The ZEN (North Area Expansion) district, today renamed San Filippo Neri district, is located in the middle of the northernmost part of Piana dei Colli, surrounded by Mount Pellegrino, Mount Gallo, and Mount Billiemi, as a supposed prolongation of via della Libertà and near the Gulf of Mondello.The Piana dei Colli is dotted by the eighteenth-nineteenth century vil- las and the Pallavicino, Cardillo, Tommaso Natale, and Partanna Mondello villages. Together with these settlements there are smaller aggregations of houses developing along some historical routes. In the second half of XX century ZEN, villages, and historic villas became in different ways the “pre-existences” of the north side of Piana dei Colli, privileged witnesses of the double growth coming from south and north: from the compact city and from Mondello and Sferracavallo. This process produced around ZEN a juxtaposition of different ways of inhabiting, many of which are the opposite of the council-house building, as the large number of detached houses spread all around the district. A further critical condition caused by the layout of the road network is added to this complex situation.The highway, the beltway, the provincial road, via Lanza di Scalea— which is completed with the ring road built around ZEN at the end of the XX century—made the connections from and to Punta Raisi airport more flowing and turned properties which not long ago were in- accessible and of modest land value into desirable and expensive buildable lands. However, at the same time, these infrastructures have affected the agricultural structure and have cut the natural links connecting the villages among them and with the fields. The infra- structures, together with the enclosures produced by the sprawl, have shattered the area in a sequence of hermetic rectangles spread homogeneously in a north-south direction.The most evident fracture is around ZEN, because the ring road builds a sort of medieval wall all around the district, making it victim of an a priori isolation. These preliminary remarks point out that the relations between road-area and road-building are fundamental to study the district and to understand an area divided in- to watertight compartments. Therefore the planning will be focused on the edges and some of the unresolved areas inside the district itself.
|Title of host publication||Periferie e città contemporanea. Progetti per i quartieri Borgo Ulivia e Zen a Palermo|
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|