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Genoa. Beauty and identity for the rebirth of difficult neighbourhoods

11 June, Il Secolo XIX

Even if beauty doesn’t save the world, it will contribute relaunching the big urban suburbs. That was the theme of the meeting at PalaDiamante in Begato that saw the participation of three architects to share experiences on the outskirts of three big cities: Catania, Venice and Genoa.

Roberta Pastore, 36 years, an architect from Salerno already member of the first G124 workforce of Renzo Piano, swears that one can find beauty even the neighbourhood of Librino in Catania. “I saw a miracle happening. A sports group takes boys away from the street and teaches them how to play rugby, which is a lot of sweat and respect for the rules. A rugby match is a great outlet to let tensions go. I saw elderly finding again their enthusiasm while tending communal gardens”.

Anna Merci, another member of G124, talked about Marghera, which registered the renaissance of associations. “In Marghera, Venice, the inhabitants on their initiative reclaimed abandoned areas promoting culture, which is a great driver for the urban regeneration”.

People who live close to each other can make the difference and give an identity to the neighbourhood. Federica Alcozer, a member of the Genoa board of architects, has no doubt: only the participation of people can change things. “Sampiedarena is not really a suburb. It has schools, a hospital, workplaces and houses. However, many areas are in a state of decline or abandonment”.

Belonging to a place is the starting point. This is a theme dear to Sant’Egidio, inviting to rediscover our roots to start an integration process. “When you identify yourself with your neighbourhood and participate in the transformation process, you can do great things. You can see the results: it has been possible to redesign the promenade in Canepa, obtain cycling lanes, giving in this way a concrete answer to the necessities of the community”. According to Alcozer, “only in this way, we can give a reason to young people for staying”.

Source: Il Secolo XIX

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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