The Italian Case Study
Co-designing urban spaces with High School students in Palermo
In order to respond to the Crethink project challenge to promote sustainable practices in Europe through co-creation methodologies, the Italian team in the city of Palermo decided to involve young high school students in a process of co-creation of a new pedestrian area. The stretch of the street located in front of the school entrance was pedestrianized and set up to become a square, a safe area of socialization created by and for the students of the school.
The Italian team guided by the Italian partner of the project CESIE and composed by a group of young professionals (Change Agents) in collaboration with some local associations (Tu Sei La Città and PUSH) designed and implemented a participatory co-design process that involved a group of students and produced a prototype of the square. The interventions designed are creative, low-cost, sustainable and easy-to-implement solutions based on the principles and tools of Tactical Urbanism, a useful approach to bottom-up transformation processes of urban spaces like this one. As of January 2022, the street has been closed to traffic and the team is doing the preparatory work for the co-construction labs that will involve the students in the second phase of the project: the set-up of the square with the practical creation of the urban furniture, decorations and other interventions.
The following sections will explain the process and methodologies implemented in the first phase of the project: the co-design of the square. In the final section some tips and recommendations for practitioners and other stakeholders will be offered, with the aim to facilitate the adaptation and use of these methodologies in other contexts.
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