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Fabio Petronilli

A participative workshop to improve public space in Trafaria.

Along the coast of Northern Portugal, near the municipality of Almada, the Trafaria neighborhood stands as an informal urban area developed almost outside of all city planning regulations and quite disregarded from the administration. The urban space is of poor quality and also housing conditions are often unsuitable. But the community living there is a multifaceted and proactive one. The inhabitants have very different stories, some of them have been living there since a long time, other arrived recently from other countries, most of them feel like they belong to that place. The short film by Fabio Petronilli shows this atmosphere and introduces the participatory workshop held there by Argot ou La Maison Mobile with Mezzo Atelier, invited by the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa.

At first the two groups observed the place, the inhabitants, and their relationships. Following this first exploratory phase, they designed a series of pieces of urban furniture that would support some urban vegetable gardens. Some boxes as small portable gardens, some wheelbarrows and some little storage spaces were built with the participation of the inhabitants, the adults doing the heaviest works and children having fun painting the furniture for the finishing touches.

Fabio Petronilli, who often documents interventions by Argot ou La Maison Mobile, guides the observers to discover this story through words and actions of some of its protagonists. As it often happen with similar projects, the film testifies a positive collaborative experience enriching both the inhabitants and the architects involved.


Mentioned project: H2T (2014)
Project location: Trafaria, Portugal

Italy 2014
Duration: 18'24''