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Genoa hosts a national conference on urban suburbs

Genoa hosts a national conference on urban suburbs

An interesting choice, given that its mayor said the city does not have suburbs, as such

Earlier this week, the 3rd edition of the “Ten, one hundred, one thousand centers - National Conference on urban suburbs" took place at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa. The format, which was conceived by the Bracco Foundation and previously held in Milan and Palermo, has the goal to put the development of city suburbs as the engine of city growth in Italy.

Genoa is generally interested to overcome its industrial and port reputation and look towards new ways of reinventing its urban landscape. Part of it was boosted by the tragedy caused by the Moraldi Bridge collapse in 2018, which scarred emotionally and physically the city.

Genoa’s topography predisposes to multi-centrality

The Third National Conference on urban suburbs brought to light many topical issues for the development of cities, starting with that of urban regeneration, which has become even more crucial with the impact of the pandemic. The Conference had the objective of concretely pursuing the thinking of cities as complex organisms. Organisms, which are characterized by growing opportunities and risks, and in which great energies and great fragilities coexist.

The mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, was also at the conference and offered his take on the meaningful development as it would make sense for his city: “In Genoa the suburbs do not exist - it is a multicentric city. In the 1920s, the government decided to put together 18 municipalities in Greater Genoa. Unlike Milan which has only one center and develops in concentric rings, we have many widespread centres.”

He continued: “This certainly represents a complexity for administrations, but it is a very positive fact for the city itself because it does not need to have a suburb as in other industrial cities. The Architect Piano taught me that the urban vision must be done by putting everything in the neighborhoods: housing, sports, commerce, theaters, schools. There must be everything, otherwise we will create ghettos and we must avoid ghettoization.

Simonetta Cenci, Genoa’s Councilor for Urban Planning, added that regeneration is not the same thing as redevelopment, since it looks beyond the physicality to rethink the cultural, economic and social spheres of the urban landscape. In a way, it ends with human regeneration, as well.

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