IURC-China team made a fruitful study visit to the city of Bari on 28-29 November 2022. The technical visits aimed at meeting the key mayor´s administration and technical staff, understanding the social and economic context related to the shared best practices and identifying the key priorities regarding IURC China cooperation in the areas of:
- Urban regeneration
- Tourism and culture
- Jobs, skills and innovation
On 28th November, the visit to Bari started with a working session of Bari and Yangzhou with an official welcome from Mr. Vitandrea Marzano, the director of the mayor´s staff of Bari. Following up on the IURC cooperation webinar on urban regeneration, the common interests were identified between Bari and Yangzhou in urban waterfront renewal and historic city centre revitalisation. Mr. Alessandro Cariello, the urban designer of the city Bari, introduced in detail the city´s urban regeneration strategies, approaches and pilot projects highlighting the waterfront area and neighbourhoods. Bari and Yangzhou expect to strengthen deeper learning by sharing best practices and initiating joint projects. An additional working session on this theme will be organised. Ms. WANG Xiaonan from Yangzhou Foreign Affairs Commission Office presented Yangzhou city’s initiation of China-Italy cooperation on food policy, food & culture and sustainable agri-food industry. Mr. TAO Xiaojun from Yangzhou municipal development and reform commission participated in the meeting. After the presentation, a discussion followed on the main cooperation areas and joint activities in the coming year.
The first field visit was to the cultural heritage area and the harbour zone, which shows the city´s Mediterranean characteristics and multicultural identity. This feature shaped the city´s integrated approach to urban planning/design, social cohesion and environmental sustainability.
The next visit was the waterfront regeneration project in Bari, making the waterfront more accessible to citizens and linking urban life with the waterfront area by creating a multi-functional open space. In this way, the liveability of the area was enhanced, and the area became a new centre of social interaction with increased environmental, economic and cultural values.
The team then visited Bari´s good practice of tactical urban interventions in public spaces, with quick, economical, flexible interventions participated by local communities. Bari is very experienced in combining tactical urban interventions with well-being, public health, social cohesion and economic revitalization.
The next stop was the Impact Hub Bari, a social entrepreneurship incubator. It provides start-ups and SMEs with facilities and space for working, meeting and networking, and services for workshop, training and consultancy.
On 29th November. The IURC team learned about a program in urban regeneration and social resilience – Libertà neighbourhood. the program aimed at developing a new model of urban design with the participation of local communities to promote new levels of socio-economic growth. The program highlighted a renovation project, which transformed the former cigarette factory into a multi-functional innovation hub. The model is innovative by combining the academic research institution, local food market, social enterprise, civic centre and Porta Futuro, which is a city-runned job centre that supports people (especially women, youth and immigrants) and Start-ups through consultancies, workshops, trainings and seminars.
After the field visit, it is concluded that Urban regeneration & waterfront renewal, food policy & cultural heritage, and innovation centre & smart technology will be the areas of cooperation in IURC-China. Further webinars between Bari and Chinese cities will take place to prepare the steps forward.