‘The Eternal City’ of Rome, foremost evokes the familiar image of its rich cultural past and well-maintained UNESCO heritage sites. But to what extend is this inheritance meaningful for the future of Rome as a vibrant European capital? Its blooming past may be a source of inspiration, but does it also induce the creative entrepreneurship that is necessary for its resilience?
As a city with 2.9 million inhabitants within its municipal borders – and 4.2 million within its metropolitan region – Rome faces many challenges. The city may attract millions of tourists annually, the museums are confronted with falling numbers of visitors in comparison to international competitors. The municipal budgets have almost entirely dried up. And regardless of Rome’s astonishing plazas and palazzi, its problems are comparable to other world cities: congestion, immigration, shortage of affordable housing and employment and a consisting reliance on the use of cars and scooters.
Among this, more and more creative initiatives are emerging from the bottom up, in an attempt to formulate answers to the structural challenges faced by the city and its citizens.
Pakhuis de Zwijger, Deltametropolis Association and Brainville together with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome, organize a four-day Field Trip during which we will study the dynamics of this Southern European metropolis. How does the urban planning work? What is the responsibility of the municipality and the state, and to what extend may citizens and entrepreneurs interfere in shaping its form? How do cultural entrepreneurs relate to their urban surroundings; do they for example take a role in the transformation of vacant real estate? To what extend is the maintenance of the cultural heritage safeguarded for future generations?
This is just a grasp of the questions that will be raised and addressed during the four-day Field Trip to Rome.
What will the Field Trip entail?
With a broad perspective on transition and innovation in urban development we will study Rome as a city and a metropolis. Visits to the offices of planners and architects will be complemented with encounters with professional peers, residents, entrepreneurs, wherein we will look for small-scale, often informal urban interventions.
- Federculture – Federation of Enterprises and Organizations of management of culture, tourism, sport and leisure. Federculture represents the most important cultural entities in Italy and tries to establish a coöperation between companies, government and creative enterprises, in order to aid the development of the cultural sector.
- Assocazione Altrevie – Associazione Altrevie is an association that is concerned about the development of the economy after the economical crisis. Their agenda is to change the base of the economy into a more compassionate system based on solidarity, non-violence and exchange.
- Museo MAAM – Museum MAAM is located in an old factory, renamed Metropoliz, this occupied space is now used to experiment with alternative societal constructions. This uncommon museum aims to transform the entire factory into an object of collective art. The artists are invited to offer their contribution free of charge, interacting with the space, the inhabitants and themselves.
- OZ-Officine Zero – Only a few years ago OZ-Officine Zer was a train depot, a place where broken trains were fixed, a working place to a lot of people. When the RSI decided to close down the depot hundreds of people were going to lose their jobs. In order to prevent themselves from this fate they got together with students groups and activists and occupied the building. Now it is transformed into an office, studio and a meeting place. Some of the former workers are still living and working in the occupied depot. Officine Zero is located in an attractive area in Rome, nearby the Tiburtina station.
- Pastificio Cerere – A former pasta factory that was used in the 1980s by famous Italian artists who called themselves “The Lorenzo Group”. Today, the spaces of the former factory continues to house artists’ studios, art galleries, photography schools and graphic studios.
- Nuova Gestione – An initiative to use empty and abandoned spaces within the city of Rome to display public art. The object of this initiative is to revitalize peripheral parts of the city and create exhibition space for young artists.
- Urban Center Garbatella
- Cittalia – Cittalia is concerned with researching topics of social interests of the municipalities of Italy. Founded in 2008, among others Cittalia has researched the welfare state, social inclusion and participation and the use of public and political space within the city.
- Brancaleone -Open since 1990, Brancaleone is a cultural centre and one of the best underground clubs in Rome. Its artistic program focuses on music and clubbing as well as cinema, theatre, visual arts, performance and new media. In 2005 Brancaleone founded an independent radio station called “Radio Popolare Roma” focused on culture, music, political and social issues.
- Rialto Sant’Ambrogio – Rialto Sant’Ambragio reopened their doors since four months, after being shut down by the police five years ago. This centre of independent culture hosts theatre events, music evenings and DJ-parties. Before it was first occupied in 1990 it was used as a cinema.
- Teatro Valle Occupato – This former opera house was designed by Tomasso Morelli and built in 1726. After almost 300 years of successful opera shows the theatre was shut down in 2010 due to budget cuts of the Italian government. Motivated by the rumours of privatisation and the fear that this would lead to a loss of artistic independence, a group of creative protesters occupied the building in 2011. The theatre is still occupied by the group and is used to host various cultural events.
Preliminary programme (subject to change)
Day 1 – Arrival
- 15.00 – Introduction at the hotel
- Visit to working class neighbourhood Suburra with Claudio Capellinni
Day 2 – We Own the City
- 09.30 – Museo MAAM
- 11.00 – OZ Officine Zero
- 14.00 – Pastificio Cerere including presentation of project Nuova Gestione
- 16.30 – Visit to Corviale with Pino Galeota
- 19.00 – Dinner at the residency of the Dutch Ambassador (Presentation by Fondazione Symbola and Informal networking)
Day 3 – City in Transformation
- 09.30 – Workshop on The Creative City in Urban Center Garbatella in cooperation with Cittalia, presentations of Roman projects and informal networking event.
- 12.00 – Lunch and walk through Garbatella neighbourhood with Claudio Bocci (director Federculture / Associazone Altrevie)
- 14.30 – Visit and presentation by TUTUR (Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration)
- 15.30 – Visits to regeneration sites (TBC), Brancaleone of Rialto Sant’Ambrogio, Teatro Valle Occupato, Macro Testaccio – Città Altra Economia
Day 4 – Wrap up
- 10.00 – Presentations on politics, culture and economy. Wrap up with participants
- 14.00 – End of the Field Trip
Why should you join the Field Trip to Rome?
Because you are somewhat actively engaged in the transition of cities, or urban development in general. You want to broaden your horizon and witness how things are done elsewhere in Europe. You want to meet new people within your field of interest or profession, and want to establish sustainable (inter)national contacts. And first and foremost, you want to get a unique perspective on Rome, gain this in the company of an inspiring group of peers and have the practicalities fully taken care off.
- Jaap Modder (Brainville)
- Paul Gerretsen (Vereniging Deltametropool)
- Egbert Fransen (CEO Pakhuis de Zwijger)
- Ellen Hiep (HiePRactief)
- Josje van Nes (municipality of Rotterdam)
- Karen Bebelaar (former municipality of Rotterdam)
- Lot Mertens (Area manager – municipality of Rotterdam)
- Corinne Sieger (Advisor on citizen participation – municipality of Amsterdam)
- Laurens van der Bel (De Blaay – Van den Boogaard R.I. B.V.)
- Jan-Jelle van Hasselt (partner – Wit Communications)
- Paul Basset (Paul Basset adviseert)
- Robert Kok (municipality of Amsterdam)
- Jorgen Karskens (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts – AFK)
- Yvette van der Chijs (municipality of Amsterdam)
- Thery Dirven (Woonpunt Maastricht)
- Margreet Ramaker (Cultural and economical affairs – Provincie Flevoland)
- Sophie van Ginneken (Freelance architectural historian & project leader)
- Stephany van Veen (citizen participation – municipality of Amsterdam
- Rob van Veelen (citizen participation – municipality of Amsterdam)
- Wouter Stoeken (municipality of Amsterdam)
- Charlot Schans (Project leader New Europe – Pakhuis de Zwijger)
- Prescillia van Noort (Ministery of the Interior and Kingdom Relations)
- Wiegert Dulfer (Waterschap Amstel, Gooi en Vecht)
- Erik Zuyderhoff (documentary camera)
- Hettie Politiek (municipality of Amsterdam)
The costs for the Field Trip are € 700,- per person. This includes: hotel (3 nights), breakfast, lunch and diner, local transport, tours and presentations. Excluding transportation to and from Rome. From Amsterdam KLM and Alitalia offer regular flights to Rome for around € 100. Booking the flights is the responsibility of the participants.