LED 2016 Group A Landscape Democracy Challenge 3

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Please add the title of your case study here and replace the dummy image with a characteristic image of your site

Place name Piazza Sant'Agostino
Location Arezzo
Country Italy
Author(s) Benedetta Allegrini
Piazza Sant'Agostino.jpg

Rationale: Why have you chosen this case for the landscape and democracy seminar?

  • It was the first time that people, citizen and inhabitants could get involved in Arezzo by reflecting on the place where they were living and express their opinions.
  • In all my country, the shared participation in public projects is not spread: it is very difficult to find important positive examples.

In 2008 in my city, Arezzo, the public administration wanted a “participated process” to realize the project of upgrading Sant’Agostino square, a central historical place in the urban conformation that had fallen into decay. The administration designed a “path”, developed through stages and activities ,that required the stakeholders to say and do something concrete and that create co-responsibility in decisions aimed at improving the quality of life and spaces.

After that, from the “preliminary draft” the public administration asked to architect's studios by notice a “final project” but without considering only the winner one: from the many solutions the administration wanted to synthesize a definitive single project. It appened that, for this reason, the guild of architects has appealed to the regional court but lost because of the notice conditions that encouraged a " participated project ". This is proof that in Italy this way of planning is not widespread.

Representation of your observations

  • you are basically free to use one or a mix of different presentation techniques
  • possibilities are: analytical drawings, graphical representations, collages, video clips, comic/graphic novel, written essay/visual essay
  • please add any visual material to the gallery, videos can be placed below, you may add text as you like


What are the major challenges for changing the situation?

  • The two big challenges are:

1) try to better inform people; 2) change mentality , so that the democratic planning of the territory become the practice for public administration , for professionals and for citizens too. Consequently the right tools must be created to put into practice that.

What could be a starting point for democractically-based change?

The “path” designed from the administration was divided in steps: 1) Create many homogeneous focus group including all categories (male, female, residents , traders , adults , young, old…) and reflect on the same themes to collect the needs of all; 2) Make a survey; 3) Meet in a assembly enlarged with technicians for a feasibility study; 4) Conclude the “preliminary draft”; 5) Create the final project with competent professionals. The tools used from the administration had been adequate but it is useful used socialmedias too (but in 2008 were not spread as today). The Public Administration should “raise the voice” to involve people, because very often people have no way of knowing for themselves the existence of certain initiatives and socialmedias area perfect communication channel , especially for young. The disagreement between the public and technicians is the proof that nor the Administration, nor professionals make use of this “shared” design process and there are not tools and mentality to do it. There is the possibility that many people didn’t know about the opportunity to participate and that today not many know that the project has been the result of a dialogue between the parties or , more generally, is possible that few people know that exists this method of sharing ideas to improve our territory .


  • Please make sure that you give proper references of all external resources used.
  • Do not use any images of which you do not hold the copyright.
  • Please add internet links to other resources if necessary.

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