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Inu commission on "community and communicative planning"

by Donatella Venti

Why a National Commission? The results of an experimentation
The theme of "new" participation and communication forms within projecting-planning processes has "peeped out" in the national town planning debate on the occasion of the XXI Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica (Town planning National Institute) meeting: the working group at the time presented a quite large dossier, in which there were reported the motivations that had forced the Institute to involve itself in a still little tracked subject and very far from the main themes of interest at the time.
Since then there has followed a stream of reflection, analysis, but also of real experimentation which has had the fundamental deserve of inserting the subjects of participation and communication into the "daily practice" of a ever growing number of public administrations, widening so the target, initially very narrow, of interested people. Above all the promotion of the National Competition of participated and communicative projecting has experimented in a "pioneering" way the inserting in a bid of "traditional" kind of citizen involvement patterns into the projecting process.
The experience till now matured, with all the interrogatives and the doubts emerged and in particular the reflections and the clues to develop emerged from the national meeting at the conclusion of the 1st edition of the Competition, constitutes a valid starting point to give an answer to the ongoing and mostly perceivable changing ( the timing acceleration, the rapid obsolescence in the innovation sectors, the new social demand, the request of imagery), enforcing the instance, expressed above all at Municipalities level which have or are in the verge of experiencing participating methods, of consolidating a route, still too much connected to local applicators and personal sensibility of each ones and almost never anchored on a even generic "ruled" or statutory reference. In particular two factors arise which testify the potentialities to be found in the participating -communicative methods: the first is connected to the widening of the provisional/interpretative capabilities in a process of planning/projecting of the sites; the second lies in the fundamental "diversity" which, although inserting itself into common instruments (such as a Master Plan, a town qualifying project, a detailed plan), amplifies and deeply transforms contents and methods.

The commission assumes therefore a double role:
a) the one of promoting, organising and managing, through the Organising committee, a second edition of the Competition, which will be publicised also through this journal, granting the "methodological conformity" of the participating and projecting path, the quality of the results, the applicability of the experimentation. In this second edition the effort will be mostly devoted to the collaboration and to furnish a help to the labs activated in the promoting Municipalities. The new organisation of the Competition foresees in fact a series of seminarian moments, which will be held at the Municipalities, and meeting-exchanging-verifying of labs activities with the inhabitants, nonetheless confrontation stages and methodological research which will be proposed at the preliminary phases of the Competition both to the municipality technicians and to the responsible for the labs and to projecting team which will inscribe themselves to the various courses.
b) the one of bringing forth the stream of research according to more thematic issues:
1) Participation and sustainable development,
2) Children town,
3) Participation and programs of town restructuring,
4) Language and communication,
5) Interpretation of the new town socialites.

'Participation and sustainable development'
Key words of the program: acquiring again territory control by inhabitants ( care and protection of the sites, increasing of consciousness), self sustainable development of local community, strategic planning from the low.

'Children town'
Program keywords: monitoring of the laws-directives-documents regional/national on the children town, participation to the national Communities (Environment Ministry, Social policies Ministry - National plan for infancy), participation to the initiatives of the project "The children town", collaboration proposal with the Public Instruction Ministry on the topic "right to town quality".

'Participation and programs of town restructuring'
Program keywords: from monodimensional to pluridimensional approach: in the analysis (a more complete restitution of life reality trough the interaction with the inhabitants) and in connection among interactive policies (project program inserted in more financial and programming agendas); agreements among assessors and among sectors; geography of the actors in a process of urban requalification; routs of self-determination, creative negotiation; verifying of the process quality.

'Language and communication'
Program keywords: communication in the plan and project communication ; the working up of meaning relations; the plan and the project as solutions repertories, work on the alternatives, abacus of solutions; the unfinished plan and project (which suggests, preludes, but does not "define").

'Interpretation of the new town socialites'
Program keywords: cultural report between project maker and citizen (formal quality ad quality indicated by inhabitants); dreams and needs of towns: new reading instruments; single and collective imageries, the new symbolic sites in town space; social landscapes and forms of inhabiting; contemporary town (night town and marginal town, minority town, multiethnic town).

A "net" organised Commission
The Commission, located in Bologna at the regional Branch of Emilia-Romagna INU, is articulated in a co-ordination nucleus and a net of territorial references, acting at the regional branches, sided by experts of the sector.
It is an "open" commission to experts and to people not belonging to INU, particularly competent in the topics found out by the program.
The national co-ordination group is composed by the President and the Secretary of the Commission, by the President of the hosting branch and by the technical Secretary of the 2nd edition of the National Competition of participated projecting and continuous, to be performed in collaboration with the WWF, that in particular will host the technical operative Secretary.
For what concerns the regional referents and sector experts, they are present in almost all Italian regions.
As consolidated in the previous years, the Commission is also a referring point for the institutions which start experimentation initiatives of communicative-participating methods . It is, in fact, always more necessary to build up a net of regional referents, geographically well distributed which can converse with many subjects who require helps and counsels. It consents besides a major presence in the various debating sites to which the Commission is invited (Municipalities initiatives, volunteers associations, environmental associations, relating to the category, from the Istituto degli Innocenti, Universities, associations and local committals) and to the initiatives promoted at regional side within the cultural collaboration with the WWF.

II Edition of the Competition and collaboration with the WWF
The rout of the II edition of the Competition is articulated in the following "steps":
- Municipalities adhesion, identification of cases to be studied and identification of the subjects of the Competition;
- announcement of competition drafting and publication;
- refresher formation courses: for municipalities agents, referents of each administration, for the entitled of the labs, and for the enrolled project team the inscription quote will include the one for the participation to the course ( in case of groups, is previewed the participation of only a component);
- lab activation, the works of which will be developed in two phases: the first in which the project team will build up together with the citizens their program for the project; at the end of this first phase, the jury will select the proposals and will designate the winning projects and those marked out. The winners, whose prize will be the charge for the definitive project, will develop the second phase of the lab in which they will elaborate the project with periodic verifications.
It is prefigured then an ideas competition to be shown in a "largely drafted project"; the professionals (or group of professionals) will take part in a overt form and the prize for the winners will be the charge for the definitive project. Those signalled, instead, will have a prize, to be defined for each of the themes.
Within year 2001 will be concluded the II edition of the Competition, presented during the IV National Town Planning Review (Venice, november 1999).

Meetings and seminars
A first occasion of debate " inter - thematic" is previewed within the IV National Town Planning Review, in which will be present an "ad hoc" thematic section. The section is going to host and debate all those plans and integrated projects and complex program which are experimenting within themselves participating-communicative methods.
Other seminarian occasions always in program from September 1999 are taking place either for the initiative of the Commission of the Institutions and Associations which experiment participating methods.

Membership of the Inu commission
on "community and communicative planning"
Donatella Venti Chairman
Maria Rosa Morello Secretary
Pietro Maria Alemagna Chairman of Inu's Section in Emilia-Romagna
Manuela Capelli Secretary of Competition Wwf-Inu-Cer
Gianmarco Carcioffi Secretary of Competition Wwf-Inu-Cer
Brunella Rallo Secretary of Transport Commission
Guido Ligabue Emilia-Romagna
Francesco Evangelisti Emilia-Romagna
PierGiuseppe Pontrandolfi
Piergiorgio Corazza
Rosanna Argento
Anita Sardellini
Giovanna Rosellini
Alfonso De Albentiis
Francesco Lo Piccolo
Maurizio Carta
Fabrizio Mangoni
Maria Alberta Manzon
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Maria Grazia Santoro
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Alessandro Giangrande
Mauro Degli Effetti
Carola Gattorna
Chiara Luisa Pignaris
Valeria Monno
Marisa Fantin
Hilde Ghio
Piemonte, Val d'Aosta
Marvi Maggio
Piemonte, Val d'Aosta
Giorgio Pizziolo
Mariolina Besio
Anna Giani
Patrizia Gabellini
Expert and Director of Planum

The Inu Commission work will be articulated in five topics that tackle from different points of view the different meanings of community planning. For each thematic field the Commission has individualised a discussant, who will have the role of stimulating the discussion around the different topics that characterise each themes.
In PLANUM workshop section the discussants will stimulate a online debate with the virtual community around some initial suggestions, which, when matured, will be brought in other section to offer them to a wider debate.
The five topics and the five discussant are so articulate:

Topic Discussant E-mail
Citizen Participation and Ecological Sustainability Giorgio Pizziolo
City of Children Manuela Capelli
Citizen Participation
and Urban Revitalisation Programs
Maurizio Carta

and Communication
Fabrizio Mangoni
of new urban social actors
Alessandro Giangrande