“What kind of city is Reggio Emilia?”. This question opens the introduction of the volume Reggio Emilia. Scenari di qualità urbana (Reggio Emilia. Scenarios of urban quality) that mainly inquires the state of the city starting from its architectural artefacts and listening to the architects, clients and the creative intelligence that live and experience the territory. The book is the first reading of the most recent projects realized in Reggio Emilia.
A selection of projects are grouped into eight theme sections (Residential; Historic centre; Public spaces; Consume and Work; Urbanised countryside; Meet, teach and assist; Infrastructures; For a new quality townscape) to return a rich and critical map of the city and the architectures built between 1985 and 2006. The city is analysed in a continuity with the rural area, and in the same way the city economical, architectural and productive assets are confronted with Reggio Emilia cultural and human resources.
Simona Galateo curates the section of Dialogues with a varied group of citizens – a chef, a writer, a dj, a photographer, an entrepreneur, etc. – to discover a city of “sounds, smells, collective and private memories (…), feelings and intense lives”.
The book looks at Reggio Emilia looks not only as a unique city with its stories and buildings but as European medium-size city with the problems and potentials that many cities are facing around the world. Eventually the section Reggio Emilia / Europe, with the critical essays by Anna Barbara, Andrea Branzi, Pippo Ciorra, Pierre Donadieu, Luc Gwiazdzinski and Patrick Le Galès, makes this fundamental scale leap to understand that the territory of Reggio Emilia is more a potential than a static condition, an opportunity more than a nice city for tourists” (Andrea Branzi).