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LANDSCAPE IN MOTION. Innovative design for the Po riverside

OC OPEN CITY International Summer School 7th edition focused on the landscape design and its own countless implications.
Piacenza is a topical case-study because of its unique condition of liminal city facing the main Italian river, characterized by the overlapping and interaction of different forms of landscapes: agricultural, productive, urban.
According to the most recent and innovative disciplinary research, the background springs from integration among global scenarios (which European cities have to face with, because of the strong changes in social, economic and environmental balances) and local architectural transformations, which are necessary for regeneration of dismissed areas. In this line the concept itself of landscape is called to a radical reconsideration, because it's the complex product of multiple, various and dynamic events and it's the result of many interacting ways to look at as well as a brief synthesis of design's heterogeneous, and sometimes contradictory, materials.
It's the Po riverside - and the buffer zone dividing the city and its own infrastructures from the water - the specific topic of 2016 workshop and the background of the series of lectures supporting it. During the times of the urban development, these areas were used to be intended just as a natural threaten. They were progressively occupied by a dense sequence of functions and infrastructures, also industrial and productive ones, that has built by one side a barrier - both physical and virtual - between the city and the river. By the other side, they have stressed a process of marginalization. It's just at the end of the XX century, also based on similar international experiences, that the enormous potentialities of these water-sides started to be seen, not just in relation with the ecological value of the river, but also interpreting them as complementary spaces for the city itself. They can be designed as city's new limits, they can help to improve the city's environmental quality, they can establish new links with other territories at a larger scale, giving the possibility to new urban uses and to alternative forms of socialization.
The Po coast-line is characterized by a strong variability and dynamism; this condition permeates elements, factors and processes and defines its priceless ecological value. The coast-line we can look at is the result of the interaction among the mobile nature of water flows and the banks containing it. It comes from multiple geological processes and from the level of the water, but it's also impacted by human activities which have modified land-water points of contact. From this process of continuous erosion and construction, an irregular and changing limit arises. At the same time its strategic position - not far from the city and from main national transportation lines - makes this river-front as the ideal space for interchange.
This mass of conditions lets us to intend the design territory as a site of invaluable value for the contemporary society, in step with historical processes generating it and endlessly transforming it. Here it's possible to establish different and alternative activities, each with a substantial impact on the physical and spatial level: location for leisure time and sport, site for a sustainable and innovative agricultural production, gate not just of Piacenza but of the whole Pianura Padana, hub of flows along the Po River.
According to these concepts, the workshop's goal is a complex, jointed and contemporary vision where the quality of regenerated complementary landscapes gives origin to a sequence of spaces able to intend the river as their cultural and physical reference.

Urban re-generation
Landscape re-activating

OC last editions titles:
2010     Between the city and the river. Architecture of urban relations
2011     Living the street. Landscape and public space in the places of metropolitan infrastructure
2012     Landscape in sequence. Dwelling the wall
2013     Nature in the city
2014     Architecture for a creative city. Piacenza towards Expo
2015     Feeding (the) Landscape. A new green-active museum for agriculture