FAB CITY. The Map of talents, creativity and innovation in Palermo

by Maurizio Carta

The city of Barcelona, in latest international conference of the FabLabs, Fab10, has launched the ambitious project “Fab Cities”. With this project the city of Barcelona wants to support the birth of a network of nearby FabLab and, within six years, the foundation of a laboratory in each district of the town that is active and integrated with local communities and urban policies. The idea of creating a community network of FabLab comes from the desire to bring back production in the metropolitan area and in particular to relieve the role of the citizens-manufacturers, striving to recreate a modern version of the medieval guilds that characterized and identified the city.

In the same cultural line, the University of Palermo’s Smart Planning Lab has launched the editing of the Map of Talents, Creativity and Innovation, which identifies all places dedicated to creativity and innovation, in order to understand the logic of  settlements – spontaneous today  – of the new urban makers, but especially to guide  future planning decisions towards the formation of a creative ecosystem that facilitates the startup, development and profitability of the city’s innovative production.
The map  identified and located more than 200 “places of talent”, divided between the two macro-areas of creativity and innovation. The macro area of creativity was located in cultural places (museums, theaters, etc.), communication activities (publishing, open gov, digital services, etc.) and cooperation areas (social Streets, co-working, etc.).
The innovation macro-area has been identified in places related to digital production, sustainable mobility and renewable energy. Among the various areas of activity have been identified the possible relationship between sites or between subjects, in order to understand the network of connections and flows that make up the ecosystem. Finally, the analysis was conducted on three spatial levels: the core city, the sprawled city and the metropolitan city, in order to diversify the diagnosis and the action following it.
For each of the creative and innovative places/activites, we draw up a database containing the following information fields:

– Name of the subject;
– Legal figure;
– Starting Date of activity;
– Main Activities (culture, communication, cooperation, mobility, energy, production);
– Subcategory;
– Mission;
– Geographic location;
– Location in the metropolitan area;
– Type of funding for the startup;
– Name of operator and/or contact person;
– Contacts;
– Website;
– Phase of activity (project, incubated, startup, university spin-off, etc.);
– Dimensional data of the place where the activity takes place;
– Data relating to the usability and access by the public.

After completion of the current beta phase  (information gathering and data verification), the map and its database will be made available as Open Data  that  can be verified and enriched by the community of talents in a valuable collaborative vision. Besides  mapping  the places/activities, a cluster analysis was made, allowing the display of the concentrations and distributions of places by categories. This identifies epicenters of creativity and innovation of the city, so as to better understand the current logic of location, but especially the future incentivize logic. The data were also aggregated and presented in a visual form to allow a quick understanding of the mutual relations between places and activities, the current collaborations and the “ecosystem trials” that can be identified today.

The Map of the Talents of Palermo is now starting to provide an interesting clustering of the city and provides a view of the forms of spontaneous aggregation which should be favoured, facilitated or re-oriented to be more effective. Then it wants to be a first contribution to build the network of Fab City, able to operate in an urban policy following the principles of circular economy. In this way, not only the Third Industrial Revolution of the producers is supported, but also the social urban revolution based on recycling. The new philosophy of re-cycling shows how the marginal cost economies are producing new collective projects and new forms of sociality opposing the local and global decline.

(beta version being updated and integrated)


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Licenza Creative Commons
Quest’opera è distribuita con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione – Non commerciale – Non opere derivate 4.0 Internazionale.

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