Umbra students know that as part of their study abroad experience, they will engage in community activities. For example, in Fall 2016, students in the placemaking course continued their work, through the C.A.R.O. Vicolo Project, on the terrace of Via del Cortone by throwing a Halloween party for the local community!
Placemaking is an innovative approach to urban design that involves designing a public space according to direct input from locals who live and work in that space. Rather than imposing an idea on a community, it asks locals how they dream of using a space. The project began with discussions with community activists and volunteers, in Fall 2015, but this semester’s students are reaching out to children for innovative ideas that emphasize the importance of play and empower the younger generations to take an active interest in the evolution of their neighborhood. After all, a sustainable space is one that can be used for generations.
As part of the course, the class hosted a Borgo Bello Halloween Bash. Young children and their parents came dressed in their best costumes to learn the American tradition of pumpkin carving, and trick-or-treat for cupcakes. Fresh bruschetta toasted over a fire was served as the community bonded in its newly renovated common space. The class and their professors, Ray and Viviana Lorenzo, used the event to advertise their upcoming workshop to local families. The Coloriamo di idee la terrazza del Cortone (Let’s Color the Cortone Terrace with Ideas) Workshop which took place in the neighborhood’s puppet theater. It was designed with a number of children’s activities so that they could creatively share their ideas for the kind of space that they felt would encourage them to play with their friends and family.
Click here to learn more about the semester and the terrace project through the eyes of Placemaking students.