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Tech-derived knowledge could help our cities

di Stefano Monti

Tech-derived knowledge could help our cities

Obviously, this is not a new idea. Since years, We daily hear about new technologies could help us in creating a better environment, through the analysis of data that users generate. Big data, small data, data harvesting, data mining are concepts that are widely acknowledged, today. Still, there are not sufficient implementations to surely affirm that the usage of the knowledge that this huge amount of data provide, is truly helpful in designing new urban policies or other interventions at the city level. More in detail, we could affirm that, today, in Italy, there is a significative lack of connection between the R&D improvements of these years and the Public Administration or the governance of big enterprises. In other terms, while on one hand there are several tech-innovations created by start-ups run by young entrepreneurs, on the other hand we have not enough implementations within the urban context. Though, without implementations, research is a sort of an artwork. So, after the art for the art’s sake, we created research for research’s sake.

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Luoghi insoliti

Giving new function to heritage building, and it is still a failure?! The case study of an unsuccessful transformation of a historic house to a multifunction cultural center in downtown Budapest

di Melinda Harlov

Change is essential to sustaining heritage sites, enabling them to meet new uses and evolving expectations, goals, and requirements. Rehabilitation for reuse is one of the steps to be considered in order to safeguard architectural heritage. [1] In this context heritage means only something from the past without any connection to UNESCO’s [2] or the European Commission’s [3] heritage notions and institutions. The category of architectural heritage, including both buildings with defined cultural heritage and the ones that are worthy to save for next generations due to their historical-documentary or artistic value, is a comprehensive set of buildings and consequently it is a considerable variety of characteristics, values and constraints. The reuse must always be investigated thoroughly, because it is the highest form of restoration. Such project unites past and present assuming the respect for environment, historical memory, identity and local culture as basic parameters in the final outcome of the architectural resolution. [4] Accordingly, the existing building is seen as a container in which new units should be placed that are defined by contemporary lifestyle. In a process of proper protection and conservation there is an ongoing challenge to search for balance between structure and shape or old and new. The aim of this challenge is to respond to the needs of modern men and women in the limits of the existing structure. [5] For this reason many questions have to be asked and discussed regarding for instance the management of economic sustainability, integration and hybridization of uses as well as absorption capacity or compatibility. The present case study introduces the most recent phase in the life of a historical building on one of the liveliest street of the Hungarian capital, Király utca (King Street). The building had been in a very bad condition due to the destructions in World War II and the neglect since then. A private company bought it from the municipality in 1999 and got transformed to a multicultural building complex. The grand opening happened in 2007 and it operated successfully at the beginning. More than a year ago, in January 2015 it got closed down and has been stayed closed and empty since then. It is unquestionable that there are multiple effects, human falls and outside circumstances that together lead to such a tragic end of an initiative and the building but such storyline is unquestionably not unique hence it is worthy to investigate it thoroughly to find out and to propagate the prevention of these causes in the future.

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Tecno-scenari

*UrbanSensing: listening to the digital city

di Giorgia Lupi

*UrbanSensing is a two year funded European Union project, it involves six European Partners, that all contribute their specific expertise and skills in the fields of the project. The project will bring a new product to the urban design, city planning and urban management market: a platform extracting patterns of use and citizens’ perceptions related or concerning city spaces, through robust analysis of User Generated Content (UGC) shared by the city users and inhabitants over social networks and digital media. The platform will allow to analyze users’ perceptions related to specific geographic areas and understand how population reacts to new urban policies within participatory mechanisms.

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