5 Tips to Help Your Child “See” Their City

5 Tips to Help Your Child “See” Their City

Increase you child’s awareness of the city that surrounds them with these 5 tips from www.futureplanners.city

As you go through the city with your son or daughter, try these helpful suggestions which aim to open their minds to thinking about community and their important role in the city fabric:

(1) Encourage your children to see the city as theirs, an entity in which they
should give a critical eye, as to what works and what does not and consider
how things can be improved?

(2) Think about what they “see” and how they “feel” as they move through a neighborhood, from the widths of the sidewalks (infrastructure)
to the speed of the flow of car traffic (transportation methods), how is it
experienced?

(3) Introduce concepts of high and low residential density, a high-rise
and a brownstone are different, why?

(4) Reveal that city elements like “urban furniture” from bus stop
benches to bike racks are designed but see if they can discover and
point out un-designed urban furniture that they see in their
communities.

(5) Demonstrate that thinking about their neighborhood and city can
be fun and cool because they become experts on determining what makes
great shared public spaces.

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Photo Credit: London Scout

interVIEW|Italian Urban Planner, Paolo Avarello

Bio

Paul Avarello is a professor of urban planning at the Universita’ degli studi Roma Tre, in Rome, Italy.  Since 1995, he has been a leading faculty member in its Architecture Department. He is the director of the graduate course “New Urban Policies.” Previously he was an urban planning professor at the Università degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti in Pescara, Italy.

Throughout his career he has researched the relationship between housing production and planning, as well as overseen the implementation of formal planning and public action in housing in Italy and Europe.  From 1992 to 1998 he was national head of INU, Instituto Nazionale di Urbanistico (the National Italian Urban Planning Institute).  During his tenure, he curated national and international events as well as conducted in depth research.  Avarello collaborates with the magazines “Building and Territory” and “Guide to Local Entities” for the group Sole24ore.

Avarello Photo“To give urban planning an effective meaning it takes first a great patience and then a certain amount of stubbornness: if the architect can create, or pretend to do so, the planner must instead necessarily clash with a reality much more complex and difficult…”
Arch. Prof. Paolo Avarello

interVIEW

(1)
What led you to choose a career in Urban Planning and what have you enjoyed about it the most?
Cosa ti ha portato a scegliere una carriera in Pianificazione Urbana e che cosa, di essa, ti gratifica di più?

I enrolled in Architecture at the university, when I was younger.  Before I had completed the two urban planning courses (fourth and fifth year), I used to audit the classes of urban planning 1 and 2, fascinated by the complexity of the subject. It is very different from architecture itself; I did not know that I would eventually be an urban planner, and working as a university professor afterward.

Fin da quando mi sono iscritto ad Architettura e non avevo ancora fatto i due esami di urbanistica (quarto e quinto anno), seguivo le lezioni di urbanistica 1 e 2,affascinato dalla complessità della materia, molto diversa da quella dell’architettura vera e propria, ma non sapevo ancora che avrei fatto l’urbanista, prima nel lavoro e poi nell’università.

(2)
What would you describe as the biggest challenges faced today in this field in Rome, in Italy and globally?
Quali sono le più grandi sfide affrontate oggi in questo campo a Roma, in Italia e globalmente? 

Urban planning in Rome and in Italy has never had a lot of success among builders, who saw it as a limitation to economic expansion when there was a healthy market.  But when the market stalled, the thrust of the public entity became a salvation (ie. in the postwar period Ina Casa).  [Editor’s note: Ina Casa is public residential housing]

Today, these trends are slowing down, despite immigration from poorer countries, but there is still a gap in the field of restoration and renovation. This is because in Italy more than 84% percent of the apartments are owned (and not rented), while in other countries (ie. France, England, etc.) it is reported to be just 50%, which favors change.

L’urbanistica a Roma e in Italia non è mai piaciuta molto ai costruttori, che la consideravano un limite all’espansione economica, quando c’era mercato, ma quando questo stagnava la spinta dell’intervento pubblico diventava una salvezza (es. nel dopoguerra l’Ina Casa).

Oggi questi andamenti si vanno rallentando, nonostante le immigrazioni dai paesi più poveri, ma esiste ancora un gap nel  settore del recupero e della riqualificazione.  E ciò perché in Italia più dell’84% cento degli appartamenti sono di proprietà, mentre in altri paesi (es. Francia, Inghilterra, etc.) il rapporto arriva appena al 50%, il che favorisce i cambiamenti.

(3)
In what project or endeavor have you found the greatest success in affecting positive change on the urban landscape?
Quale suo progetto o impegno ha avuto maggior successo nell’influenzare un cambiamento positivo sul paesaggio urbano? 

In this case it is not a “project”, but an (exhaustive) collective work, done with my colleagues from the National Institute of Urban Planning (INU), of which I was President.

Italy, the first country in Europe, had for some time issued a law to protect cultural heritage and landscape locations. With Legislative Decree 1089, Cultural Heritage and Legislative Decree 1497 specifically, these laws were for the protection of the landscape (Legislative Decree 42, 2004 and its Regulations, Legislative Decree. 1497). With this foundation, two new decrees were established: the Code for cultural heritage and landscape, 2006, and the Environmental Regulations 2006 (Decree 152).  As often happens, however, the weakness of the management and the rigidity of the bureaucracy have often negated much of this protection.

In questo caso non si tratta di un “progetto”, ma di un (faticoso) lavoro collettivo, svolto con i miei colleghi dell’Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica (INU), di cui allora ero Presidente).

 L’Italia, prima in Europa, aveva già da tempo tutelato i beni culturali e del paesaggio con Lg. 1089, Beni culturali e Lg. 1497, specificamente per la tutela del paesaggio (D.lgs 42, 2004 e il relativo Regolamento, L. 1497). Si ottennero cosi due nuovi decreti: ilCodice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio, 2006 e le Norme in materia ambientale 2006 ,(D.lgs 152).  Come spesso succede, tuttavia, la debolezza delle gestioni e la rigidità della burocrazia hanno spesso vanificato gran parte di questa tutela.

(4)
What advice do you have for young urban planners?
Che consigli hai per i giovani urbanisti? 

To give urban planning an effective meaning it takes first a great patience and then a certain amount of stubbornness: if the architect can create, or pretend to do so, the planner must instead necessarily clash with a reality much more complex and difficult.  Essentially, you have to put together, and possibly in an effective way, the various “pieces”, starting from the configuration of places, situations, types, infrastructure, costs, to the various constraints, the existing structures, possible inhabitants, etc. etc.

Being able to assemble all these things is exhausting, but if it succeeds, it can give great satisfaction, even when the client does not pay the entire bill (which is quite often).

Per dare un senso effettivo all’urbanistica occorre anzitutto una grande pazienza e poi una certa quantità di testardaggine: se l’architetto può creare, o illudersi di poterlo fare, l’urbanista deve invece scontrarsi per forza con una realtà molto più complessa e difficile: in sostanza, si devono mettere insieme, e possibilmente in modo efficace, i vari “pezzi”, a partire dalla configurazione dei luoghi, alle situazioni, alle tipologie, alle infrastrutture, ai costi, ai diversi vincoli, alle preesistenze, ai possibili abitanti, ecc. ecc.

Riuscire a montare tutte queste cose è piuttosto faticoso, ma se ci si riesce, può dare grandi soddisfazioni,a volte anche quando il committente non paga tutta la parcella (il che è piuttosto frequente).

(5)
What is your favorite city and why?
Qual’ è tua città preferita e perché’? 

The city that I prefer is the one where I was born, Rome.  I still live happily, despite its several flaws, I live and work here, now only for the university. But I am not “provincial”.  In fact my wife, who was not born in Rome, but near Parma, enthusiastically endorses this position of mine.  She even yells at me when I complain, or get angry, about the major flaws which exist here.

La città che preferisco è quella dove sono nato, Roma, dove ancora vivo volentieri, nonostante i suoi diversi difetti, ci abito e ci lavoro, ora solo per l’università. Non sono però “campanilista” e per altro mia moglie, che non è nata a Roma, ma vicino Parma, condivide entusiasticamente questa mia posizione, e anzi mi sgrida quando mi lamento, o mi arrabbio, dei grandi difetti che pure ci sono.  

 

Photo Credit: diario di borderline

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