A former parking lot becomes a square in Reggio Emilia

A former parking lot in Reggio Emilia

Renovating public space and giving it back to pedestrian and cyclists is one of the objectives included in the “Reggio Emilia Recovery Plan” developed after the first phase of COVID-19 pandemic. 

In this framework and as part of the PARK4SUMP project, a low cost, temporary pilot project, has been implemented in Popol Giost square. The project was co-developed with the Municipality and the neighbourhoods,

The square which is located in the old city is still a parking lot today. On Saturday 26 September cars were temporarily removed and pedestrians and cyclists could enjoy the new car-free space. Students from the school facing the new square together with the staff of the Municipality and the Mayor have painted coloured circles, installed benches and seats and planted new trees. 

This initiative - says the Alderman to sustainability policies Carlotta Bonvicini—gives an idea of how micro-actions, fitting to the context and shared with citizens can help to solve social problems and reduce anonymity in the urban built environment, making spaces more livable, authentic and safe. These are interventions that the inhabitants expect, organized in a lively and proactive committee. After listening to their needs, we decided to act. It is easy to understand how a square, next to a very popular school and with a long history of identity firmly linked to the community, cannot be 'classified' as only a parking lot. We agreed on making it a sustainable and livable place

Cars can now only occupy half of the square, while the rest is a real square for people who can meet and socialise.