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Posts from the ‘Shared Territories’ Category

From urban buildings occupation to agricultural spaces colonization: the Squat’s metamorphosis in the photographs by Julien Gregorio

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The photographs by Julian Gregory highlight a genealogy of shared spaces deeply rooted in the Squat Movements of the Nineties. The book deals with the city of Geneva in the period 2002-2012. A period in which the “politique de tolérance” of the nineties ends up, putting an end to the widespread consensus that had approached the inhabitants to bars, restaurants, theaters and the concerts managed by the squatters. These policies had allowed many experiments. Due to the loss of consent (and due to the strict policies of the public authority), the squat movement fragmented into different trajectories: on the one hand, new forms of social housing, on the other hand, new forms of nomadism and occupation of agricultural areas.

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The new spatial order of collective housing


Throughout the Twentieth Century, the European social housing complexes have built much of the city’s expansion. They have been the armor and the infrastructure of the suburban city. Nowadays, in many places of Europe, inhabitants are experimenting solutions aimed to radically change the way in which the city is built. Variety and excitement are such that the concept of cohousing, as matrix of many of the experiences, can’t cover the whole range of the community-oriented and self-managed variations. These are the two poles that mark the spread of the new collective housing: on the one hand its shared living, on the other its shared management. The following text tries to highlight some of the features of the new spatial order of collective housing, retracing some of the case studies that have been investigated in this blog. The new collective housing sets a new spatial order within the city. It is disseminated and apparently “spontaneous”, as it was the one celebrated by Colin Ward in the Seventies.

The two maps (above) compare the public housing complexes in Milan (Francesco Infussi, eds, Dal recinto al territorio. Milano, esplorazioni nella città pubblica, Bruno Mondadori, 2011) with the new forms of collective housing in Geneva (

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professionaldreamers is a small, independent publisher that collects and promotes essays on space and society. It aims to publish high quality, original books from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, geography, urban studies, architecture, landscape design, cultural studies, criminology, literary studies and philosophy. Its review, Lo Squaderno, attended to collective housing

The Age of Kommunalki



Kommunalka is a good case against the reduction of the question of sharing. It’s discussed in the video/research The age of Kommunalki.

«Saint Petersburg is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is visited annually by approximately 5 million tourists. The photos of its streets and unique architectural masterpieces are travelling all over the world […]. Nevertheless, majority of them do not even suspect that the place they visited was a huge architectural theatre and they were simply spectators of a famous show called Saint Petersburg. And behind the decorations of this stage there is another life. This is a life of inhabitants sharing kitchens and bathrooms and surviving in the falling apart 200 years old houses. These are dailies of mutual support and personal space defense. This is a life of kommunalka: the backstage of Saint Petersburg. Read more

Che cosa diavolo sono i beni comuni?

La domanda che si pone all’inizio del secondo capitolo del suo libro Ermanno Vitale, è anche il punto di avvio dell’ampia e approfondita recensione di Antonio Calafati sull’ultimo fascicolo de L’Indice. Il libro di Vitale si contrappone duramente al “manifesto” di Ugo Mattei, ne decostruisce gli argomenti, rilegge i principali riferimenti, mette in tensione i concetti, si interroga sul cambio di paradigma che questi dichiarano. Il giudizio è impietoso: si tratta di “tesi che scaldano il cuore”, ma che guardate da vicino si riducono alla materia leggera di cui son fatte le fiabe. La posizione che Vitale contrappone alla logica dei beni comuni è quella di un costituzionalismo di diritto privato cui affida la possibilità di limitare quelle stesse logiche del profitto contro le quali si scagliano le teorie dei beni comuni. Il libro di Vitale e la recensione di Calafati sono occasione per ritornare su un paradigma contrastato che occupa tanta parte del dibattito di questi mesi. E. Vitale, Contro i beni comuni. Una critica illuminista, Laterza, 2013; A. Calafati, “Un’opposizione contesa tra due paradigmi” in L’Indice, n.6,2013, p. 1o.

Hotel House. The shared living’s contradictions


Hotel House is a famous example of recycled building: a space made up for tourism that becomes a residential building for immigrant populations. It has been often investigated and it’s now the object of an interesting ethnographic research conducted, over the course of several years, by Adriano Cancellieri. The case is useful for observing, within a radical form, the shared living’s contradictions.


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Ambiance and territoires en partage?

The term ambiance is usually translated as atmosphere, environment. An inquiry around the ambiances urbaines en partage may raise some doubts regarding the vagueness of the term that seems to allude to a postmodern aestheticization.  The book by Jean-Paul Thibaud and Cristiane Rose Duarte identifies, in the approche du ambiances, a good solution for a holistic design of public space and for a better understanding of the vivre ensemble, to the point of founding on the ambiance a political ecology.

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Giancarlo de Carlo, Architettura urbanistica società, Domus, 695, 1988

Some paths seem to be intertwined, but we must be careful not to simplify the similarities. Is the GdC’s quote related to contemporary shared spaces?

«Oggi nella città assistiamo al formarsi di interazioni tra spazi e gruppi sociali del tutto nuovi e imprevisti. Vediamo gruppi di giovani che si incontrano per qualche mese in alcuni luoghi che in apparenza non hanno alcuna attrazione, poi cambiano e ancora per qualche mese si incontrano in altri luoghi che appaiono ugualmente insignificanti. Di questo scegliere, cambiare, fissarsi, cambiare ancora, fissarsi di nuovo e cambiare ulteriormente, non riusciamo a capire la ragione. Non ci sono nei luoghi di incontro né fontane né statue, né segni che abbiano una loro eloquenza».

Ringrazio Monica Bianchettin Del Grano per la segnalazione.

Shared Space in Lyon. The monumentalised public space and the new colonization of the residential tissues

Lyon retino grigio chiaro senza schemi

Shared Space in Lyon (in progress) by Alessandra Conticini

Shared spaces and Mixité: two opposite directions (2)

XVI National Conference of the Italian Society of Urban Planners, Naples, 9‐10 may 2013. A note on the discussion about shared spaces and «ville garantie». The opposition between old and new functionalism. Read more