The debate on housing is now revolving around some recurring themes: the diversification of the households, the predominance of transformation over the creation from scratch, the multiplication of uses and needs that increasingly lead to the creation of spaces and solutions that can be modified over time. Some key words are returning: the revaluation of high density, also through awareness of the exiguity of the soil; the differentiation of the typological offer in response to the atomization of families and the fragmentation of user needs; the spatial and temporal flexibility of housing and the provision of external spaces of relevance; spatial quality as opposed to the standards; the more gradually moving from the places of sociability to private spaces. For years we identified the problems of public housing in the indeterminacy of space between houses and in the loss of the link between building and street. Now a doubt arises: will it not be that the crisis of the public city, even before the scarcity of urban density, is caused by the loss of "human" density? Have we perhaps remained focused on the finger that uselessly pointed away to the moon? In recent years, in fact, we have witnessed a real demographic tsunami, a phenomenon that we have come to underestimate. Faced with this haemorrhage of inhabitants - in the consolidated city partly buffered by rents, tourism, tertiary activities - the public city in the most marginal areas records a continuous loss of vitality and the progressive disappearance of services and activities in the neighborhood scale. The issue of densification still retains a stigma of negativity, but it is now at least seen as a collateral damage (in the name of the minor ecological footprint). But the so-called Roman housing emergency, for example, always attributed to insufficient maintenance, failure to collect the rents or old age of the buildings (and now, finally, even at low density), shows us in a glaring way that the first crucial topic is the underuse. In Rome this number reaches 70% of the public building stock (in Corviale 4,000 people live, out of the 6,800 planned). If we accept then that the working hypothesis is to understand how to foster the increase of "intensity of use" of these extended parts of the city, the first question to answer is: where do we find people? Some strategies have already been hypothesized or undertaken (fractionation of housing, modification of decree law 1444/68 on housing standards, etc.), but we would need a mental and cultural leap that will lead us to reconsider in housing - and in the city more generally - the concentration of the resident population in the same place as a really added and mandatory value.

Whatever Happened to People? Re-Inhabiting the City

Luca Reale
2022

Abstract

The debate on housing is now revolving around some recurring themes: the diversification of the households, the predominance of transformation over the creation from scratch, the multiplication of uses and needs that increasingly lead to the creation of spaces and solutions that can be modified over time. Some key words are returning: the revaluation of high density, also through awareness of the exiguity of the soil; the differentiation of the typological offer in response to the atomization of families and the fragmentation of user needs; the spatial and temporal flexibility of housing and the provision of external spaces of relevance; spatial quality as opposed to the standards; the more gradually moving from the places of sociability to private spaces. For years we identified the problems of public housing in the indeterminacy of space between houses and in the loss of the link between building and street. Now a doubt arises: will it not be that the crisis of the public city, even before the scarcity of urban density, is caused by the loss of "human" density? Have we perhaps remained focused on the finger that uselessly pointed away to the moon? In recent years, in fact, we have witnessed a real demographic tsunami, a phenomenon that we have come to underestimate. Faced with this haemorrhage of inhabitants - in the consolidated city partly buffered by rents, tourism, tertiary activities - the public city in the most marginal areas records a continuous loss of vitality and the progressive disappearance of services and activities in the neighborhood scale. The issue of densification still retains a stigma of negativity, but it is now at least seen as a collateral damage (in the name of the minor ecological footprint). But the so-called Roman housing emergency, for example, always attributed to insufficient maintenance, failure to collect the rents or old age of the buildings (and now, finally, even at low density), shows us in a glaring way that the first crucial topic is the underuse. In Rome this number reaches 70% of the public building stock (in Corviale 4,000 people live, out of the 6,800 planned). If we accept then that the working hypothesis is to understand how to foster the increase of "intensity of use" of these extended parts of the city, the first question to answer is: where do we find people? Some strategies have already been hypothesized or undertaken (fractionation of housing, modification of decree law 1444/68 on housing standards, etc.), but we would need a mental and cultural leap that will lead us to reconsider in housing - and in the city more generally - the concentration of the resident population in the same place as a really added and mandatory value.
978-3-86859-716-5
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Reale_Re-Inhabiting-City_2022.pdf

solo gestori archivio

Note: copertina, frontespizio, indice, saggio
Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 1.88 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.88 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1654373
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact