During our second trip to Borgo Bello we visited our placemaking workshop tucked away at a University near San Pietro. The plans for our second trip were to repair some of the worn furniture on the terrace, and add a few layers of paint to rejuvenate the space; however, Umbrian weather had other plans for us. As we arrived at the workshop we were met with an array of plants and colors and life that some of us may not have known we were missing. In other words, when we stepped through the greenhouse we left the grey dampness outside, and stepped into a lush very much alive place. After we stopped gawking at all of the plants and the plant experiments (including but not limited to grafting and regrowing roots) we came face to face with the workshop. We were immediately met with the smell of campfires and tools, and we got right to work…eating lunch.. After our short break we actually did get a little more hands on and starting working on furniture repairs for the terrace. This master craftsmanship can be seen in the picture below.
Although, we were unable to go to the terrace and do a clean up we were able to go on a tour of the university and San Pietro. We also managed to walk to the terrace and catch another glimpse of the view, however, on our walk over I was reminded of our reading by Jane Jacobs. The terrace was hidden therefore there’s a lack of awareness, and there was almost a complete lack of eyes on the street. Therefore, the terrace could be dangerous or feel dangerous to certain people because other people are not around. Jacobs also mentions that spaces need to be diverse not only in activities but in people. One of the main problems with the terrace is visibility because it is in a hidden spot, and there are not any signs (at least none that I have seen), and the entrance to the terrace is semi hidden by cars because there are parking spaces. Therefore, we have to tackle that problem.. We need to get more eyes on the area and have more foot traffic in order to make people feel safe using the space as well as bringing awareness that the terrace is there. This could include more lighting, adding some street signs or planning a few activities on the terrace to create community interaction there, and possibly inspire the community to get behind the project to use the terrace and integrate it into Borgo Bello’s community.