Community development

Architettura Bottom-up 2.0

Towards a development of common spaces


Who is behind this?

Riccardo Bartali



Who is joining forces?

Corso di Laurea Magistrale in Ingegneria Edile - Architettura


Due to the fact that many of us were students in Pisa, 120g often joins and collaborates with the University in its activities.


Idea pitch

Despite being one of the main provinces in Tuscany, Pisa and its territory lack of informal places where to meet. Many critical issues emerge in the integration between different cultures: students from other regions and foreigners, who are not part of the political life, and locals. Creating spaces for communities, "Architettura Bottom-up" aims to connect people in Pisa and its territory through participative build&design processes.

Where will your project idea take place?

Pisa and its province, Tuscany, Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In Pisa, 35% of the population is composed of young university students from other Italian regions, and 10-20% is composed of immigrants and foreigners. Students and young people live 24/24h in the city center, especially during the night time, creating “movida” problems and degradation; marginalized people randomly occupy unused or abandoned places and contribute to increasing the sense of decay. Locals bother about this situation: being the only part with a political weight they often obtain short-term solutions, like the prohibition to sit in certain public areas or to sell alcohol in night markets. The three groups hardly or never integrate, and compromises often benefit the locals.

Who are you doing it for?

As well as for students, locals, and other emarginate groups, this project is for those that “I always wanted to do that, but…”, or “maybe tomorrow I will…”: people who feel constrained within the usual schemes. These initiatives will be for the associations and neighborhood communities, citizens, marketers who want better places: more beautiful and friendly. It’s also for the institution that wants to improve the territory with spaces, competences, and energies, creating debate and opportunities to improve urban life. But “Architettura Bottom-up 2.0” aims mostly to those that don’t believe in integration, to show that a different city it’s possible.

How do you plan to get there?

Once defined a list of suitable places, we will start looking for supporters, taking advantage of our contact network and the one of the University of Pisa as well. Then we will select, according to the municipalities and local owners, few areas from the list.
We will gather local stakeholders interested in the project and we will organize workshops and conferences with guests, experts in the field. Those events aim to sensibilize the citizens and the media on the subject and to teach to students and the community how to work in these situations. After the meetings, the participatory design process will begin (probably in spring-summer 2021), followed by the build phase, lead by expert tutors to conduct safe work and solve technical issues.

What are the expected results?

What we expect from "Architettura Bottom-up" is a series of small architectural intervents in public spaces in which different groups could meet for informal activities such as talking and spending time together. They will come from the ideas and design that we are expecting will be developed in the workshops and conferences, in collaboration with communities and architects that will increase the debate about public space and integration. At last, as a collateral side effect, we expect more conscious and active communities and institutions.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

“Architettura Bottom-up 2.0” wants to strengthen democracy and active citizens through a participatory design process for those unused or abandoned places in the territory. The construction and definition of common spaces want to be a chance of communication between those groups of students, locals, and others, as the participatory planning will lead to an integration process in a long-term perspective. A public debate about those topics, facilitated through workshops and conferences, will help to spread the initiative and its recoil on urban life, enlarging the sense of ownership and cares for public spaces. The rehabilitated spaces will be used for leisure activities and free-time, delocalizing the concentration of people from the narrow street of the city center.

Why is this idea important to you?

We strongly believe that public space conveys and reflects the period we are living in and the people we are. As space makers, we think that through space we fill, we can improve the way we live. In this hard times we are living, characterized by the arising of fundamentalism and non-tolerant movements, through design and participatory processes we can make the difference for people; as Italo Calvino, Italian writer, wrote in "Invisible Cities" (1972) "seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space".
“Architettura bottom-up 2.0” is also important for us because we do love our territory and we want to leave a positive sign in the cities that host us for many years.

€ 50000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

- Travel & accommodation 6000 €
- Honoraria for tutors 15000 €
- Materials and equipments 29000 €
- Room renting for conferences and personnel 1000€
- Public relations 1000€

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We'd like to receive advice and comments about the project development and engagement strategies.


riccardo @ 120g



Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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