External spaces as a social and relational engine. New landscapes in the city.
It is more than manifest that this pandemic has changed and continues to change the habits of all the inhabitants of the planet. At this moment, it is equally clear that it is necessary to evaluate whether our cities are positively responding to this emergency, from a town planning and architectural point of view.
The answer seems obvious to architects, engineers, landscape architects and urban planners, and perhaps also to the political world now: the city will have to be reviewed with different eyes, the criteria of social distancing will have to be met, new relationships will have to be created and the common spaces redefined.
The mankind will continue to use the city in all its forms and no pandemic will destroy the relationship that binds the human being to its city, neither the cholera, the Spanish flu or the plague in the past, nor let alone the Covid-19. Today, it is not easy to think how urban centres will look like after the Coronavirus, and not only in Italy. However, it is necessary to start imagining a new world, through the redesign of spaces, both on a city and on a domestic level.
The greatest human relationships develop in the common spaces: thanks to their large spaces, the problem is less relevant for gardens and parks but it is more difficult to think of flow areas for streets, footpaths, and external areas of offices, as "safe" areas from a possible infection.
We must therefore reinvent these spaces and expand their use: not only to create flow and walkway areas but also to design spaces whose sizes can be developed, becoming real rest areas, with ad hoc street furniture, consequent reduction of tarmacked areas, expansion of footpaths until they become gardens, and creation of new landscapes in our cities, where the respect for nature merges with the distancing. Building with judgment, without packing the buildings together, and creating greenery filters for human well-being.
As a result of the various global lockdowns, there has been a definite improvement in the environmental quality, thanks to the decrease in polluting emissions. We have all seen the satellite images of Italy and Europe showing a significant reduction in the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, generated by human activities: traffic, industrial production, energy, etc.
Pandemic, pollution, distancing, everything leads us to understand how much it is important to change the course, by providing all the means we have to our civilisation and implementing the right behaviours.
Our Company has always given the utmost importance to the environmental aspect and to the landscape and urban planning; we have realised that the world does not consist of separate rooms but of communicating ones. We came across several projects over the time, from outdoor areas for offices to gardens for restaurants, from green promenades to kids’ playgrounds, all sharing a single objective: the relationships and the improvement of the spaces quality.
It is impossible to know what and how the world will change in a short time, but we want to participate in this change with strength and courage.