The RSA travel award has supported a 5 day field trip to Naples (23-29 February 2009) to investigate a series of new underground stations that have been linked up with a new public art programme. The case of Naples offers an interesting example of how stations could be reconceptualised as places rather than just transport nodes. My specific aim was to investigate how this combination of new stations and public art opens up a new set of considerations on the concept of local social sustainability.
The funds have been covering the travel costs to:
Undertake site visits to different underground stations, with a specific focus on three of them;
Approach local users with interviews with the aim of exploring how they perceive the place-making initiatives generated at/in the new stations (in terms of safety, sense of place…);
Interview relevant and key actors within the local authority (who have been involved in the development process of the stations):
1. Elena Camerlingo (Chief of the Transport and Planning Integrated Division of the City of Naples) on the 24/02/09
2. Rocco Papa (Professor in Town Planning at the University, Department of Spatial Planning, Federico II of Naples and Deputy City Major from 2001 till 2006) on the 25/2/09
3. Dr Enrica Papa (Research Fellow, Department of Spatial Planning, Federico II of Naples) on the 25/02/09
So far, one of the main outcomes has been the presentation of the paper: “Public art in the underground stations of Naples: urban spaces and social sustainability” at the UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference Unequal Places: Planning and Territorial Cohesion at the Newcastle University (1-3 April 2009). A journal article will be submitted for review in the coming months.