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Auto-friendly neighborhoods to take back the territory, Modena’s experiment

Do you have the impression that the streets are only a crossing point, a passage and parking place and never a place for meeting and socialization? That the public spaces of the city where you live are death place which are being abandoned? From those ideas arises the event “Open roads, everyone’s space, shared sky” held in Modena in April: a temporary and experimental realization of a people-oriented shared road, based on the example of several European, American and also Italian experimentations. We are speaking about what can be defined as a 30 km zone “from below” where, with recycled materials and with very low costs, associations together with the inhabitants of the neighborhood are re-designing several streets, so that people can understand how going slower allows to upgrade the residential districts, making them safer and liveable; to make them aware of all the social, economical and commercial advantages of a human-friendly and no more only auto-friendly city; to restart to consider the road not only as a traffic place but also like a meeting and socialization place, to make it a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

The interventions were mostly focused in the heart of Sacca District where, with a participative pattern, a committee of citizen asked for permanent interventions of traffic moderation: in this sense the intervention is doubly “from below” for the citizens have asked it and themselves, supported by volunteers of the promoter associations, are realizing it. The volunteers from the association Ciclostile – Modena, Engineering without borders –  Modena and the Legambiente “Angelo Vassallo” in Modena, locally active on the themes of moving and incited by the success of alike experimentations, specially the one of last September in Terni in the FestArchLab reported by the Arch. Matteo Dondè, proposed to the Municipal Administration to promote a temporary and experimental realization. This to make residents aware of the intervention that the Administration itself will realize and to show everyone how simple and low costs interventions are effective and the point of view of a urban requalification and of the re-appropriation of public space, now principally destined to autos and almost never to the people in the majority of the neighborhoods where we live.

See the experience on

Giovanni Macchitelli

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