The porticoes of Bologna represent the social dimension of the city where commercial activities coexist with cultural and religious paths, touristic itineraries, festival, fairs and solidarity actions. For this reason, they are perceived as common goods, as 'Commons' of the city.Considered as the public space 'par excellence', this contemporary vision of the portico takes its origins from the late 1288, when the Charters of Bologna first stated the legal status of porticoes as 'private property of public use'. The Charters also clarified the citizens requirement to build and manage porticoes. Thus for Bologna citizens, the obligation of taking care of their own porticoes is not a recent news, but rather a responsibility assigned to every single property owner, under the guidance of the local administration coordination.
The nomination of Bologna Porticoes as UNESCO World Heritage places the city in front of the need to systematically organise their managing and maintenance initiatives, with the provision of a Management Plan, drafted as a result of the participatory actions engaging all local stakeholders. The plan has to prove the commitment of the stakeholders in preserving the outstanding universal value carried by porticoes,outlining the current legal framework operating within the city and through the design of a Management System. This system will gather, in a concrete way, all the managing initiatives and the monitoring actions already in place and those of future implementation.
Porticoes. Instructions for Management and Care
In order to take care of city porticoes and to efficiently manage them, the Municipality of Bologna released the guidelines Portici. Istruzioni per la cura e l'uso with the contribution of Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna. This document provides a series of instructions for the management and care of porticoes and it has been drafted starting from the experience of a wide set of initiatives previously carried out to facilitate the involvement of private citizens.
The guidelines for the management and care of porticoes are divided into 9 thematic sections, which illustrate how porticoes are used according to the needs of commercial activities, retail and catering businesses, temporary setups in occasion of relevant and seasonal events, laying of additional installations for private or home energy use; and also in relation to the needs of several typologies of mobility, for the setups of construction sites and scaffoldings and for cleaning and hygiene operations.
A relevant part of this document is represented by the Glossary, which helps recognizing and naming the several parts forming the structure of porticoes, employing a language that it is not only used by technicians but also by citizens, in the perspective of protecting some traditional terminology elements that could be considered by all means a part of Bologna Heritage.
These guidelines are also connected to the Collaboration Agreements already active in Bologna, in compliance with the 'Regulation on collaboration between citizens and the city for the care and regeneration of urban commons', which states a specific provision (art.14) about management.
Download the complete document Portici. Istruzioni per la Cura e l'Uso (available in Italian only).