Piazze Aperte per ogni scuola is a program for public space in Milan promoted by the city administration. One Works joined the program through a participatory design initiative conducted with parents and teachers of a neighbourhood in Milan near Anfossi, Bezzecca, Cadore, and Morosini streets.
The process started in November 2022 when, following the publication of the public notice ‘Piazze Aperte per ogni scuola’ (Open Squares for every school) by the Municipality of Milan, a ‘Steering Group’ was set up within One Works, made up of some twenty young architects, urban planners, and sociologists to stimulate research into innovative themes, alternative design approaches and introducing new knowledge into the company’s design staff. The group’s goal is to measure the challenges and needs of children and parents in this city area, located just steps from One Works’ headquarters.
After contacting the Education Units and school parents’ associations, the team set up a series of interviews based on questionnaires to capture the problems and potential of the spaces around the schools. After analysing the data collected, a multilevel study of the public space and the soft mobility system was carried out (cartographic and photographic surveys, research into vehicular and pedestrian accessibility, in-depth study of regulations). In line with the findings in the field, these analyses revealed numerous criticalities in the dynamics of vehicular flows, road safety, and the characteristics of pedestrian spaces.
The next step was elaborating the design proposal, starting with each analysed street’s specificities. Its development begins from the indications of the various local stakeholders (schools, parents, associations, public and private bodies) to generate a participative process of support for the project and, where possible, to establish the basis for a prolonged collaboration during the implementation, activation, and maintenance phases of the spaces. By understanding the inhabitants’ modal habits, the program aims to trigger a joint movement between local realities and educational institutions to enhance the various actors’ capacities and accelerate the place’s social reactivation.
In parallel, the team investigated the complexities of the local space, mapping soft mobility flows around schools. A project proposal to redesign bicycle and pedestrian accessibility and develop new playgrounds and specific areas where caregivers can wait for younger children when they leave the schools and older children can more easily socialize. The proposed program focuses on co-design and urban-care actions by colouring public spaces. In line with the current urban planning instruments of the Municipality of Milan, these hypotheses redefine the area as an activation point for a possible systemic change of public spaces and soft mobility in the city.
The Declaration adopted by governments puts forward a set of Principles grounded in the comprehensive vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year, One Works is proud to be bringing the importance of human-centered design to the Fuorisalone