Cooking Garden prototype. Terni Italy

Last september VIC was invited to work in Terni, Italy, with a very special community. The issue was a public space between social housing built in the twentieth century for steelworkers from local indutries. Although the history of how occupied these houses is very interesting (see video 01), currently lives two very opposing types of communities for cultural reasons: italian families and immigrants already settled in the country.
Public space between houses express conflicts that currently exist, being  completely abandoned, where no one dares to do anything for fear of generating new conflicts. This results in areas occupied by vehicles outside the community, degraded areas and unused spaces.

(video 01)

01. USERS:

The neighborhood consists of two main groups: old and new residents. Old residents are mostly senior citizens from Italian origin who own their flats, while the new residents are mostly young families from foreign origins who rent their flat. Empty spaces in the rest of neighborhood are being appropriated by next door residents through customization. Even though, this is a centrally located empty public space, no one has claimed ownership of it. Residents usually stay in their own customized spaces and rarely try to explore other common spaces in the neighborhood. New residents don’t have the time to invest in customization of the public space due to work commitments and therefore are excluded from this process.


The site is located in the center of the urban block. North: Blind walls of L-shaped residential buildings with customized communal gardens. South: A two story shared private house and its private garden. East: De facto parking lot. West: Waste containers and improvised parking.

03. FACT:

Residents call this place «the dog toilet». It is not clear who owns this spot, the site was set on fire a few months ago.

04. COOKING GARDEN: (Let me help you cooking!)

We thought about using «an urban kitchen» as a pretext for approchement between the two communities and make it visible in public space. An urban kitchen strengthen the use of domestic activities in public space is always welcome in Mediterranean contexts. We collect recipes on various ways of cooking traditional italian pasta sauces, because even slight variations are observed them through the mixing of the population. Through this array of recipes in a space where we could cook outdoors and establish a place where you can share this knowledge.

The project, carried out in an ephemeral way of example was a success since both types of communities turned to space sharing an evening of conviviality on this topic: «Let me help you cooking!»







Project: Vivero de iniciativas ciudadanas: Alfredo Borghi, Nieves Valle, Nicola Di Croce, Vanessa Elefante, Mayra, Martina, Giulia, Esaú Acosta, Mauro Gil-Fournier, Miguel Jaenicke.

Place: Terni. Italy

Photos: VIC, except 01, 02 Mor Arkadir