The European research project EMUVE (Euro Mediterranean Urban Voids Ecology), hosted at the WSA, funded by the European Commission and directed by EMUVE Unit leader Dr. Federico Wulff Barreiro, focuses on the search for innovative urban and architectural design reactivation strategies to address these European urban and social degradation processes. EMUVE has developed research in several case studies in Spain, France, and Italy with the Mediterranean at the centre as the most conflictual area of the Continent, and references to precedents in the UK, London, and Cardiff Bay.

EMUVE Palermo 2020 Unit will explore the strategies for the development of spatial translations of both the Charter of Palermo and the manifesto We, the cities of Europe into design strategies for the urban realm of the city of Palermo. We focus on the redesign of public spaces that will give spatial support to the intercultural exchange and the social integration of the new incomers with the locals. In addition, the aim will be the reactivation of heritage derelict buildings of Palermo city centre that could become spaces for social exchange and new productive activities from the social economy. These will contribute to the integration process of refugees into the social and urban landscape of the city: Inter-Cultural Nodes ICN).

According to Bhabha (1994) and Bloomfield (2007) approach, an Inter-Cultural Node (ICN) could be identified as a ‘third space’, a pluralist space which is in-between that develops a relational practice at multiple scales (urban, public space, architectural). The participants, including locals and all kinds of culturally diverse migrants that have been frequently subjected to exclusion, could collaborate together in creative expression and dialogue on joint projects within shared ethical bounds -such as openness, cultural recognition, equality, anti-discrimination, dialogue and sharing of knowledge (Bloomfield, 2013; Landry and Wood, 2008).

Source:Dr. Federico Wulff Barreiro