Last Wednesday we had our first briefing with the community at the Teatro di Figura. We were so excited to present the ideas we came up with during past classes and, more important, we wanted to see what the community thought about the actual situation and what are their priorities.
Before starting the conversation, we had the chance to introduce each other while drinking some Prosecco and Spumante because I wanted to celebrate my graduation with the class and, most important, because, as suggested by our historical and philosophical traditions, he importance and the success of this kind of events is proportional to the amount of wine/alcohol available (see Plato’s Symposium). There were a lot of familiar faces such as, for example, Orfeo and Mario and other people that will become familiar to us very soon (I really liked the American couple). The only thing I have to say is that, compared to the high presence of members from the community, no one from the administration was present (non a big surprise, right?).
We started presenting our work in general and exposing some ideas of interventions organized in a fantastic grid created by Prof. Lorenzo together with Viviana. Basically, as we expected, we all recognized as priorities the following actions: cleaning up the site (with a “Spring Cleaning” event for the first time), moving the parking lot a bit further from the terrace (in order to let people to see the place), making it recognizable as you enter the little square and putting the appropriate signage all around. The interesting and challenging part is that we need to integrate these practical actions with promotional events in order to make the community aware of what’s going on and, let’s hope, making them eager to participate in the process.
The discussion gave us the opportunity to directly how the participatory process of decision making works; as any typical Italian discussion, there were some moments when people started talking over each other (poor Viviana! She had an hard time trying to manage the conversation) but, in general, it seems like there are no big differences of perspective regarding the terrace and what has to be done.
We now have crystal clear directions on what we have to do; we should start building something using the materials we already have and word on the accessibility aspect putting signage all around the neighbourhood. We are really excited to start because we have a lot of interesting ideas. The only thing left to do is to figure out how to involve more people in this process, how to let them understand that this project is a first step to start thinking about our individual role in the society we live in. By understanding the importance of what we can do in our neighbourhood people can realize that our personal ideas can make the difference; taking care of our places is the first step to claim back the social dimension which is the basis for the education of good citizens.