Regenerating Landscape from Resilient Citizens: Parco Uditore, Three Years of "Low Cost Landscape"

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Abstract

In the always surprising capital of Palermo, a hidden garden of opuntia indica relics has been discovered again after decades of oblivion, due to the work and the unceased promotion made by a huge group of citizens, students, teachers and volunteers. In this 9 hectares area owned by the regional government of Sicily since a long time ago (1963), the remains of a dense opuntia plantation characterizes a green forgotten area, casually survived to the building growth of Palermo. Along three decades (1963‐1993) after being a military underground stowage plant for fuel in WWII, the Fondo Uditore is still a full opuntia place, where the sweet fruits and the green and prickly “leaves” where sold respectively to feed people and animals. After the capture of Mafia Superboss Toto’ Riina in 1993 in a closer place, many of the Opuntias plants were cut to check deeply the area, were the mafia’s boss was supposed to live and spend his “criminal business time”. On the master plan of the City of Palermo the area was set since 1998 as Regional HeadQuarters offices, imagining a “full built” destiny, without any park inside. The area remains closed, though, 18 years more.Due to a huge University studies campaign criticizing the Master Plan’s choices, supported by a large interest and work of the local community, the Urban Park is designed in 2011 in a Low Cost philosophy, that makes possible funding with few thousands euros the work by Sicily Region (area’s owner).A denied place now has a new healthy mission: hosting the new urban park, an intervention firmly oriented on agriculture landscape (as it was in its history), strongly claimed by the people who lives in surroundings. supported by land owner’s, appreciated (but not legalized) by the City Council.Parco Uditore now, celebrating three years since 2012 opening, although is a park full of typical plants withlow costs for maintenance, moreover is a Social Landscape Laboratory where the local community performs its free time with hundreds of events and activities, running the park with the volunteer’s association. A resilient scenario for urban regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTasting the landscape
Pages459-460
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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