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Updated : 18/04/2002

International Comparison of Six Urban Design Projects
Introductiory notes:

"We would like to thank the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation for having stimulated all participants, during this International Week, to debate about city policies which should be better consider Iife and urban quality.
The city, in fact, is not only a historical concept, a closed institution: it is the result of policy, an expression of urban space and elements, the chaIlenge of an economicaI and social deveIopment, a place where the creation and diffusion of cultural issues have to be stimulated.
Today in a society that seems to be on the decline, cities have became a theatre of the contradiction between richness and poverty, a place of unempIoyment and social decay, a place of exploitation of agriculture, which induce to rebellion of young people and to an increase the violence.

Our cities are actually places of lost identities and of confusionaI and decay urban fabrics. A serious debate has to be done In order to exchange Ideas between us, as participants in different urban experiences, for the development of our cities.
This debate and comparison, with the different points of views of people coming from different social and cultural layers, have to be more realistic in order to evaluate the researches, in a continuous updated process, and on processes to guarantee a better future.
All the urban experiments, that have been done in the different countries of the European Community and outside to face problems of people internationalisation as well as of economical globalisation, have to take under consideration the following items:
-the participation of the Iocal community as well as the partnership of public- private sources within urban design;
- the research of the mixed use development integrated with a global vision of urban development for the city;
- the willing to find different urban systems and better control systems in the wider formation of the city, of the functional land uses and sites.

For the Florence Centre on Urban Design, an interactive element between cities and universities, between formation places and research, it seems to be significant, through the analysis of these projects, to look for a better understanding the relationships between teaching, training (initial training, current training), the professional applications and the local administrations.
This debate seems to be topical, everywhere in Europe, of a lack training on urban design in the Architecture and Engineering Faculties and other institutes.
in this first debate, which probably has to be continued by others, it might be considered as the main objectives the formation of young people and their professional career, which Is nowadays difficult, in spite of the growth of local opportunities.

To prepare our synthesis debate of Thursday afternoon and the meeting with the young professionals during the presentation of their projects, we propose to consider the two groups each consisting 01 three projects, which have been selected because of their methodological approach or because of the their formation within laboratories and research processes.
It seems that in this Seminar, more than to the given answers, we have to pay more attention to the proposed questions and to the approaches of the groups that indicate how to pass from the problematic question phase to the analysis of the city and to the possible drawing proposals.
Roughly, these issues could be summarized as follows:

the city centre and the peripheral areas?.. Which urban and social future?...
the role and the elements-elements of public spaces?...
what kind of evolution could be done for urban habitat?...
mixed use development?...
re-organisation of an “integrated” and sustainable territory?....
how could be an “urban identity” defined’?
the rules of understanding?... of information?.. and of training?
mobility and urban transport? .. how?...where?...as far as where?...
the rules of urbanism to face the last urban changes and the evolution of the cities’?
the territories of the city?... Solidarity?... “Inter-community”?
To save time on Thursday afternoon, we shall try not to have a debate on current problems presented by authors, but we will gather the written questions given to me at the end of the sessions.
We admit the presentation of two groups from the European Community and outside, which present rather similar proposed projects.
The first group of the three projects (Aversa-Kutno-Strasbourg) will be talking about questions of urban identity, the definition of the urban image and the matrix of urban development.
The second group of the projects, which will be presented tomorrow morning (Bucarset-Athènes-­Livorno), is essentially involved in the urban development and regeneration of the city centre and of derelict sites.

On Thursday afternoon, we will visit the exhibition of all projects, and a debate will be engaged in the form of round table with Emmanuel Perreau (Aix en Provence), member of CISDU Scientific Committee, as chairman. On Friday morning, a meeting of the Scientific Committee will be held and, on the afternoon, a wider scientific meeting will be made on urban planning issues and urban design."

Jean Duminy, President of Scientific Committee Florence,
15th January 2003


Prof. Piero Paoli

Faculty of Architecture, Dept. of Architecture Design University of Florence

Viale Gramsci, 42 - 50132 Firenze
Tel. ++39 055 20007240 – 20007221
Fax. ++39 055 283916


Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco, Presidente, Firenze
Arch. Paolo Del Bianco

Centro Internazionale di Studi sul Disegno Urbano, Vice Presidente, Strasburgo
Prof. Renè Tabouret

Centro Internazionale di Studi sul Disegno Urbano, Presidente Comitato Scientifico, Arezzo
Prof. Jean Duminy

Centro Internazionale di Studi sul Disegno Urbano, Membro Consiglio Direttivo, Firenze
Arch. Massimo Del Bono

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Facoltà di Ingegneria, Università di Firenze
Dr. Dimitra Babalis

Dipartimento di Progettazione dell’Architettura, Facoltà di Architettura, Università di Firenze
Prof. Piero Paoli
Prof. Andrea Del Bono
Dott. Antonio Capestro

Ecole de Architecture de Paris la Villette
Prof. Philippe Revault

École de Architecture de Strasbourg
Prof. Pierre Bouché
Dr. Jean Hausmann

Faculty of Architecture, University of Dublin Prof. Philip Geoghegan
Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology Bratislava
Doc.Ing.Arch. Lubica Vitkova, PhD

Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb
Prof. Sonia Jurkovic

Institute of Urban Design, Dept. of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology
Prof. Dr. Slawomir Gzell

Institut d'Etudes Politique, Strasbourg Ghislaine Salvan Soulet
Institut d'Urbanisme, Université de Grenoble
Prof. Josée Jeanneret

Institut Superior d'Architecture St. Luc, Bruxelles
Prof. Pierre Vanderstraeten

ISCTE, Depatamento de Arquitectura e Urbanismo, Lisboa
Prof. Teresa Marat-Mendes

National Technical University of Athens
Prof. Maria Mantouvalou
Prof. Bouki Babalou

School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
Ms. Marilyn Higgins

University of Architecture & Urban Design "Ion Mincu", Bucarest
Prof. Floreni Machedon

University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucarest
Prof. Ana Maria Zahariade

Università Ferrara
Prof. Daniele Pini

Università di Napoli "Federico II"
Prof. Giovanni De Franciscis

Prof. Carla Maria De Feo

External Guests:

Architectural Department of Ming Chuan University of Taipei
Prof. Wu Yi-Ling

Central Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design of Beijing
Prof. Cui Pengfei

Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology of Bratislava
Prof. Eva Kralova

Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing
Ms. Mei Liang

The international workshop was realised in co-operation with VIVA HOTELS.


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