This paper concerns the theme of the universal accessibility to urban spaces, proposing the contribution of configurational approach to their inclusive design. Born in the first Nineties on the roots of the efforts and the studies for reducing material and architectural barriers for disabled people, such discipline extends its sphere and purposes so as to mitigate the effects of spatial exclusion of a wider and wider variety of human categories, up to virtually include any potential urban user. Obviously the universal accessibility of the whole urban space ought to be assumed as an asymptote, and each effort for reducing exclusion and segregation is then to be regarded as a step towards such ideal goal. Basing on the consequent evidence that the whole space of a settlement cannot be made all universally accessible, which paths should then be reclaimed from any possible material obstacle? Which activities should be connected by such accessible paths? What then about the effect of their possible shifting? And what about the diffused activities, that are capillarily scattered all over the settlement? And, even more, setting aside the activities, which open spaces (streets and squares) should be designed universally accessible, just as open meeting, gathering and interacting spaces? All those questions make hence appear evident that a merely functional approach, essentially based on the position of the activities, cannot be said satisfying. Only a configurational approach, in fact, can account for the effects of the grid configuration on the actual accessibility of its spaces. Our research focuses on Italian urban settlements, which appear as ideal case studies, due to the typical consistency of their urban spaces, that, especially in the inner historical cores, are densely build, geometrically irregular and hence generally far from actually providing a universal physical accessibility. Here the impedance of space is much more than a theoretical hypothesis and concrete interventions are generally requested to eliminate or reduce its barriers and to let space actually and safely usable. As our specific case studies, we have selected several settlements in Tuscany, characterized by the presence of an ancient inner core and by the consequent problems regarding the physical accessibility of urban spaces. Rather than at indicating the technical solution of single urban problems, which of course are strongly different each other, the research aims at defining a method which can be applied in each local context. Such method, integrating into a reliable tool the configurational vision with the functional and interactional approach, will provide a hierarchy of urban spaces with reference to the necessity of their universal accessibility. In Italy, the method is expected to support the arranging of Accessibility Plans (PEBA), which besides are specifically provided by the Italian law, altough at present still remains vague, confused and scarcely realized.
Il contributo, corrispondente ad un paper presentato al settimo simposio internazionale sulla Space Syntax (7th SSS), propone l’utilizzazione delle tecniche di analisi configurazionale come strumento di orientamento e supporto nella pianificazione del potenziamento dell’accessibilità urbana. A tale scopo, il metodo proposto, che prevede l’uso integrato e complementare delle tecniche di analisi configurazionale e di modelli di interazione spaziale, è stato sperimentato sui casi di studio di Pisa, Arezzo e Grosseto.
|Titolo:||Accessibility and Exclusion. The Configurational Approach to the Inclusive Design of Urban Spaces|
|Anno del prodotto:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|