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My doctoral project uses scenario planning and participatory action research methodologies to examine the challenges and opportunities of ‘meanwhile scenarios' in urban redevelopment projects. Drawing on London based case studies and participatory research in Madrid Nuevo Norte (MNN), supported by the CDA partner Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), I will investigate urban farming as a participatory research methodology and means of exploring four main themes:
Time as a strategic dimension in designing public spaces:
‘Meanwhile scenarios' and temporary uses are recognised in planning theory and practice as key tactics within inclusive planning strategies (Bishop, Williams 2012). Scenario planning has emerged as a crucial tool for managing risks associated with large investments and will inform my research into incremental planning strategies.
Combining temporary interventions and tactical urbanism with long-term strategic approaches:
Building on ongoing activities for social innovation and participation by DCN, I will engage with urban farming practices operating locally and across Madrid. Requiring modest initial investment, such collaborative projects hold potential for creating sustainable future scenarios beyond the finite timescale of the project.
The interplay of societal actors over extended intervals of "meanwhile" scenarios:
DCN is phasing MNN for over 15 years, replacing redundant transport infrastructure, and thereby opening up opportunity sites for meanwhile initiative to researchers, artists, architects and creative practitioners. Using participatory urban farming practices my research will test the potential of methods, strategies and impact of ‘meanwhile' scenarios in urban development for long-term ecological and social benefits to local communities.
Stimulating social engagement and sustainable culture of participation:
The research will question institutionalized practices and "invited spaces" of participation (UK Localism Act 2011) alongside "popular spaces" initiated by activists and communities, in order to identify innovative ways of channeling spontaneous and often marginal participatory movements to transversal networks of stakeholders and experts across scales.
I am an architect and PhD researcher at Kingston School of Art funded by Techne (AHRC).
I obtained my postgraduate master's degree from the Housing and Urbanism programme at the Architectural Association (2018) and have worked in Rome and London after my degree in building engineering and architecture at Rome's University of Tor Vergata (2015).
My research and practice focus on urban transformations through participatory action, curatorial projects and inclusive & ecological approaches to urban and landscape design, and planning. My doctoral project: Curating Urban Futures explores the challenges and opportunities of "meanwhile" tactics and urban farming in the context of urban redevelopment strategies.
In London, I worked at S333 Architecture and Urbanism and as a site-based architect and design coordinator for the conversion of the Trocadero building and Saint Gilles car park basement into Pod Hotels. Alongside my PhD, I teach communication and experimentation in landscape design at Greenwich University.