Services for collaborative cities by Ezio Manzini

Cities can be seen and described by different points of view. The most frequently adopted has been the bird’s-eye view: the city observed from the high and from outside. The city you can see in this way is what, traditionally, has been the city of the planners. But a city can be seen and described from inside too. That is, as it is seen by who lives in it: the city of people and communities. And the city made of places, roads and square, but also of products, communication and, most of all, of services. This city of people and communities is, or should be, the city of services.

The course by international design theorist Ezio Manzini, discusses what does it mean to deal with the city assuming a design approach (that is: how to look at the city and promote city making projects) and, on this basis, it indicates some design guidelines (that is, how to act in the city and to orient the projects towards sustainability) and outline an emerging scenario (that is: how to give different projects a common vision of the city). This emerging scenario is called the scenario of the collaborative city.

In this general framework, the course introduces the notion of community hub: a hybrid space where citizen living in the same neighborhood are supported in facing everyday problems and improve their social and cultural life doing all this in a collaborative and sustainable way. In practical terms, a community hub is a set of interlinked services, products, places digital devices and communication artifacts that may support the collaborative activities of a constellation of local actors in several directions: everyday life, learning and cultural activities, co-creation and co-production of collaborative initiatives.

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