Florence, Targeting Sant’Orsola


“Participatory urban regeneration, rehabilitation of historical buildings and complex urban spaces: Florence, targeting Sant’Orsola”

IDEA – The associations which promoted the popular petition “for the beauty and legality of the Central Market and San Lorenzo” ( santorsolaproject.blogspot.it ) signed in just 10 days by over 1000 Florentine citizens and adopted citizens, are inviting urban planners, experts in urban regeneration and redevelopment, investors and economic stakeholders to present success stories and projects of public works they have carried out, studied or funded. They will be presented in the meeting to be held in Florence on the topic of “Participatory urban regeneration, rehabilitation of historical buildings and complex urban spaces: Florence, targeting Sant’Orsola”.

The aim is to collect inputs and create the conditions for starting up a public debate on the rehabilitation of the complex of Sant’Orsola in order to “learn” from experiences of urban regeneration carried out in other places (learning by listening/knowing by looking).

THE PURPOSE – The purpose of this meeting is to promote the dialogue and exchange on successful initiatives in the regeneration of compounds similar to that of Sant’Orsola ( please see the technical sheet on the blog: santorsolaproject.blogspot.it ), by trying to identify methods, actions, opportunities and “horizons” for its recovery, with the aim of engaging the municipal and provincial authorities in the creation of a “director’s studio, targeting Sant’Orsola”, by the end of the municipal administrative mandate in May 2014.

In particular, the associations involved intend to highlight successful “ideas and practices” in order to strengthen the confidence among stakeholders and show ways to accomplish the regeneration of an imposing complex in the heart of an art city. In fact, the ex-Convent of Sant’Orsola in Florence, which for over 30 years has been the symbol of the shameful degradation of a neighbourhood listed in the UNESCO world heritage sites, can represent a positive challenge for everyone, an opportunity that can become true!

THE APPOINTMENT – The meeting is due to take place Saturday 19 October 2013, in Florence, and will be held at Auditorium Sant’Apollonia, Via San Gallo, 25/a, from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm.
The scheduled sessions are 3, each devoted to a different target: planners, investors and citizens.
Length of each presentation should be limited to 15 minutes and the presentations may be in Italian or English. The meeting room is equipped with audiovisual aids and all presentations will be video-recorded and made available on a dedicated Web site.

APPLICATION – Planners and investors interested in taking part are required to send: 1) an abstract of 150 words on the experience of regeneration they wish to present, 2) a very brief personal cv, by Thursday the 10th of Oct., to the following email address:



“Regenerating is possible: The projects made by others, other projects”
The planners interested in taking part are invited to reply to 6 key questions:
1. Which were the project objective and how were the guidelines defined?
The construction of the topic (input, decision-making system, strategy, planning, “pilot project”…)
2. To what extent did the local communities participate and get involved?
How you can start up experiences, processes and schemes of participation, in particular in the urban rehabilitation and regeneration projects (communication, focus groups, workshops, transparent information and decision-making…)
3. How was the project elaboration assigned?
Methods for selecting and choosing the planners (calls for tenders, competition of ideas, open or restricted, on the basis of their curriculum vitae or by invitation, in more than one step…)
4. How was the project funded?
How a public work or a work of public use and interest is funded (financing mechanisms, access to resources, economic management of the process, pubic/private relationship…)
5. Which were the timing and steps of the project and of the following execution?
The project process, the tender requirements, the control and management of the execution/working phases, the worksite…
6. What impact has the execution of the work had on the surrounding area (inner city, neighbourhood) and on the city?
Which consequences, benefits/problems/related issues/valorisation (raffic, business and trade, starting of other redevelopment projects in the surrounding areas, increase of the land value…)

“Financing regeneration is good: The pride and interests of the funding bodies”
The investors interested in participating will be invited to present one or two projects that have made them proud of their funding activity.

“Open debate with citizens”
All the participants will be invited to ask questions to planners and investors and to raise any interesting issue on the possible future of Sant’Orsola.

As of today the initiative has been supported by the following urban planners and experts: Tatiana Campioni, Alberto Breschi, Mariella Zoppi, Camilla Perrone, Chiara Pignaris, Andrea Mannocci, Goffredo Serrini, Marco Massa, Francesco Alberti and art historian, Bruno Toscano.The results of the meeting may be developed later in a new collective appointment between December 2013 and January 2014.

For any further information and press accreditation please contact: Marina Nappini +39 333 108 22 23


The forum is promoted by Parish church of San Lorenzo * Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici * Fondazione Studio Marangoni * Ass. Noi per Firenze * Ass. Marionda Artisti per Firenze * Ass. Comunità Peruviana a Firenze * Ass. Bangladesh Firenze * Comunità Cattolica Filippina a Firenze * Ass. Nuovo Orizzonte Olistico