Visual Alchemy

Maria Chiara Fagioli

A youth friendly city in Rome

Rome, San Giovanni district, 2015, early in the afternoon.

Walking through the streets of a central area, close to Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, you could enjoy a reasonably pleasant weather in a warm Roman bright October day. You would not expect in a small park next to the road to find the ambiguous and decadent side of the capital of Italy: children playing between syringes, trash cans overflowing, rough roads, tall grass. Europe seems a distant place, almost self-denial, Rome abandons the concept of civilization in relation to the future, is living a daily lazy present. A short-term mentality sinks its roots into a generation of young people growing up accustomed to latent resignation and mental degradation, where extremes meet to create the biggest of contradictions: the ugly beautiful.

Powers and glories, angels and demons, what remains are the chronicles of a sleeping city, dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians, sometimes intolerant in its proverbial reception, but perhaps the lost paradise for children. The following photo essay reflects on the abandoned areas and its consequences, from the lack of green areas to the accessibility and safety of the public areas, but also poor hygiene and pollution.

It should therefore be considerable the creation of healthy habits during the critical age of adolescents, giving them notions such as eco-city on a human scale, building a policy on childhood, and best practices as the basis for a future collectivity.



The walk continues exploring newneighbourhoods and sociocultural contexts like schools and universities. In that symbiosis between ordinary and extraordinary, there’s a charging point for electric vehicles in Piazza Istria, a public square that could serve the citizens if a large petrol car doesn’t occupy the park illegally, taking up 3/4 of the available floor space. There’s no shortage of ideas, but good sense or common sense should be improved for an easier coexistence of relations, nothing more simple.

Analysing the infrastructures of urban spaces designed for children, the mirage of a walkable – bikeable city can lead to an effective eco smart Rome. Respect to many places in California,  you could only hypothesize, because of a substantial lack of data, that only a few of young people between 18 and 24 may use go biking or walking to school/university in Rome. There’s a strong evidence in front of these educational institutions: too many scooters, few initial references to sharing economy.

Insights, future development. >>

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