Urban Transformation ” Urban agri/culture” – Begato – ITALY

EUROPAN 10 competition

The project URBAN AGRI – CULTURE || RURBAN CULTURE engages with the rehabilitation of a run-down social housing complex in the suburbs of Genoa | Italy. The proposed scenario  for a social regeneration integrates the local potential of the inhabitants and is based on the conviction that spatial change is driven by it’s actors. The spatial transformations proposed in the project are very simple and have the goal to create zones of communication, connection and every-day encounter. Public green-spaces are transformed by dividing them in small privately used plots for small scale agriculture, which are allocated to the existing inhabitants of the social housing complex and their new neighbours. This measure should activate a local production not only for private use, but which could develop into a new local economy.


The Polcevera river valley comprises a variety of urbanized and rural areas. This can be called a RURBAN ENVIRONMENT. These circumstances provide the unique opportunity to implement URBAN AGRICULTURE and herewith create a local food production and economy. This opportunity is given to the Polcevera river valley, and should be taken. The sustainable development of RURBAN AREAS is not only inevitable in light of the Kyotoprotocol or the EU 2020 agenda, but necessary to create HIGH QUALITY LIFESPACE for our society. We propose four guidelines for the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT of the RURBAN AREA OF POLCEVERA.
1      already urbanized areas should be densified to limit urban sprawl
2     urban islands like Begato 9 should be connected to the continuous urban area
3     “natural space” should be activated for urban agriculture and green energy production
4     nature branches on both sides of the Polcevera river should be connected in order to ensure the accessibility of the nature for locals and tourists

BEGATO 9 offers a SPECTACULAR ARCHITECTURAL LANDSCAPE with its DIGHE, having a huge potential to become a strong identification symbol. Today Begato is confronted with serious social problems, which are strongly related to a LACK OF DEFINED PUBLIC SPACE and social services. Very important to this project was the analysis of the existing LOCAL IN SITU SOCIAL SYSTEM and the perspective to build the project and the development of transformation on the social networks of Begato 9. There is an EXISTING SOCIAL NETWORK STRUCTURE with the will to change. The projects provides SPACE FOR ACTION for these SOCIAL NETWORKS , gives them the opportunity to be recognized and creates a platform for communication between each other as well as to a larger public. This will be the basis on which a SOCIAL BOTTOM-UP TRANSFORMATION of the area can occur, through LOCAL KNOW HOW and a NEW LOCAL ECONOMY can start.



The competition entry URBAN AGRI – CULTURE || RURBAN CULTURE

© Laurent Pellissier, Ingrid Sabatier, Stephan Schwarz | 2009