Urban re-activation is becoming an increasingly relevant and complex topic in Europe, as it brings together a growing community of influential actors who, in recent years, have established a number of successful interventions in the fields of re-use and re-appropriation.
Re-activate, Re-generate, and Re-use are expressions that have been recently introduced to our lexicon, and have since become widely disseminated; moreover, it becomes increasingly important to address issues of re-activation, re-generation, and re-use in an urban context, we also find ourselves utilizing such terms whenever we refer to an architectural project, indicating a more conscious use of the resources at our disposal.
The prefix, “re-“, becomes fundamental in understanding these transformations: re-use of existing artefacts, chirurgical interventions within the urban fabric, and participatory bottom-up initiatives.The re-appropriation of urban space by the citizens and the communities who inhabit it is a central topic: we are dealing with new models that currently lack connections to theoretical practice. Today, these previously informal initiatives are, by necessity, transforming into ad hoc organizations, which translates into more structured projects and goals. Our intentions for the historical centre of Genoa, aimed at transforming formerly abandoned areas and decaying neighbourhoods, can be described as “urban re-generations”, or “re-activations of the public space”, or “re-use of the existing”.