Minor Squares in the Historic Centre of Florence
The project is based on the enhancement of the role of ‘minor squares’, intended as urban areas that despite being often undervalued have a great potential. They are contemplated as possible alternatives to restore a better quality of life in the Historic Centre by means of oriented and detailed projects. The theme of the Minor Squares, as a serial system of relevant places with varying yet complementary connotations, could represent a new and different way to establish dynamic and unusual itineraries in the city, using the squares in question as reference points for all citizens (residents, city users, students, tourists, traders, artisans, etc.). Although they represent minor contexts, apparently secondary places of social interactions and events, these squares are part of the urban fabric, they shape its morphology and constitute, in a way that is almost always widespread and detailed, nodal elements in the urban system, as well as being also important in terms of their relationship with the built architectural heritage. They have, therefore, a significant relational value that could be amplified from a wider perspective, in order to be rethought as places for the use and enjoyment of the community.
The project proposes, therefore, actions for the re-qualification of minor squares, in order to “regenerate” the urban fabric as a whole, thus improving the management of tourist flows, enhancing services for residents, enhancing the network of commercial and artisan activities and expanding the cultural offer in a decentralised and widespread manner.
The development of the project has been supported by research activities, conferences, workshops and seminars that have produced publications and led to the exhibition of some results at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale. From the perspective of applied research and a transverse and shared operation among the various actors active in the urban scene, meetings were held for the launch of urban monitoring events in some squares, set up as “urban living rooms”, active bastions of resilience and sustainability, for the promotion and participation of the project. The process targets citizens and stakeholders as primary actors in a “participatory conservation” that activates the Historic Centre of Florence World Heritage Site by establishing renewed pacts of collaboration between places, people and resources.