Reconquer public space by playing. The experience of "Fronte di Liberazione dei Pizzinni Pizzoni - FLPP [Pizzinni Pizzoni Liberation Front]".

                                                              

Reconquer public space by playing. The experience of "Fronte di Liberazione dei Pizzinni Pizzoni - FLPP [Pizzinni Pizzoni Liberation Front]".

University of Sassari
Solution proposed by: 
Tamalacà SRL
In a Nutshell: 
The experience of “FLPP. Fronte di Liberazione dei Pizzinni Pizzoni” project demonstrates that playing could be used as a tool to claim the right to the city and to involve children and adults in a process to re-conquer their public space.
Where and When: 
The project –started on 2012 and still ongoing- involves one of the most disadvantaged urban areas in Sassari. This disadvantage is severe, pervasive and multi-dimensional: marginalisation, social exclusion, urban decay, soil consumption, privatisation of public spaces caused by parked cars, and lack of places for children to play.
Challenges: 
The experience of FLPP project demonstrates that playing could be used as a tool to claim the right to the city and to involve children and adults in a process to re-conquer their public space. The main goal is to free streets and the public spaces from parked cars and to bring them back to pedestrians and children’s play. Playing in FLPP is used as a tool for sustainable planning and design: it let all the people involved [even children, poor, immigrant, informed or not] to gain understanding of sustainability concepts in a easy and funny way.
Innovation: 
FLPP is an experiment about: social sustainability: because it involves all population, starting from children, in order to make them able to reclaim their own right to “use” the city and retake possession of denied public space, in a collective/constructive way; environmental sustainability: because it invites the population to ask their self about the indiscriminate use of private car and consequences on environmental and urban spaces; economic sustainability: because it let optimizing resources by administration; it let to understand real needs before to make useless intervention, and it let make low cost important intervention with the support of population
Concept: 
Project as Process, starting from children’s main talent: to play. To free public spaces from the erosion or private car is always an awkward task for urbanism. It implies conflicts between all the stakeholders. To reach our goal, we involved the inhabitants, starting from children attending public school. Involving inhabitants is a difficult task, especially when project must deal with the complexity of problems of a disadvantaged neighbourhood. We couldn't work directly proposing a “classical” reflection on urban rights and the right to play. It would not be successful. To involve all the neighbourhood, starting from children, without to declare our final objectie, according with School, we decided to directly start a game, involving children of the school in a single playfully mobilization. We invented a dystopian tale taking place in the city of Sassari during 2046. We delivered "from the future" the dystopian tale to children, as an SOS message. Children accepted the challenge and decided to help their “great grandchildren” to reach their goal: to change the future (2046) through act in the present (2012)! The action would be to organize a big event in form of mobilization where everyone could just play in his own way.
Description: 
Play as strategic key for informal empowerment. FLPP is a urban “game-story”, based on a future scenario which changes itself depending on actions in present time. We motivate and engage children and all the inhabitants through storytelling with a joyful, ironic and vigorous communication campaign, developed using several media. The game was presented to children through a letter sent them directly from the future: it was a letter from San Donato school children in the 2046 year, in which few “surviving” children on 2046 year describe their San Donato district, focusing on segregation and isolation conditions of their life, mainly because of the unopposed supremacy of car on pedestrian. The letter is a really SOS: children of 2046 ask to children of 2012 a mobilization to save theirself and the city, changing the course of history. How? Playing in the streets and squares of San Donato district. The letter is indeed the start point of a endless process of awareness and playfully mobilization, which had involved in a first step all San Donato school, in a second step all the district, and than the entire city. They accepted the challenge to improve their urban environment for the benefit of their grandchildren of 2046. Storytelling was a useful tool for showing children that their actions today could make a difference in the future. In “FLPP” the same event’s organization was managed as a game. Everyone who would get in touch with the game, would also “enter in the game”, because of its natural capacity of involve people (children of course, but not only) in a funny, curious and fresh way. So, guided from children, almost all the inhabitants have joined the cause in a informal and intuitive way, just doing what they see clearly, step by step, without any forcing.
Impacts: 
Community empowerment. First tangible result is the organisation of urban events, instead of one as we expected at the beginning. Here inhabitants of the neighbourhood - together with municipal administrators, teachers, architects and urban-planners - have been "infected" by the enthusiasm of the children and have been encouraged to reconquer the "forgotten" and neglected public spaces of their neighbourhood through colouring, building by themselves small urban furniture, and above all, playing. So playing could be used as: innovative way to teach and learn sustainability values; means to claim the right to the city; an instrument to reconquer public space and re-think the city design.

Photo Gallery

photo credits:Tamalacà SRL
photo credits:Tamalacà SRL
photo credits:Tamalacà SRL