Congresos de la Universitat Politècnica de València, Systems & Design: Beyond Processes and Thinking

Por defecto: 
Regeneration through Design. Comparing old and new phases of urban renewal strategies
Marina Parente, Carla Sedini, Giuliano Simonelli

Última modificación: 17-07-2016


In the last years, a new phase of economic crisis, which is concerning sectors of manufacturing industries, is affecting Europe. Focusing on Italy, sectors which have strongly characterized our country, such as textile and accessories, are facing with an fluctuating period of crisis. Also in this case, as it happened from late ‘80s, the urban structures and identities are seriously affected and need interventions of regeneration in order to gain new life both from social, productive and commercial point of views. Having in mind the Italian case, while the first phase identified had the characteristics of a disruptive macro-phenomenon, the second phase is more subtle and gradual.

In this paper we are going to focus on changes of design culture in light of these urban phenomena. While we can already make a first evaluation of regeneration projects developed after the crisis of heavy industry sectors, the most recent events of industrial recession and the consequent regeneration of the correspondent empty areas are still ongoing.

In order to analyze and, where it is possible, compare these two phases, we are going to look at two Italian case studies. The first is Bicocca, an area of Milan, which in the ‘90s was interested by a massive plan of regeneration and transformation after the closure of Breda and Pirelli industries. The second is Biella, a Piedmont Province city, which has been one of the most important centers for the textile and wool industry; the crisis of this sector strongly emerged in the first years on 2000 even if it had already begun between ‘80s and ‘90s when the biggest textile factories closed down. The differences between these two examples are not merely physical and dimensional but are clearly influenced by a different timing in the regeneration processes, which occurred in these areas (or, in the case of Biella, is still occurring). The analysis proposed in this paper will be focus on the action-research developed within two didactic experiences.

Notwithstanding the distinctions in terms of objectives and actors involved, in this paper we are going to delineate a systemic approach to study and design for the regeneration, improvement and innovation of places. We will try to understand if, through strategic design, it is possible to identify those soft levers and interventions able to rejoin the pieces of places, which lost their functionality and identity.


Palabras clave

Strategic Design, Cultural Planning, Place Identity

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