[collaboration with Intelligent Coast]
type: urban planning
location: Pontedera, Italy
year: 2006
client: level 4
status: research project
project team: IntelligentCoast + a10studio
Silvia Banchini, Luis Falcon, Mariano Arias-Diez.

// Description //

We see a progressive loss of the identity in the new dynamics of development -growth or transformation- of the contemporary city. Which are the new tools to grow and develop or transform a city? How should we react to such tendency?


First we look into the local culture/history for elements capable of redefining and render the identity of Pontedera today, a Redefinition Matrix was generated there we include the previous condition but keeping in mind that the process of recognition of new areas of expansion can’t use the same parameters as the old conditions:
The values of the old city are just a symbolic imaginary that belongs to other social needs.

[70m2] proposal:
Pontedera is currently an industrial and commercial logistic center (city) in Tuscany, thanks to its central location between Florence and the Pisa-Livorno region.

We propose a city with a better quality of life, based on multiple interventions of 70 square meters, which will mark a difference between past and future and become a generator of a new urban organism to emerge, the strategy consist of:

green 70 sq. meters:
This is where the proposal lays its “infrastructure”, a green belt that becomes the articulation of the urban expansion, on it, an alternative SLOW mobility system its generated (2 wheel vehicles, bikes, and vespas), with the objective to offer a better quality of the urban experience and life. the green belt, connects the 3 main interventions of the proposal, 3 areas which will allow a Tertiary Vitalization, the generation and growth of the service sector (by the creation of a VESPA CITY), the Investment in training, research and development related to the VESPA factory (in a Design Oriented University), the increase in advanced industrial production; Growth of the residential area targeted to a young high-end market: Young Professionals (new creative forces), and the use of the city by older people, from its location close to Tuscany, close to the spa-city it becomes a comfortable urban scale with a high quality of social services.

Vespa City:
The proposal targets to the turistic development of Pontedera with the use of the Vespa as an icon, the italian symbol of the success of the industrial design will be the urban trigger which will develop the activity needed to re-activate the city of Pontedera.
With a similar format to Monaco, Mercedes or BMW which also become ICONS of the cities where they were stablished, the new center will acquire an important role as an international turistic atraction. We propose a leisure-center related to the VESPA theme, with movie theaters, conference center, meeting point of the VESPA riders and users (convention center), hotels, starting point of touristic routes thru the city center and the PIAGGIO factory, service center, showrooms, exhibition center (VESPA museum), restaurants, specialized repair shops for Vespa collectors and restoration of classics models, etc.
This will trigger a bunch of other activities which will enhace the growth of commercial activities based on the VESPA and PIAGGIO company.

CUD – Centro Universitario del Disegno
This school is intended to be specialized in Design (industrial, graphic, fashion, etc), and capable to feedback and generate proffesionals for the productive italian design industries, with a close relation to the PIAGGIO brand and facilities. The Educational offer will have the added value of a close nice urban center, to combine studies + social life, and later, become a permanent resident of the city.

Advanced Industrial Production
Pontedera has a new strategy of production growth called the PIP IV (The Plan for Implementing Productivity of the City of Pontedera), This consists of a new large industrial settlement on the outskirts of Pisa, where major infrastructure and service cominucation lines are crucial to its success (from the port of Livorno, to the airport of Pisa, a great movement road, trains and a motorway Rome-Pisa-Genoa). This is located in an area that includes the actual areas of the Piaggio factory (who are main promoters of the implementation of this plan) and approximately 1,500,000 square meters of new infrastructures to help with it. This model of heavy industrial production, expect the integration to the industry related to new telecommunications technologies, trying to make a hybrid between old “heavy industry” with the new “clean technologies”. Urban Models like 22@ in Barcelona, Boston and its route128, Silicon Valley in California, are examples of this model previously implemented successfully around the world.

Lake (residential) Area
The Area close to the Lake ss destinated to high end residential areas: main market would be the young professionals generated by the University + high tech industry

The main project gets developed following a recognition MATRIX of the local potentials, this are the elements that generate the new territory. The proposed project has an aproximated surface of 103,600 HA, we substract the built surfaces and then we have a resultant of aproximatedly 29 HA of green, divided in the 70 m2 of green per inhabitant interventions. The smaller distance of the intervention reaches the 66 meters and the longest one (in the Vespa City), reaches the 450 meters.

this development model also aims the conjugation of 2 models of capitalism

1. network of small companies: a system which is implicitly intelligent, the human skills = economy of skills, the economy of agglomeration.
2. huge companies model: homogenous systems (economy of scale > efficient for economic processes) By standardizing the product, the costs get lower.
> Homogenous urban center (computer network vs social network) Surprisingly economy of agglomeration encourages companies to locate close to one another and enhance a business model based on social interaction: Short talk in bar or restaurants to do businesses.

Elements of innovation mostly are founded in small farms, small companies (human skills) or in the laboratories of research inside the big company. The main aim of economy of scale is that to maintain in its own region the know how, the knowledge. We find a strong link with the territory. The key of the economy of agglomeration is to share knowledge with small companies and eventually buy the small one to involve it inside the big body.

Informal know how = implicit knowledge
Formal know how = explicit knowledge

For instance, Silicon Valley did deals with University of Boston and MIT. Silicon Valley has many large corporations inside, but the majority of the particular actors are small. S.V. born to create new markets and new products, but it operates with the intention of interchanging knowledge and sharing it. The S.V.’s goal comes from agglomerations of visionary engineers, entrepreneur and from the logic based on moving each 3 years people from a farm to another. This migration process increases knowledge. The movement of intelligence and its interchange create emergent intelligences and evolved systems. a Self sufficient corporations starts.

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