Proposal abstract

The Piazza del Duomo in Pisa is UNESCO heritage site since 1987, together with the surrounding buildings (Palazzo dell’Opera and Spedale di Santa Chiara): there, about 200 meters as the crow flies, an big speculative operation is being prepared: 17.000 m2 in the area of a former barracks (Caserma Artale) will become luxury residences, student’s hotel, commercial and parking area. The citizens of the neighbourhood and the students of Pisa University raised up against this project. With them and by involving the rest of the town, we want to implement a 3-phases participatory process for elaborating an alternative project aimed at urban regeneration of Caserma Artale on the basis of a strong public strategy pursuing environmental and social aims, and the creation of public spaces and services for the citizens and the students. We look at this participative process as a starting point to degentrify Pisa.

Who we are

“Una città in comune” is a word pun: this expession means “A town in common” and, at the same time, “A town in the city council”. It is a political left-oriented organisation represented in the city council of Pisa, Italy. It was born from local movements and associations that, during the nineties, occupied abandoned areas to make them available to the citizens for implementing both social and environmentalist activities in opposition to the neo-liberalistic policies implemented by the local, regional and national governments. In 2013 these groups decided to stand together in local elections to bring their struggles directly to the institutional level as well. Since then Una città in comune has been working with its representatives also in the city council against privatisation, gentrification, overbuilding; for the rights of workers and immigrants; for peace; against competition and for cooperation with neighbouring territories.

What we want to do and how we will do it

The project will be implemented in 4 steps: 1. STAKEHOLDER MAP Identification of the project stakeholders: Una città in comune, along with the citizens and the students against the speculative project will identify all the actors – formal and informal – potentially interested in the participatory project, and will invite them to a first project meeting (see below step 2). 2. COMMUNITY MAP A Community Map of the neighbourhood will be drawn up in the frame of an initial meeting. In this map the inhabitants will represent the heritage, the characteristics, the knowledge in which they recognise themselves and which they desire pass on to the new inhabitants. It will highlight how the community sees, perceives, attributes value to its area, its memories and its transformations, revealing potential and critical issues. It is therefore a collective knowledge building tool. 3. ALTERNATIVES FOR CASERMA ARTALE In a second event, and on the basis of the Community Map, the participants will elaborate, in a shared way and on the basis of main results that emerged from the previous meeting in terms of criticalities and potentialities of the area, a list of proposals, suggestions and actions to jointly design the future of neighbourhood taking into account the needs of the community. Aim of the meeting is also to implement and to strengthen cooperative dynamics between the actors of the area. 4. PLANNING THE FUTURE OF CASERMA ARTALE Based on outcomes of the previous event, specific topics for discussion will be identified (e.g.: environment, accessibility, urban regeneration: architecture and services, tourism…). A 4-sessions event will be held aimed at identifying: 1st: the implementation timing of the proposed actions; 2nd: the actors to involve for implementing the actions; 3rd: the possible resources; 4th: how the participants in the participatory process can contribute for putting in place the ideas emerged in step 3 of the project.

How much money do we need and what for?

Creation of the project web pages in the web site of Una città in comune: 750 € Campaign on social media to invite to participate in the meetings of Degentrify Pisa and to inform on the project outcomes (FB, Instagram, Twitter): 500 € Leaflets: 500 € Working materials for the participatory process events: 250 € GIS and rendering of the project: 1.000 €

Why / How does it contribute to /reflects the municipalism principles

Degentrify Pisa wants to stop the speculative project on the Caserma Artale, aimed at guaranteing private profit to the speculators while the planned buildings are intended to be accessible only to people having significant economic means. Thanks to the bottom-up approach implemented through the participatory processe, we will develop a shared project for making available the buildings only for social aims and public services. The Environmental and Climate justice sides are also part of our project: no commercial and parking area is to be allowed in the former barracks. On the contrary, we think that a public park should be realised for social aims and because the green areas are crucial to contrast and mitigate climate change. All these aspects will be discussed and promoted in the participatory process. This will promote at the same time self-government of the local community and therefore will strengthen local democracy.