Keywords: building degradation, building upgrading, historical inner city, laboratory, neighbourhood, real estate market, shared design, urban renewal
An economic and organisational approach to the sustainable renewal of historical neighbourhoods
The renewal of ancient neighbourhoods is a worldwide problem with different cultural, technological, economic and organisational implications, depending on the country under consideration. Major related factors are the dimensions of the historical neighbourhood, the real estate market, the average size of private properties and the physical, cultural, social and economic sustainability of renovation projects. In the 1980s and 1990s, an interesting organisational approach to the problem was developed in Italy with the establishment of the "Neighbourhood Laboratory". The Laboratory lets owners have their properties incrementally renovated by local craftsmen by using the professional services of engineering and construction firms, an infrequent opportunity in small renovation projects. Public administrations or private firms can sponsor the use of the Neighbourhood Laboratory. The paper describes the organisational structure of the laboratory and its possible contribution to the sustainability of renewal projects.