Tuesday, March 19, at 18:00, the Center for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci opens the exhibition Prato Green. Urban experiments between ecology and reuse, curated by Elisa Cristiana Cattaneo and Emilia Giorgi, which stages the Operational Plan of the City of Prato and the multiplicity of operations and strategies implemented in recent years for the definition of the new tool on urban policies of the Tuscan city. An experimental and innovative project, the result of an intense teamwork of the Planning Office of the City of Prato, which boasts valuable contributions from internationally renowned experts.
The exhibition, designed by the young Milanese collective Fosbury Architecture, presents, through a scaffolding system conceived as a stage machine, heterogeneous materials such as drawings, maps, design drawings, archive photographs and videos. A story that is developed through texts and images following the creative process that aims to transform Prato into a green city, European and open, integrating the system of nature and that of the built. In addition to the technical focus on the urban plan, the exhibition offers an installation designed for the occasion by Stefano Mancuso, the photographic projects of Fernando Guerra, Maurizio Montagna and Delfino Sisto Legnani and an interactive robotic machine that will allow the public to navigate the many areas of which the Plan is composed. The exhibition is completed by an imagined area to meet and take part in educational activities, conferences and round tables, so that the exhibition becomes a place of debate, a living square within the museum.
The Prato Operative Plan is an innovative document of Urban Planning, drawn up by the Planning Office and adopted in September 2018, which moves starting from the great experience transmitted by the elaborations of the urban planner Bernardo Secchi, who worked on the Prato master plan between 1993 and 1996. Prato is observed in its metropolitan dimension and led to relaunch the manufacturing heritage and to re-evaluate the natural heritage, overcoming the division between cities and agricultural spaces. The challenge, conducted also thanks to an extensive program of participation, Prato al Futuro - which has involved all citizens and brought professionals from the world of design to dialogue with the municipal administration, with stakeholders, with associations - is to promote the reuse of the city, reducing the new consumption of land, and put in place a project of urban forestry, responding with ecology to the global challenges of climate change and the local challenges of the welfare of the inhabitants.
Starting from these objectives, the exhibition is divided into 3 thematic areas: Ecology, Re-Use and Going Public.
In the Ecology section you can find the urban forestation program created by the two greatest excellences of the "environmental revolution": the architect Stefano Boeri and the scientist Stefano Mancuso. According to Mancuso, "upgrading with plants is the most effective tool for improving environmental and social quality". For this reason he has made Prato a case study, and has worked with his team to census the arboreal heritage of the city and calculate the benefits for citizens. In a complementary way, Boeri has produced an Action Plan for the Urban Forestation of Prato, with the aim of being able to count a tree for every inhabitant of the city. The section is linked to the site-specific installation Urban Jungle designed by Stefano Mancuso, a set of confined ecosystems that evokes an ideal city skyline as a unique and huge urban jungle, beyond the traditional separation between built and nature. "Not only along the avenues, in the parks, in the flowerbeds, in the gardens, but wherever there is a surface available: roads, facades, roofs, there must be a plant there," says Mancuso.
The Re-Use section opens with drawings and photographs of the period, a reference to the experience of the Laboratory of Prato, conducted from 1976 to 1978 by the director Luca Ronconi with the architect Gae Aulenti: one of the first experiments of reuse of manufacturing structures in view of "A theater especially acted, in function of a place other than the theater," as Ronconi writes. The central theme of the new Operative Plan is in fact the definition of strategies for the transformation of the existing building stock, in particular of industrial archaeology in urban areas. In the logic of outlining a scenario of sustainable development of the city, the P.O. determines the methods of intervention relating to the reuse of buildings, placing them within a broader vision of the city that sees in Prato, the "factory city", one of the paradigmatic places at international level on the practices of re-cycle, a dynamic context that can aim to propose itself as a European district "eco" of excellence, implementing a process of circular economy.
Finally, the Going Public section starts from some shots taken from the photographic project that Delfino Sisto Legnani conducted in 2016, as part of the Manufacturing Assemblages installation in Prato by Matilde Cassani at the Oslo Architecture Triennale, showing how the Chinese New Year celebrations through the historic center and the industrial district become a spectacular opportunity for integration between the different communities present and the city. The theme of public space and a city tailored to its citizens is transversal to the entire O.P., and interfaces with all the themes addressed by the Plan: from the Cento Piazze project to Riversibility, from 5G technology (Prato is one of the five Italian cities chosen for its experimentation), to Smart Mobility. Prato therefore conceives its Operational Plan with the logic of promoting an idea of an open city, a city of global hospitality accessible and usable by all categories of its inhabitants.
The projects dedicated to Prato by the photographers Fernando Guerra and Maurizio Montagna wind along the walls of the gallery and envelop the exhibition space as scenic backdrops. A selection of Fernando Guerra's impressive photographic survey carried out by the author from Lisbon at the end of 2017 to interpret the phase of transformation that the city is going through, revealing the stratification of the landscape and the many types of cities that Prato is building, with attention to the reuse and regeneration of manufacturing heritage, is on display. Imagination and future are the two terms that, linked together, constitute the starting point and the end point of the project Paregon (2018) by the Milanese photographer Maurizio Montagna. Here the attention is turned to the vegetable world, whose dynamics seem to suggest the way for a new collective action, thus changing after centuries of anthropocentric vision our perspective coordinates. Finally, an integral part of the exhibition is the stage designed by Fosbury to host conferences, round tables and moments of in-depth study of the central themes of the Operative Plan within the exhibition space, with a view to participation that has always been the basis of this new instrument of urban planning. An object that becomes a playscape for children and the educational activities promoted by the museum.
Quando dal 20 marzo al 11 aprile 2019
opening: martedì 19 marzo, ore 18.00