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The power of the Young Town


Peripheries make the great part of our contemporary metropolis: hybrid and changing territories in which rural and urban traces are combined in a complex palimpsest of different times, identities and stories. This town is more alive, more unfinished and younger than a historic centre. It needs flexible, adaptive programs of transformation able to include the motion of heterogeneous factors in a higher order, not imposed top down but that is built starting from the same places, in according with their social and environmental peculiarities. The metaphor of the graft can clarify this process. Every plant can be combined only with some others. The plant continues its growth but it produces new flowers and fruits. In an urban transformation, the project of architecture and landscape can be a core of trans-disciplinary studies, in its multiple scales of representation and investigation. It is, by its own nature, an imperfect (it needs other disciplines, it does not immediately work but step by step) and optimistic instrument that brings us to trust in the potential of peripheries. From the small scale to the big scale, and vice versa, it makes us to see and to recognize “sleeping” values also in the neglect or disadvantage places; these values become the main ingredients whose “pertinent combination” can take new meanings. Within the experimental design the analysis develops and refines its same results. Therefore, analysis and proposal are not really partible in different phases. On the contrary, the process continuously moves back and forth between reality and possibilities (workflow). This design experimental activity should be fed by seminars, visits, researches and collective parallel events following the more innovative method of participatory planning.