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Check out Festarch 2012: “Cities Within the City”

Students new to Perugia may be curious about the comically large concrete blocks  or the abstract white house that seem to have fallen from the sky onto the center streets of the small city.

These temporary additions are part of Festarch, the fourth annual international architecture festival, which began Thursday morning. This year’s festival runs June 7-10; the theme is “Cities Within the City.”

“Each year, each month, many new cities are born inside the consolidated city,” states a pamphlet from “Abitare,” the architecture publication that produces each year’s festival. It lists examples: “Slums, favelas, townships, but also health, technology, or cultural districts, entire districts settled after big events, new towns, gated communities.”

The goal of Festarch 2012 is to identify formal and political solutions to facilitate the growth of these smaller “cities” while maintaining the flow of the city’s infrastructure. The festival also emphasizes the importance for European cities, particularly in Italy, to incorporate these changes inherent to contemporary life – like the increasing need for large parking lots, airports, and commercial/military areas – into the city without hurting the architecture inherent to their cultures.

Through Sunday afternoon, Festarch is presenting a variety of lectures by internationally acclaimed architects, linguists, city managers, and many other specialists, all proposing solutions to these issues.

For a schedule of the events in English, pick up a pamphlet at one of the many information points stationed along Corso Vannucci or visit the Festarch website.

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