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Cantieri culturali

Municipality: Comune di Palermo




Via Paolo Gili, 4, 90138

Palermo PA



About Cantieri Culturali

Cantieri Culturali is an example of regeneration of an abandoned and partially demolished urban space and heritage, the Ducrot factory. Thanks to the interest of the local community and the Municipality of Palermo, this heritage has become a space for culture and sociality in the centre of Palermo.

This allowed many Palermo citizens to invest in entrepreneurial activities within the former factory and create an open urban space for artistic innovation.

Publications: Scaffidi F (2019) Il riciclo socialmente innovativo come attivatore di sviluppo urbano e regionale. I brownfield come contesto di analisi e azione. PhD Thesis. Palermo: University of Palermo.

Socially innovative recycling process

1896 - 1918

1968 - 1990

2012 - Today

In 1896, the factory was opened and marketed furniture and furniture fabrics. Thanks to Vittorio Ducrot, it was transformed from a centre for stylish furniture production into a place for innovation and design experimentation, research and design. The architect Ernesto Basile contributed to improving the image of the workshops, its products and the company brand. Between 1915 and 1918, the workshops became a location for the production of fighter-bombers and during the Second World War, a place for the production of military supplies (Scaffidi, 2019).

The production activity of the Ducrot workshops was discontinued in 1968. This led to a gradual process of abandonment, which also resulted in the partial demolition of the workshops due to a variant to the 1962 PRG. In the 1990s, a process of cultural reactivation of this heritage was initiated thanks to its acquisition by the City of Palermo (Scaffidi, 2019).

In 2012, the movement 'I Cantieri che Vogliamo' was born, promoting the idea of a transformation on a cultural basis and as a common good for all. To date, Cantieri Culturali is a cultural space of Palermo. ETS Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa is born in 2019 and 32 buildings and open spaces have already been reactivated and only 7 are still inactive. 12 of them are managed by social enterprises, 4 by foreign organisations, 7 by public bodies and 9 by the Municipality of Palermo (Scaffidi, 2019).

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