the activities of the PhD in urban and regional planning established at University of Catania, Cityleft is now an independent platform collaborating with a plenty of institutions across Europe. We do urban studies, planning, architecture, Urban Art Interventions, theoretical research, visual investigations, and media art. The people working in Cityleft believe in openshare knowledge and transdisciplinarity as way of life. Therefore our projects involve stakeholders, experts, and region makers in the making of the knowledge.
Project Proposal for the Reconstruction and the Preservation of Abruzzo
'P2PFOUND CITIES' Project Proposal for the Reconstruction and the Preservation of Abruzzo by Agatino Rizzo, Eric Hunting, Michel Bauwens, Cityleft, P2P Foundation We present a scheme for efficient transitional housing for the communities of Abruzzo accounting for the need to maintain the social cohesion of original communities under reconstruction. With this proposal we hope to offer a comprehensive strategy that will serve as a model for similar contexts worldwide. What we propose is a form of transitional architecture specifically intended to quickly re-establish the functional 'social infrastructure' of damaged towns in ways similar to the original architecture being restored and in the immediate proximity of the original towns so that people are 'at home' and able to function as a community to support the restoration effort. Our key tool for this is a concept called Peer-To-Peer Architecture; building methods that allow the inhabitants of a community to design and spontaneously redesign their habitat as they see fit. Our main priority is, in fact, to develop a design process which is open to the local community. We think that after establishing a nucleus of our cargotecture we could then involve local stakeholders in the development of temporary settlements. This participation process is actually coherent to our P2P ideal. We think that for the self-sustainability of any design process a direct involvement of locals must be achieved. Plug & Plan urban centers are a system of temporary, removable, and adaptable urban workshops creating the necessary space to allow experts (say architects, planners, region makers, researchers) and non-experts (say NGOs, inhabitants) interaction. We have called this approach Urbanism 3.0, a new way to deal with urban issues, where trans-disciplinary research and P2P urbanism merge together for the study/planning/developing of urban environments. This conferencing approach is not only intended to be a mode of collaborative design but also a means to restoring a sense of empowerment to the members of the community. The use of adapted ISO shipping containers -often called 'cargotecture'- for relief shelter is nothing new and has many advantages in the role of emergency relief and transitional shelter. However, we propose to use this technology in a very different way. We propose to use containers as modular elements for the construction of complex multi-storey structures formed of single, pair, triplet and quad side-by-side room sets with a number of additional accessory elements such as stairways, walkways, pergolas, and outdoor decking. These would be combined into larger conjoined complexes serving as neighborhood clusters -microvillages-, freely designed and adapted collaboratively by their own inhabitants in order to approximate some of the character of their original homes and reestablish, in parallel, the same social, commercial, industrial functions of damaged structures under restoration. The basic module set for our system is composed of the following structural elements; - Shelter Units: basic 20'x8' finished building units for housing and other uses composed of single-room and multi-room sets with one or both ends fitted with windows or sliding door units. - Shelter Accessories: special purpose single container modules for pre-finished bathrooms, kitchens, utility systems, staircases, balcony/decks, repositionable friction-stay partitions, rooftop gardens and decks, and the like. - Open Space Modules: containers modified with no walls used to create outdoor spaces and outdoor structures like gazebos and seating areas interconnected to the shelter modules. Would also be used as open interstitial elements to support raised/cantilevered portions of the shelter structures. - Special Purpose Modules: concerned mostly with infrastructure systems including solar/wind power, telecommunications, water supply, waste processing (though most dwellings may employ marine incinerating toilets), trash handling, etc. Would also include kiosks for small shops and outdoor cafes and certain health and recreational facilities. - Industrial Units: simple work-shed variation of the Shelter Units intended for light industrial applications and used for local container modding facilities as well as work facilities for the ongoing restoration work. The free demountability of the structures also means that the initial community design is not set in stone. At any time things that prove less workable or effective than originally anticipated or which must be updated to suit changes in the neighborhood situation, can be changed with minimum disruption to the community. Ultimately, these transitional structures would disappear completely from their sites leaving no trace.
TRUE EUROPE is not an utopy!
Cruiseferries are a peculiar socio-urban phenomenon in the Baltic Sea Region
It might sounds démodé, in an architectural era dramatically permeated by the Koolhaasian pragmatism, referring to a dinosaur such as Le Corbusier. However, in 1923 LC concived the modern/industrialized city in revolutionary terms: city like transatlantic ships. The transatlantic stood as suitable model for a clean, rational, compact, and unitary concept of city. BUT WHAT IF WE MIRROR THIS CONCEPT? Modernism failed the challenge to update the old urban order. But what if, meanwhile architects and urbanists were busy to blow-up historic pearls, centrifugate cities, and create urban monsters, what if naval engineers were silently, modestly, and maybe unconsciously working for THE VERY FIRST FULLY IMPLEMENTED ANTI-URBAN UTOPIA? Indeed, in the last 40 years cruise design evolved in scale as well as in contents. Free assemblage, density, symbolic congestion, surprise, and extra-territoriality are all principles aimed to creating a sexy and fancy floating landscape made of tax-frees, pubs, shopping centers, discos, wellness centers, casinos, conference halls, and so on. TODAY WE FACE A NEW ERA DOMINATED BY CRUISEFERRY INDUSTRY. Cruiseferries are an important part of the current Baltic Transit Space. Mapping the present sea routes, in fact, will reveal the density of a ferry/cruise/tanker/cargo network linking the most dynamic urban hotspots in the region. Yet Cruiseferry is strongly affecting the local social geography. INHABITANTS, COMMUTERS, CITY USERS, and METROPOLITAN BUSINESSMEN are the social material informing offshore practices. The purposes are different: LEISURE, CHEAP PRICES, TRANSGRESSION, BUSINESS, TOURISM, AND MOBILITY. The magnitude of this new phenomenon (the Cruiseferries) seems slowly understood and underestimated by local architects and planners. But what if the current spatial organization of inshore metropolises is, insofar, DRIVEN BY THE COMPLEX AND HIGHLY DYNAMIC OFFSHORE NETWORK? And what if ONE DAY CRUISEFERRIES WILL BE STRATEGIC DEVICES SERVING THE BALTIC METROPOLITAN SPACE, making it the very ‘True Europe’? Our understanding is more than a theoretical speculation. It is an actual blueprint for the future TRANSNATIONAL METROPOLISES IN EUROPE.