Redevelopment of unused spaces: the case study of the Bosco De Nicola neighborhood area in Cosenza


Emma Potter

Redevelopment of unused spaces: the design choices

The project involved the arrangement of the public spaces present in the lot through the creation of recreational and cultural spaces accessible to young people and adults of all age groups, characterized by five multi-purpose sub-areas: the Before, of 750 m2, houses a regulation bowling green, approved for international competitions, with a relative grandstand to watch the playing activities take place; there second, of 1350 m2, includes equipped greenery, punctuated by seats and internal paths connected to the outermost part of the lot, parallel to Viale Cosmai, and a well-being area in beaten earth useful for sporting activities: stretching, free body activities, running etc.; there third, of 850 m2, features a multipurpose field configured with three playing areas: 5-a-side football field, volleyball field and tennis court; in the fourth, which has an area of ​​550 m2 and is located near the “Mattia Preti” primary school and the nursery, a play area for children has been created; finally, the fifth area, of 1400 m2, hosts a multipurpose square created with tactical urbanism interventions.

In particular, the intervention concerns the creation of new pedestrian pathsthe regeneration of green spaces And creation of flowerbedspruning of existing trees e planting of new tree species can be integrated with existing ones; there installation of street furniture and the draining cycle/pedestrian paving eco-friendly and eco-friendly with colorful finish. All achieved through the architectural mode of tactical urbanism.

The green areas, defined by trees and shrubs of various types, have been designed as a green lung which, inserted within the urban context, can contribute to improving comfort in terms of healthy air and reducing noise pollution created by the urban traffic of the adjacent streets that delimit the perimeter of the lot. The design idea of ​​placing the play area near the schools is aimed at strengthen synergy with school infrastructure of the neighborhood who will thus be able to enjoy the open spaces and take advantage of the games. In the fifth and final area a intervention with low environmental impact which makes use of color and the creative reuse of recycled materials, to ensure that the community can reclaim common spaces through the creation of colored flooring and street furniture elements. All with a redevelopment approach inspired by the architectural modality of tactical urbanism, which uses the remodulation of space to create the so-called islands of sociality.

“Tactical urbanism – explains architect Caferro – it is a form of architecture that allows you to bring the inhabitants closer to the city in a concrete way. The color that invades the spaces is one of the characterizing elements that distinguishes these interventions which refer to a tactical vision of urban planning. In this sense, the colored i.idro DRAIN draining concrete of Heidelberg Materials, used to create the multipurpose square and the children's play area, proved to be particularly suitable for the purpose because it allowed me to create colored flooring with a material with highly performing technical characteristics both in mechanical and aesthetic terms, without neglecting the rewarding aspect of sustainability. In this product I found the perfect combination of functionality, performance and high aesthetic value, while respecting the environment. Being able to choose between awide variety of pantones with bright and brilliant colours, i.idro DRAIN allowed me to fully satisfy the primary need of tactical urbanism to communicate through the use of color. It is a plastic material that lends itself well to modeling the shapes of the paths of the project design, favoring the creation of a colored and very comfortable flooring (even to the touch) and allowing the creation of areas free of architectural barriers, smooth and flat that allow everyone to reach the play and recreational areas. I am very satisfied with the final result of the flooring and, dealing with design for the public administration, I will also propose it for other areas”.

Redevelopment of unused spaces: the case study of the Bosco De Nicola neighborhood area in Cosenza Piazza Cosenza web red

Tactical urbanism and urban regeneration

The approach to the redevelopment of public spaces typical of tactical urbanism – non-invasive, experimental, often temporary, low-cost and shared – allows us to make more livable, welcoming, cheerful and aesthetically pleasing, some areas of the large global metropolises. With few tools and limited resources it is possible to create islands of sociality for meeting and relaxing, transforming the relationship, now increasingly complex, between citizens and the city. “The elements that distinguish tactical urbanism from other interventions are the participatory, temporary nature and cost-effectiveness. Because, unlike traditional architectural projects “dropped from above”, tactical urbanism actions arise from an analysis of the emerging needs of citizens. In addition to changing the intended use of some areas, tactical urbanism also allows you to recover unused and abandoned structures or areasas happened in the Bosco de Nicola neighborhood in Cosenza”explains Caferro.

In this intervention, a careful, sustainable and respectful design of the needs of the local community, through the creation of play areas, relaxation and green areas, the use of draining concrete i.idro DRAIN colored for flooring and the creative reuse of recycled materials and other elements of urban furniture it allowed the entire urban park to be redeveloped, regenerating an unused area.

The characteristics of the draining material

“All areas of the park created with i.idro DRAIN are usable in complete safety by everyone and in every seasonas the material allows water to be returned to the aquifer, draining large volumes of rainwater and reducing the formation of ice due to unwanted water stagnation in winter, which is so dangerous on pedestrian paths”says Caferro.

The ad matrix high percentage of interconnected voids Of i.idro DRAIN allows for drainage over 200 LT/m2 per minute and, in addition to avoiding the formation of puddles and ice sheets, in hot seasons it effectively breaks down the heat island, making the areas in which it is used cooler and more liveable, contributing to the reduction of heat (up to 30 degrees compared to a typical asphalt pavement in highly urbanized places). The SRI (Solar Reflectance Index) value of the product, always greater than 29, the minimum value established by the CAM for external surfaces, allows the surfaces to remain cooler than other materials when exposed to the action of solar rays, giving a greater feeling of comfort and contributing to the reduction of the “heat island” effect, says Caferro.

Furthermore, thanks to the particular porosity of the product, the surfaces created with i.idro DRAIN they absorb CO2 much faster than normal concrete, have excellent mechanical capabilities and require minimal maintenance. All the sustainability characteristics of the product and the environmental impacts linked to its production are certified by the environmental product declaration (EPD) of which he is in possession.

“The aspect of sustainability and respect for the environment is fundamental for those who design. We technicians must also pay particular attention to the choice of materials to improve the long-term sustainability of the built environment and the quality of life of today's citizens and future generations, in compliance with the regulations, which are increasingly attentive to issues of environmental sustainability. i.idro DRAIN meets all these needs: it is an innovative and sustainable product”declares Caferro.

Redevelopment of unused spaces: the case study of the Bosco De Nicola neighborhood area in Cosenza Colored draining paving Cosenza

The installation and coloring of the drainage material

Before creating the drainage surfaces, the company entrusted with carrying out the works prepared the installation plan. “We prepared a substrate of approximately 30 cm with cobblestones on top of which a layer of stabilized of approximately 3-4 cm was laid to level the surface. On this, after compacting the laying surface, the drainage material was poured to a thickness of approximately 8 cm. We also took care of the installation of drainage pipes for the collection and correct disposal of rainwater into the ground. Once the preparation work on the laying surface was completed, they were carried out by squad, there concrete business unit of Heidelberg Materials specialized in flooring and draining concrete surfaces”explains Salvatore the Workerowner of ISCOMPANY.

“Like, – he confirms Marco Sandri, Product Manager for Flooring at Heidelberg Materials we created all the areas envisaged in the executive project with i.idro DRAIN in standard gray colour, with teamwork and continuous discussion with the company, the works management and the client. With this in mind, together with Eugenio Romano, the local technical sales representative, we provided information to the company on the type of product to use for coloring the draining concrete surfaces and the application methods”. Once the installation of the draining concrete was completed, the company, based on the indications of the team, proceeded to color the concrete areas using spray paint with colored mineralizers, following the scheme indicated by the project. “The paint used, specific for draining concrete, impregnates the cement paste, coloring it, protecting it and giving greater durability to the draining layer. Thanks to a vast range of bright and brilliant colours, once the contours of the areas to be colored had been defined, assigning the expected color to each one, it was possible to bring the project design to life”says Worker.

“Thanks to the teamwork between designer, company and supplier in the choice and use of this product – declares Caferro – we were able to achieve the results we had set ourselves, in response to the needs of the client and citizens: the redevelopment of an abandoned area and the return to public use of a vital space for the community, within a residential context and close to schools. In addition to the valuable characteristics offered by the product in terms of innovation, aesthetic value and sustainability, one of the great advantages in using – concludes Caferro – is to be able to count, from the initial proposal to the acquisition, up to the management and execution of the construction site, on continuous discussion with the Heidelberg Materials techniciansfrom a problem solving perspective, which has always allowed us to find the most suitable technical solution for resolving every construction site problem, with the aim of improving the durability and quality of the work”.

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