Berlin, 24 May 2019
To what extent does the legalization of previously informally utilized public spaces provide an alternative model of development with respect to the neoliberal one?
Three actors, three outcomes:
Non-state civic actors, public actors, private-commercial actors
(H1) Building democratic practices of appropriation and management of common goods, distancing them from the capitalist use and open to the use of the multitude
(H2) The creation of democratic and participative institution of the public capacity of appropriation
(H3) The private and commercial appropriation of collective spaces and of the commons on the basis of private property rights
“The architecture is as porous as the [Neapolitan] stone. Construction and action permeate each other in courtyards, arches and stairs. Everywhere is preserved some space suitable for becoming a theatre of new, unexpected circumstances. What is done and permanent is avoided. No situation appears as it is, thought to be everlasting, and no form declares its «so and not otherwise». It is in this way that the architecture develops as the synthesis of the communitarian rhythmics: anarchic and intertwined” (Benjamin, 1955)
“Only the Church, and not the police, can face the organism of self-government of the organized crime, Camorra. Here then, a person who suffered an injustice, if she wants to have back what was stolen, does not call the police. Through civic or ecclesiastic mediators, if not personally, she speaks to a camorrista. And through this, she negotiate a ransom.”
“The private life of a Neapolitan is the bizarre end up of public life pushed to the excess. Indeed, it is not within the domestic walls, among wives and children, that private life develops, but it is in the devotion or in desperation. In the lateral alleys, going down filthy stairs, the gaze strays to dives, where two or three men sit close to each other and drink, hidden behind bins that resemble columns of a church. In these corner it is hard to distinguish the parts where buildings evolve and that where they are already in ruin. Indeed, nothing is completed and concluded. The porosity is not only in the idleness of the southerner artisan, but especially in the passion for improvisation. In any case, space and occasions shall be left to the latter. Construction sites are used as popular theatre.” (Benjamin, 1955)
The approach to occupation moved from considering the space as "occupato" (occupied) to "liberato" (freed)
"occupato": antagonist approach towards institutions
"liberato": socially active approach towards people in the neighbourhood and their problems
"activists believed that the practice of activism based on the concept of occupation was not appropriate anymore [...] the process towards the new approach comes from a collective reflection on how to be more efficient on the territory."
When in 2012, a group of cultural activists occupied the Ex Asilo Filangieri, collectives, grouped in the Massa Critica network, and the city council of mayor De Magistris started an ambitious plan to identify a new judicial category: the common good
Methodology of assignment: under the principle of urban civic use, a place is considered to be legally occupied not in the presence of a recipient legal entity but on the basis of its cultural function which depends upon an open assembly promoted by a committee of guarantors
The recognized common goods are 8 public buildings:
An englighted city council: "every citizen has to be given the possibilities to participate al the spiritual and natural progress of the city for the collective well being" (Deliberation n.17/2013)
Ex OPG - Je So' Pazz
S Santa Fede Liberata
Villa Medusa Occupata
Ex Lido Pola
Ex Asilo Filangieri
Ex Scuola Schipa Occupata
“it is a traversable space, where many people can interact and dialogue, which is something that outside this place does not happen"
Weekly Calendar of Activities
Events in the courtyard
In Naples, the city council has proved receptive towards movements' creativity and together they have developed a civic-public model of governance for the city. However, what are the other programmes in which institutions are involved?
URBACT (II and III), European programme for territorial cooperation. In URBACT II (2007-2013) the local government has promoted the regeneration of popular neighbourhood in a way that may lead to processes of gentrification; in URBACT III (2014-2020), the government is relying on the URBACT local group and it has involved many stakeholders in the regeneration process + it has exported the experience of "common goods" to the trans-national working table
Naples, resiliency or convergence?