Last week we explored in the Sant’ Angelo neighborhood. We looked at examples of shared community spaces in the area and found a collection of different types of gathering places.
We looked at the Ex Lavatoi Pubblici, a small walled-in public park along a residential road. The space was calm and accessible but had nothing that really drew anyone in. No one was seen gathered or using the space and we suspect that it is usually an uninhabited space. Perhaps a wind chime would invite passerbys to look into the small garden. The addition of a table and chairs for studying would also enhance the use.
We ventured up to a beautiful cathedral and observed many young people utilizing the lawn to play with their dogs and sit out to do homework. There were also visitors inside the church to see the light-filled interior. While not necessarily appealing to all community members, this was a safe and open public space.
We found the Frontone Cinema which hosts outdoor movies in the summer and indoor movies during the rest of the year, and while it was uninhabited during our visit, it seems like it would be a common gathering place for students in the area and residents of the neighborhood.
Just after we (accidentally) ventured past the huge arch on the edge of our map we came across a small public playground that was very run down. It seemed oddly placed and aside from lacking accessibility, it was entirely out of place. The garden was overgrown and the swings seemed unsafe. I wonder what it looked like when it was put there. The idea of safety is very key in how people enjoy public space. No one person is in control of the happenings on city streets but we can create community spaces that foster a sense of belonging and security.