Politecnico di Milano
23 - 30 April 2012

Changing metropolitan space: a role for urban agriculture in between built and open spaces

The theme of the studio combines two topics that are emerging as important issues of the contemporary urban condition and urban economy: edgelands, spaces between the urban and the rural which don’t have a fixed destination and shape, and urban agriculture, an activity integrated into - and interacting with - the urban economic and ecological system.

The emerging of themes, focused on a new consideration of the role of the spaces in between the urban and the rural, and on the relationship of city and agriculture or of production and consumption and leisure, have drawn the attention of planning and urban and landscape design to a specific typology of “urban agriculture”, which plays economic, spatial, ecological and social roles.

This research studio will allow students to get in contact with recent best practices, such as the regeneration project of an “edgeland” within the urban area.  Berlin is a very interesting case study as this topic has already been discussed and experimented with here. The urban structure of Berlin emerges from a balanced dialogue between built and empty spaces. Having 45% of green/open area, Berlin is a European example of city where people are in daily contact with public space. The city has stopped to consider the green and open space only as an aesthetic and ecological issue, and is acting to use it as social space for people. A lot of creative and cultural activities are finding in Berlin an attractive destination. Berlin is now responding to this need by using the large-scale transformation areas as an opportunity to rediscover public space.

The task of the students will be to experience and assess some good quality projects as best practices in Berlin. They will visit the sites, collect information, meet designers and other actors and evaluate the projects to produce materials to be discussed, either in a public session or in a seminar.

Studio coordinators: Corinna Morandi, Fabrizio Leoni, Ilaria Mariotti, Andrea Rolando with Annapaola Busnardo, Giorgio Limonta, Carlo Molteni, Cristiana Mattioli, Silvia Nessi

You can download a PDF file collating the studio results and design proposals here.

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