“ReinvenTIAMO Roma” an urban project to give new life to the capital

By Anna Carmen Bernardo, student at Luiss Guido Carli University

“ReinvenTIAMO Roma” is a project meant to revitalize the city starting from the recovery of existing buildings through clear rules and common objectives. The project aims to select areas and public buildings to be regenerated to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants and thus contribute to a real sustainable urban innovation. It was inspired by the initiative”Reinventer Paris” launched by the French capital in 2014 and which is linked to the international call for tenders “Reinventing Cities” started by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the network of cities around the world committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Fourteen ‘pilot’ sites, ranging from degraded or abandoned places to buildings, will be transformed into services for citizens, cultural centers or ‘non-traditional’ housing projects. All focusing on collaboration between public administration and private individuals. This is the heart of this plan for the regeneration of the capital. This new approach to the city is based on the enhancement of existing public and private building stock. It will be developed through a call for innovative projects including a competitive procedure for investors, operators and designers in dialogue with the public administration and the communities. The objective is to identify the best instruments to transform the identified places into shared, sustainable spaces, from an economic, social and environmental point of view. In the publication of the announcement, candidates will be invited to express their interest in one or more sites on a dedicated web platform (expression of interest) followed by an online consultation and voting session open to citizens. Finally, a commission will select a short list and then reach the binding offer which will include: architectural project, management project, economic and financial plan, economic offer, bank guarantees. By December 2020 the winning projects will be selecte

The pillars that must remain “invariant” to each project, real boundaries set by the administration, are innovation, social inclusion, architectural quality, energy efficiency and participation.

The Administration’s strategy proposes an innovative vision of city making from an environmental, social and cultural point of view:

  • The environmental challenge focuses on high-efficiency projects with the reduction of the amount of energy for heating, lighting, ventilation; with a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; with innovative solutions to tackle climate change from biodiversity, urban re-vegetation and agriculture.
  • The social challenge focuses on social inclusion and participation-based projects with widespread access to services and a quality architectural approach.
  • The cultural challenge focuses on projects to promote historical and cultural heritage, to spread knowledge and to integrate it into the contemporary environment.

The starting points are 14 properties selected on the basis of “immediate availability” and “proximity to public transport”. The list includes four “urban spheres”: Bastogi, Ex Miralanza, Viale Castrense (ex Filanda) Ama via Crispi; and ten “public buildings”, mostly formerly disused schools. Real non-places that “ReinvenTIAMO Roma” aims to make lively spaces in agreement with the territory. In illustrating the project, the mayor Virginia Raggi said: “Rome returns to rule its territory with a vision: regenerate the urban fabric starting from the redevelopment of abandoned spaces within the city, to harmonize them with the existing building stock and to avoid further soil consumption “.

She adds: “With certain rules the role of the public administration become decisive for the benefit of the well-being of citizens and the improvement of the quality of life. The Capital looks to the future by identifying abandoned buildings and areas that will soon have a new life thanks to projects of high architectural quality, high energy efficiency, social inclusion and heritage promotion. The projects will never go beyond the urban context but will be conceived within it to cater concretely for the citizens’ needs”. The territory and the citizens become an active part in the processes of the city.

To conclude, “ReinvenTIAMO Roma” is a laboratory from which a confrontation and a debate is born to turn abandoned buildings and sites throughout the city into living, open, sustainable and resilient places. Municipal buildings are target as the first fundamental resource from which to restart development, services and projects for the well-being of the community. Reviving these assets is the best way to give new lifeblood for the growth of our territory.