Professor in Residence, Department of Architecture, GSD, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA
The “right to housing” is recognized as a primary right for the realization of every person, as is the “right to mobility,” understood as the right to move to improve one’s living conditions. Today, people with unstable living and working conditions due to a multiplicity of social and/or geopolitical factors are housed in precarious housing located in the city suburbs. This model replicates that used for the management of emergencies such as earthquakes and/or catastrophic weather events. Many of these shelters, despite being able to generate their own “social microcosm,” are in a state of degradation that reinforces social alienation: we could define them as “places of exclusion.” The research presented proposes to go beyond the emergency model starting from some reflections on the “right to housing” in relation to urban regeneration processes observed in some alternative European examples. The research aims to verify whether transitional housing for refugees and foreigners can be located within urban centers, and how they should be part of a broader (urban and social) regeneration project.