Ever since the tramline’s closure, the 800-meter-long strip in the center of Corso Gabetti and Ponte Regina Margherita in Turin, has been abandoned. To make use of the dead area and give residents an extra space outdoors following Italy's severe pandemic repercussions, non-profit cultural association Torino Stratosferica has transformed the tree-lined strip into Precollinear Park, a temporary public space fit for socially-distanced leisure.
The park, named after Precollina, the neighborhood in which it is sited, has now become a permanent attraction, following its huge success not only as a recreational space, but as an outdoor event venue, classroom, and exhibition space as well. The rail line was constructed in the 1980s, but was closed after the city upgraded its vehicles into longer ones, making it difficult to function properly on the existing platforms. Eventually, the trams were replaced, but never made it back to the area across the river, which is now utilized as the park.
Inaugurated in June 2020, the park is equipped with wooden seats, bright yellow pallet benches, and flower pots, along with a zig zag pathway that highlights the sloping land and leads towards a small platform that has been set up for events. On the Precollinear park Bridge, a yellow container is installed serving as an information booth, bar, and storage space. The project also includes a colorful installation under the trees on the hill in Piazza Hermada honoring a late friend of the association.
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More than 700 residents from all over Turin participated in the process of the project's development, sharing ideas and comments during organized meetings, and raising over 2,500 Euros through ongoing crowdfunding campaigns. Now that the park is staying longer, several exhibitions and workshops are planned, along with additional design implementations to the space.
Placemaking has become a rising approach while creating public spaces. It focuses on a local community's values, needs, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that prioritize people's happiness and well-being. To highlight its necessity, Project for Public Spaces (PPS) elaborated on “How to turn a place around”, through a book that defined the placemaking movement, creating a guideline of 11 principles to follow in order to create vibrant community spaces.
News via TORINO STRATOSFERICA