Syracuse Activation

Project: Carmelo Zappulla, Nacho Toribio,  Karolina Tarkowska,  Michelle Levy,  Pawel Kochanski | EXTERNAL REFERENCE ARCHITECTS.

Location: Italy | Syracuse

Design: September 2013

Syracuse’s seacoast is beautiful with extraordinary rock formations, caves and stone arches . That conditions makes it a perfect place for snorkelling, diving and kayak excursions. There are also many beautiful places for bathing and sunbathing. Climate, as in whole Sicily, is a typical Mediterranean, which gives opportunity to take advantage of all-year-round nice weather, and also of whole year tourism. Meanwhile in some parts of Syracuse, especially in Grotta Santa, Acradina and S. Lucia amount of houses for families is insufficient, which causes decrease of life quality. An extremely poor state of public space or even its lack is highly visible especially in northern parts of the city. Another issue is a monostructure of mere housing estates with only a few social infrastructural facilities. This is visibly reflected in quality of life and creates an unpleasant environment especially for young inhabitants.

Significant conclusion after analysing Syracuse is a constantly appearing border between northern and southern part of the city. Double-speed effect is visible and it is constantly deepening in every possible aspects and will continue to be so if nothing will be done. Proposed strategy implements HOTSPOTS to create a common network of points of interests. All of them are in walkable distance from each other up to 15 min. walk. Some of the hotspots already exist and they need just a small and simple intervention to make them more attractive, some other needs to be created.

Hotspots must differ in character to provide variety of  possibilities and to avoid monotony and sameness. All of them must have their own IDENTITY.

After the hotspots are created the PATHS which connect them to each other will become more intensively used, they will get their own identity and characteristic. Improving quality of the streets will be followed by requalification of PUBLIC SPACE and introduction of PUBLIC FACILITIES.

Requalification of main paths and public space will ¨infect¨ the positive effect into surrounding. That will trigger their development and bring the life to public space. Spreading domino-like effect will continue to affect further and further neighbourhoods injecting new quality of public space and better QUALITY OF LIFE.