Producing the just city: Self-organising ULs for the re-appropriation of public spaces


  • Valeria Monno DICATECh, Politecnico di Bari
  • Angela Barbanente Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica Politecnico di Bari, via Orabona, 4, 70125, Bari-Italy.




In the contemporary city, the forms of re-appropriation of degraded and abandoned urban spaces by citizens have profoundly changed. Usual antagonistic forms of citizens' self-organisation have been increasingly replaced by new forms of interaction between citizens and institutions. These have arisen great enthusiasm as innovative urban policies that seem to open up the possibility of recovering abandoned urban spaces, which was unthinkable in the logic of top-down or dialogic approaches. In many cases their transformative potential was taken for granted, and has not been explored the possibility that such policies become means of control and injustice, and spaces where 'citizens' are used to offset the disappearance of opportunities for urban democracy and social support through the welfare state.
Assuming the program of Apulia Region "Urban Laboratories: old buildings for young ideas" as case study, our paper reflects on the ability of these interactive forms of self-organization to favour the emergence of real democratic civic re-appropriation of abandoned areas by claiming their character of 'public spaces'.


Nella città contemporanea, le forme di of riappropriazione da parte dei cittadini di spazi urbani degradati e abbandonati sono molto cambiate. Alle consuete forme antagonistiche di autorganizzazione dei cittadini si sono progressivamente sostituite nuove forme basate sull'interazione fra cittadini e istituzioni. Queste hanno suscitato grande entusiasmo in quanto considerate capaci di aprire possibilità di recupero di spazi urbani abbandonati, inimmaginabili utilizzando approcci top-down o dialogici. Enfatizzandone le potenzialità trasformative, non si è indagata la possibilità di rafforzamento del controllo e dell'ingiustizia sociale, o di uso dei 'cittadini' per compensare la scomparsa di opportunità di democrazia urbana e di politiche di welfare.
Indagando il programma della Regione Puglia "Laboratori Urbani: vecchi edifici per giovani idee", il contributo riflette sulla capacità di queste forme interattive di autorganizzazione di favorire una riappropriazione civica delle aree urbane in abbandono realmente democratica, rivendicandone il carattere di 'spazi pubblici'.


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Come citare

Monno, V., & Barbanente, A. (2018). Producing the just city: Self-organising ULs for the re-appropriation of public spaces. Tracce Urbane. Rivista Italiana Transdisciplinare Di Studi Urbani, 2(3).