- “Urban Center” as a privileged Place for shaping shared urban Vision   click here to open paper content62 kb
by    Monardo, Bruno & De Bonis, Luciano | bruno.monardo@uniroma1.it   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper is focused on the cultural interpretation of the role of Urban Centers for communicating and shaping a shared urban visioning. An inclusive participation of all involved stakeholders can be facilitated through new technological tools of e-democracy.
Since the 1960s the term “Urban Center” (UC) has identified a kaleidoscopic panel of structures whose general mission has been to facilitate stakeholders’ participation in urban transformation guidelines and/or local projects. The modern origin of UC is embedded in Anglosaxon “common law”, particularly referring to some success experiences in the USA, where mature models of consensus convergence on strategic city development projects have been implemented through a wide range of political approaches and interaction techniques.
Over the last twenty years, following the “American lesson”, there has been an explosion of UCs in Europe (particularly in Italy), due to the demand for “smart governance” and “enlarging democracy” in the management of urban virtuous transformations. The European interpretation is naturally very different, particularly where the centrality of public administration dominates urban management principles (like France or Italy). The core issue is whether and how one can pass from the traditional scenario of “partisan, privileged interests” to the new horizon of real participated, shared policies. Can the Urban Center be considered an authentic arena for transparent urban policies or is it a place to legitimate lobby decisions ?
As a framework, visioning needs to be redefined according to the new meanings and functions of the strategic project but also to the evolving socio-technical trends. In particular, we believe that an intimate correlation should be established between strategic planning processes, strategic projects, places of public debate and involvement in urban policies (such as Urban Centers) and new technological tools of e-democracy. To ensure equity, effectiveness and creativity in using similar tools for building the appropriate visionary context of strategic projects it is necessary to conceive and implement them as a means, or hyper-media of social interaction, according to the most interesting tendencies emerging from the world-wide-web.
Urban Center, shared visioning, urban policies, www
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