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Criticità dell’emergenza

Criticità dell’emergenza
Nicola Petaccia, Alfredo Mantini

30° house. Abitare tra emergenza e trasformazione: studio per un modulo abitativo temporaneo
Guya Bertelli,Claudio Chesi
Curatore: N. Petaccia, M. Roda
Editore: Maggioli Editore
Anno edizione: 2017
EAN: 9788891622419

L’Italia presenta un territorio fragile, da sempre si confronta con eventi sismici di varie intensità, spesso gravi, che lasciano ferite alle architetture, al tessuto urbano ed alla popolazione colpita.
Dopo l’evento sismico, i governi devono affrontare l’emergenza abitativa con progetti e piani di ricostruzione che dovrebbero essere indirizzati alla realtà locale, ma che spesso risultano non essere in grado di porre attenzione ai centri di aggregazione sociale. La società si ricompone invece autonomamente attraverso i rapporti sociali e configura nuove spazialità urbane.
Dopo ogni evento, finita la fase della prima emergenza, si passa a quella della ricostruzione. Una ricostruzione, sempre auspicata in tempi brevi, che però, in Italia, viene attuata senza una strategia unitaria di intervento, realizzando progetti differenti a seconda dell’entità del sisma e della realtà territoriale di interesse.
La seconda fase, è sicuramente quella più difficile e lunga, dovrebbe essere improntata sulla trasparenza delle imprese e sulla qualità degli interventi da parte dei progettisti e tecnici coinvolti, coordinati con le università e gli uffici tecnici locali.
L’obiettivo di questo testo è quello di indagare la prospettiva italiana sulle emergenze sismiche attraverso un’analisi dei ripari temporanei, che sostituiscano i container e che facciano fronte all’emergenza insediativa senza dimenticare il valore della casa, generando una qualità nuova nell’abitare temporaneo migliorando la risposta all’emergenza insediativa.


UPhD-Green Conference – Venice

Retrofitting Post-Socialist Landscapes
Nicola Petaccia Dipartimento di Architettura, Universita’ degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara
Dottorato di ricerca in “Architettura, Geologia, Ingegneria Civile” – Ciclo XXIX, Tutor: Prof. Massimo Angrilli, Co-Tutor: Prof. Ivica Covic, Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani, Politecnico di Milano
Research objective
The aim of this research is to analyse the problematic of post-war Eastern European housing estates, in order to set up their long-term stability and generate a better environment.
Since the end of World War II, two different kinds of modern cities were developed across Europe, even though the theoretical recipes in architecture and urbanism were the same. The differences between the socialist and capitalist economies were as deep as the spatial assets of the cities they produced.
After the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of socialism in which Eastern European societies opened themselves to global influences. This created degradation in the suburb large housing complexes making them unable to attract private capital. Therefore, they need to be regenerated.
Research methodology
In order to understand the issues related to public space, residential areas and services in those neighbourhoods, this research project analysis, through a parallel reading of paradigmatic case studies about central, western and eastern European cities. Especially during the political and economic transition from the centrally planned economic system of socialism to the market economy of capitalism, before and after 1989.
This allows to compare and explore the differences in the neighbourhoods’ development by taking into consideration their social output, and to determine that post-socialist landscapes should be a combination of traditional open spaces with urban ecological and sustainability principles.
Therefore, the research proposes specific regenerative scenarios in order to create new paradigms that built and reinvent the modern eastern settlements through the implementation of landscape as a strategy that will improve the quality of life.
A post-socialist landscape, full of open spaces, built spaces, infrastructures, new ecological equipment, renewable energy and participation. All these combined in deeper retrofitting strategies to give life to a new system of relations that generates unplanned scenarios.
Eventually, the scenario related to ecology, energy and participation becomes a set of guidelines built in order to reinvent the landscape, as a main generator of quality of life.



Primo convegno dei Dottorati di Ricerca dedicati al progetto sostenibile – 22 settembre 2017, 
Università IUAV di Venezia

OIKONET “Global Dwelling” Conference – Manchester

Regeneration in the European post-socialist cities

N. Petaccia, M. Angrilli
Department of Architecture, “G. d’Annunzio” University Chieti-Pescara, Italy
Department of Architecture, “G. d’Annunzio” University Chieti-Pescara, Italy


The aim of this paper is to analyse the problematic of post-war Eastern European housing estates, in order to set up their long-term stability and generate a better environment.
Since the end of World War II, even though the theoretical recipes in architecture and urbanism were the same, two different kinds of modern city were developed across Europe. The differences between the socialist and capitalist economy were as deep as the spatial assets of the cities they produced.

After the collapse of socialism the processes of transformation in Eastern European societies have opened to global influences.
Nowadays the need to regenerate those degraded urban areas is becoming more widespread. To understand the issues related to those districts the paper will start by analysing paradigmatic case studies, in order to present an equivalent reading of central western and eastern European cities.

Keywords: Public Spaces, Landscape, 50-60s settlements, Post-socialist settlements, Retrofit, Urban, Regeneration Recycle, Urban Renewal


OIKONET is a European project co-funded by the Executive Agency of Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA), with the purpose of studying contemporary housing from a multidisciplinary and global perspective by encompassing the multiple dimensions which condition the forms of dwelling in today’s societies: architectural, urban, environmental, economic, cultural and social.

Oikonet Conference – Bratislava

Poster presentation at the second OIKONET conference on “Global Dwelling” hosted by the Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, on 24 ­ 25 September, 2015.

OIKONET is a European project co-funded by the Executive Agency of Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA), with the purpose of studying contemporary housing from a multidisciplinary and global perspective by encompassing the multiple dimensions which condition the forms of dwelling in today’s societies: architectural, urban, environmental, economic, cultural and social.

mapping the neighborhood


Mapping The Neighborhood Contribute


The international competition for the Petržalka neighbourhood: a reflection about the urban design concepts.

Corinna Morandi, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano

Lubica Vitkova, Faculty of architecture STU, Bratislava

Nicola Petaccia, PhD candidate, DA, Università degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara

Petržalka is a district of Bratislava located south the Danube river bank and adjoining west the Austrian border. Petržalka’s current image is still similar to the development which was created during the Soviet period, characterized by huge “panel” housing, probably one of the largest extensions of panel buildings areas at the time. Before Petržalka became a “panel city”, a village with a completely different identity existed there, which grew quickly after the Second World War, considered as being one of the most populated villages in Slovakia. Petržalka neighbourhood is probably the most interesting outcome of the intensive construction phase of concrete-slabs housing estates which occurred in Bratislava along the 1960s and 1970s (1) as a result of the city’s fast demographic development which was supported by the regime representatives to host a majority of working class inhabitants in the city’s population (2). New settlements where supposed to provide an accomodation for the constant inflow of workers driven by the industrialization and colonization, becoming Bratislava’s citizens.
In 1967 an international competition (3) was announced to collect proposals to build a large neighbourhood on the right banks of the river Danube. 84 groups from 19 different countries joined the competition. Five proposals were selected to build a set of recommendations that became the core of the spatial plan proposal for Petržalka.
Beside the historical reasons that have brought to a realization not in compliance with the competition proposals, the development scheme of the neighbourhood issued from that process left its inprints on the structure of the city and also on its new identity, despite an heterogeneous mixture of housing complexes of different size, typologies, facilities.
The Bratislava case allows to look at the vast production of the competition projects, mainly in relation to the design characteristics. The few available sources will be used to compare the urban design concepts, trying to make some reference to the international design models current at the time, developed at the urban scale to face the huge demand of public housing estates.
The intent is to analyse the settlement design schemes, up to now poorly studied, pointing up to the interpretation of the neighbourhood concepts through a comparative analysis, paying attention to the relation between the competition proposals and the realization of the neighbourhood. Some reference will be done to the New Towns movement.
An important role will be attributed to the designers’ groups components, according to their geographical and cultural origin and referring to the political position of the specific country.
Although the formal implementation in architecture and urban design were comparable, we can argue that different models were experimented across Europe for the development or redevelopment of important sectors of the contemporary city: political, economical and social systems based on socialism and capitalism functioned so differently that their spatial products – the socialist and the capitalist city – were autonomous constructs (4).

(1) ZEMAN, J. – JANKOVICH, I. –LICHNER, J. – Housing construction development in Slovakia. Bratislava, Alfa 1990.
(2) Moravčíková, Henrieta – “Concentrated responses to the issue of prefabricated mass housing: Bratislava, 1950-1995
(3) Gross, Kamil – The International urbanistic Competition – Bratislava Petrzalka/Vydavatelstvo Slovensko fondu vitvarnych, Bratislava, 1969
(4) Sonia A. Hirt – Iron Curtains: Gates, Suburbs and Privatization of Space in the Post-socialist City, John Wiley and Sons ltd UK, 2012.
(5) PROJEKT 11/12, 1967
(6) Cosimelli, Fabrizia – Petaccia, Nicola / Corinna, Morandi – tutor, Vitkova, Lubica – co-tutor/: People meet in Petrzalka, the requalification of a public space in post-socialist neighborhood, Politechnico di Milano, 2010/2011, diploma work.

Urbanistická – Petržalky

Urbanistická súťaž na riešenie centrálnej osi Petržalky – súťažné návrhy

International competition of Urban development in Petržalka-Bratislava.
6th place

poster 1 svk

  • people are2
  • 7752118076_ca06677870_b

New shared places.

The study of public spaces is configured as a transformation; operations that happen through the usage and actions on pre-existing conditions. This occurs through spontaneous actions and sometimes temporary ones.
For example, In the events that took place after the occupation of Zuccoth Park in New York in September 2011 it was seen that the camps were forming “a common space rather than a single political cause”, “the appropriation of space itself, or in the jargon of the occupants, the liberation of space “.1
“The city is an eminently collective fact that is defined and is in those works
whose nature is essentially collective; and even borning though such works as means to build the city, they soon become a goal; and we do this in their being and their beauty. ” A. Rossi, L’architettura della città.
Possibilities that arise from the opportunity of being in the same space like seeing or hearing other peoples, can be evaluated observing people’s reaction to the presence of other people as observed by Jan Gehl.
It is generally true that people and human activities attract other people; An old Scandinavian saying tells it all: “people come where people are.”
The social life in public spaces contributes fundamentally to the quality of life of individuals and society. We have a moral responsibility to create physical places that facilitate civic engagement and community interaction.
William Whyte suggests a new bottom-up, instead of top-down, approach to the designing of public spaces. Using his approach, design should start with a thorough understanding of the way people use spaces and the way they would like to use them. Whyte noted that people vote with their feet – they use spaces that are easy to use, that are comfortable. They don’t use the spaces that are not. Through observations and by chatting with people, we can learn a great deal about what people want in public spaces and we can put this knowledge to work creating places that shape liveable communities. We should therefore enter spaces without theoretical or aesthetical biases, and “look hard, with a clean, clear mind, and then look again – and believe what you see.” 4
When outdoor areas are qualitatively poor only strictly necessary activities occur. On the contrary, when outdoors areas are of high quality, necessary activities take place with approximately the same frequency, but they tend to last longer becoming social activities.
“Social activities are all activities that depend on a the presence of others in public spaces. The character of social activities varies, depending on the context in which they occur.”2
Social activities transform the environment on which they are practiced.
The concept of transformation assumes a fundamental role in the usage of space and architecture. Transformation means to act on the environment, modifying the surrounding shapes that characterize it.
Beside the open spaces, architecture organizes also the surrounding spaces. The shape varies in its use in a way that adapts to the circumstances.
Siegfried Giedion wrote about the Renaissance city as the possibility of “re-use of forms” 3. He claims that the new formulation of urban elements characterizes certain historical periods of the city and it does not go through their invention instead. On the contrary, an innovative composition produces a redefinition of the elements and changes with the use of places, without changing their spatial conception.
Is important to give innovative and bright ideas concerning public spaces design in contemporary cities, especially for the spaces without a recognized role in the society. The marginal areas that are elect as new spaces by the users.
Identifying the marginal areas, that become a new part of the social life and have the opportunity to be part of the society and have the opportunity to suggest new scenarios and design of open spaces and architecture: real shared places.

Amsterdam 2012



  1. Benecit Cluette e Marlisa Wise –  Note da un’occupazione, Domus, Gennaio 2012.
  2. Jan Gehl – Life between buildings, using public space, Van Nosrand Reinhold Company, New York. 1986.
  3. S. Giedion, Space, time and architecture (1941), tr. it. Spazio, tempo, architettura, Hoepli, Milano 1984
  4. The Essential William H. Whyte, Albert Lafarge (Editor), Fordham University Press, 2000.