Giorgia Castelli

Giorgia Castelli

A Core for Diversity. Guest university - TU/e (The Netherlands)

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Giorgia Castelli

In the 21st century, societies are heterogeneous patchworks of different languages, cultures, ethnic groups, religious affiliations and political beliefs. Cities aren’t defined by the traditional notion of identity, instead this is being replaced by a new mixture of identities that is constantly changing with cities’ evolution. The great variety of people primarily derives from migrations happening all over the world.

Although for some years multiculturalism has been accepted by governments policies, recently the right-wing populistic boost is instrumentalizing it to gain consent and immigration is nowadays seen as a threat to self-security. Inevitable consequence is the replacement of welcoming feeling with fear, anger and mistrust.
Migrations don’t seem to arrest, and a correct integration of immigrants should be provided at every level for good.
Despite the flows of people that are modifying cities’ conformation, societies are becoming more individualistic: people don’t share real experiences and the idea of collectivity is being lost.

In this scenario, how could cities be prepared to receive newcomers without ending in the formation segregation and intolerance?

“A core for diversity” centers the reality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode in Brussels, researches which are the difficulties that citizens are facing and tries to turn them into the pretext and potential for the resolution of the existing integration problem. The design process includes the investigation about the location’s conditions, the detection of a program that really interprets people’s need and an architectural design which focusses on the importance of public space to foster mutual interaction between people, identity expression and cultural integration, involving both hosting and third-countries population. The new core becomes a place where the actual citizens can get to know each other better and meet their new neighbours.

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