In the midst of the economic crisis the management of urban spaces represent a key challenge for improving city life and attracting people and resources because of the quality of urban and ecological services is a crucial issue in the development of sustainable (and smart) communities. The paper presents a case study research aimed at assessing the feasibility of an integrated model for managing agricultural areas in urban spaces in order to upgrade their urban, social and environmental performances. The use of a case study method is due to the specific research questions finalized to: • Provide a design proposal consistent with the requirements of urban upgrading of ancient cities • Provide a design methodology that it could be replicate to other similar context • Provide a proposal that is ecological and sustainable in terms of social and economical efforts The project focuses on via Pedamentina in Naples, an historic stair-street running down the slope of the San Martino hill. Despite the street is located in a very central urban area, the agricultural land use is still the typical feature of the hill, adapting its use and its nature to the urban form, so that the soil quality is almost the original one. In such special context, the project aims at addressing some key demands of residents concerning the upgrade of urban services such as waste management, social security, protection from sliding risk. According to this, the project sets out three goals: • the recovery of the agricultural use, with a program guide that enhances the ecological services of the area; • the maintenance of the scale, with particular emphasis on waste management • the functional upgrade of the scale to the requirements of accessibility and security. The project focuses on the management of both private agricultural areas and public stairs, through an economic cooperation between users/ residents and public/ private bodies. The model reference is the Public/ Private Partnership (PPP) developed in the UK and USA whose goal is to stimulate the private entity towards the direct management of services and goods for public use.
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