On our walk through Borgo Bello my first impression of the area was that it was a small and very friendly place to be. For example, when we explored alone as students, we came across many stray cats, but they all seemed well-fed and some of them very friendly. To me, that’s a very small but welcoming sign in a community. It creates a sense of giving because members of the community are feeding these strays without homes. OrtoBello was something I had never seen before and I was very impressed by it; just the idea of a public space in that location, the unusual plants like broccoli, the cleanliness, and the aesthetic appeal of the area, it all left an impression on me. I liked that instead of shunning the homeless away, they are welcomed to sleep in OrtoBello and make one of the benches a spot to stay for the night.
I also enjoyed the idea of the thrift store we went into, it was a smart idea to spend the money made in the store on a good cause, and it is interesting that the store doesn’t even have prices. That way people who don’t have much money can go there to get clothes, and the money they do spend is towards something beneficial. To me, it seemed like having something with purpose in the community might make members there want to participate to also feel a sense of purpose.
After reading The Shared City by Viviana and then seeing Borgo Bello for the first hour or so, I was surprised about reading that Borgo Bello had once been avoided, dark, desolate, and a hot spot for pushers. But, when it was pointed out that there was a man making drugs in a hidden-away corner on our walk, I realized there still may be some lingering characteristics from the way this area used to be. I’m interested to learn more about how exactly this city took a positive change, and the specific thought process of the involved people making these changes.