PRATO FOREST & CIRCULAR CITY
Palazzo Miccichè, Farm Cultural Park, Favara, Italy, 2021.
PEOPLE LIVE HERE A more human approach
Nowadays, the theme of sustainability has become an urgent matter. Prato is a great example of a city capable of involving effectively several stakeholders to boost towards the sustainability and circular economy. The Prato Urban Jungle project (European project) promotes a new strategic urban planning approach with a strong engagement of the stakeholders. The PUJ project aims to re-naturalize some neighbourhoods of Prato in a sustainable and socially inclusive way through the development of urban jungles. These urban areas with high housing and construction density will be redesigned in a green key through the natural ability of plants to break down pollutants, restore soil and space for community use, and transform marginal areas into real green hubs within interior of the city. Circular economy is a fundamental part of history of Prato and its Textile District. Prato is at the forefront on this theme. Indeed, Recò Festival is the very first festival that promotes the circular economy through seminars, shows, performances and talks. Recò Festival is held at the Textile Museum, cultural institution that is actively involved in promoting and disseminating the themes of circularity and sustainability.
The municipality of Prato with its 195,089 inhabitants is the second largest city in Tuscany and the third in Central Italy for the number of citizens. Prato is famous all over the world for its textile district, which represents about 3% of the European textile production. 3,500 textile companies and over 4,000 clothing companies employ about 33,000 workers in what is considered an industry serving the big fashion brands but also the production of fast fashion, a sector in which Prato is a leader in Europe and a reference to the great distribution. It is a city where many cultures coexist and which, with contradictions and problems, integrates different knowledge and lifestyles.
Prato plays a strategic role in the regional and large area, and with respect to this assumption the municipal administration has developed a medium-long term vision, based on an analysis of the existing and based on a Sustainable Development perspective, as a strategic prerogative on which to concentrate programming and towards which to converge the actions of both the public and private sectors. Prato also has a great tradition in innovation not only in its manufacturing production but also in the local government's ability to experiment in services to citizens.
Historically, in Prato, the concepts of recovery, recycling, reuse have been associated with the virtuosity of the textile district, anticipating the current global guidelines on the Green Economy by decades. The concept of “circular economy” has been applied on the textile supply chain and in other supply chains to avoid or reduce the disposal in landfills of considerable quantities of waste with a consequent lower environmental impact; replace the raw material with secondary raw material; develop creativity and new business opportunities.
The Municipal Operational Plan, adopted in 2019 and drawn up with the participation of the local community, provides for specific actions to reverse and address the climate emergency so that urban areas, the cause of many of the current environmental problems, can also become solutions creators to the problem. In this context, the urban forestation strategy of the city is developed which includes a series of multiscale actions that have been developed in the Prato Urban Jungle plan created with P-Nat, coordinated by Stefano Mancuso, and with Stefano Boeri Architetti.
The pavilion is dedicated to forestation and to the circularity of the city of Prato, bringing back a multiplicity of experiences and realities that have developed in the territory, starting from the urban forestation plan, up to the realities of the textile district that bring their experience and expertise in the development of a sustainable industry. In addition, the pavilion, entering the context of Favara, retraces the Prato experiences of reuse of abandoned spaces, which unlike those of Favara, belong to the industrial heritage of the city.
Valerio Barberis, Andrea Bartoli, Corinna Del Bianco