The current conformation of the area is the result of an anomalous development compared to the previsions of the planning tools on the area. The 1963 “Astengo urban plan” (reconfirmed with the new “Campos Venuti” 1973 plan) provided for the area the construction of an important highway that would connect the urban center with the so-called “third Ancona” (The new neighborhood Grazie and Tavernelle).
The urban development of this area, compressed between the road junction “waterfront-train station-Archi”, and the north-south road axis, were very different from the urbanistic previsions of the different planning tools. The area has in fact developed in an absolutely spontaneous and chaotic manner.
Furthermore, in 1983 the institution of an urban forest was proposed for this area to favor – through interventions of re-naturalization and diffusion of native species – an area for the public enjoyment and, above all, a green lung to contrast air pollution in the city. The prevision has become also a choice in the urban agenda and in the planning document of Ancona (PRG).
What today is Vallemiano is completely different form the urban planning system.
Between 2000 and 2010 there was the most interesting initiative on the area: an urban project for the renewal and redevelopment of the area. The core of the project was the Mattatoio (the old slaughterhouse), that was supposed to be transformed to realize a civic centre, a place for cultural activities and events, a library, and coffees and shops.
The project was submitted to a call for proposal to be funded under a National Redevelopment Program for Italian suburbs. Unfortunately, the project was not founded, and the requalification was only partially completed. Part of the slaughterhouse was redeveloped and “The House of Cultures” (CASA DELLE CULTURE) was realized.
The Municipality of Ancona has lost interest and attention for this area, but the House of Cultures promotes cultural and environmental initiatives to promote social cohesion, identity strengthening and stimulate ideas for the redevelopment of the area. Today, it represents the hearth of the neighborhood.
Two are the most recent and interesting initiatives: UNA PIAZZA PER VALLEMIANO and #DIREZIONE PARCO.
§ The initiative UNA PIAZZA PER VALLEMIANO
This initiative regards a call for proposal (C’ENTRO ANCH’IO), that saw the Asssociation Casa delle Culture and the Municipality of Ancona as Partners. The objective was the reconstruction of the identity of the neighborhood through activities that favor a process of recovery of social life, passing through the redevelopment of symbolic places starting from the Mattatoio and its square, animating it through artistic and socio-cultural activities with residents of the neighborhood.
The project stems from the desire to recreate spaces of aggregation and sociability, which have their fulcrum in the area of the former Slaughterhouse, which includes the Casa delle Culture, the Coop point, the Poliarte and other facilities in Vallemiano, transforming the square in front of the slaughterhouse in a real “square” where citizens can socialize, relive the history of the neighborhood, formulate ideas and projects for a new Vallemiano. Casa delle Culture also wants to promote paths of knowledge and dialogue between the different cultures and generations that live in the neighborhood.
Within this project in 2015, initiatives were organized for gathering and socializing on the occasion of festivals (Befana, Carnival, spring equinox), walks along the Miano river (by Legambiente), artistic events, meetings, debates and presentations.
§ The initiative #DIREZIONE PARCO
This initiative regards the valorization of a walkway from the center of Ancona, where there is a sort of “gateway” to the Parco del Conero. The walkway starts from Vallemiano and proceed up the valley of the stream from which the neighborhood takes its name. This area, left out of the roads and therefore excluded from urban development, has preserved the traditional rural pattern and the naturalistic aspects linked to the waterways. The Miano waterway is not far away, it starts from the reliefs of the Monte dei Corvi, and flows into the sea with the Conocchio ditch, in the area of the railway station.
The initiative starts from a crow-founding activity used for:
• the realization of the pathway;
• the cleaning of the ditch and surrounding rural areas, in collaboration with Monte Conero Natural Park and Consorzio di Bonifica;
• the creation of an illustrated map
• the organization of open events and initiatives
• the construction of signs and rest areas, organized by DAY-Do Architecture Yourself along the central axis of the Miano valley.
The initiative is very narrow scale, but the impacts on the community have been significant, so much that the need for urban redevelopment of the area has returned to the center of the debate even in the Municipality of Ancona.
The Vallemiano neighborhood in the City of Ancona is facing the immense challenges of a marginalized post-war residential neighborhood that has developed over the years in a chaotic and confusing way, although the planning tools included specific and very clear previsions of transformation.
The area is very close to the center of the city, on the one side, and to the rural landscape, on the other, but there is a lack of connections among the two. Already starting from 1973, the neighborhood has been part of urban renewal and development programs the emphasize the strategic role of the area.
After a series of failed attempts, the area is today facing a sort of “immobility” and it’s in strong need of intervention. A lack of identity can be observed, the inhabitants complain about problems related to degradation and abandonment.
The current bottom-up urban renewal approach focuses on strengthening Vallemiano neighborhood from within by starting to better connect the green spaces with new rural landscape corridors and by increasing the quality of the public space and the number of cultural initiative and public participation events.
The Vallemiano neighborhood extends in east-west direction, along the valley of the Miano torrent, buried following the urban expansion of the first post-war period. The area is located in the heart of the city of Ancona, but in a close connection with the nearby rural areas. The location of the area, in correspondence with important infrastructures for the connection, exit / entrance to the city, make the area substantially peripheral, to pass and cross through. The area could be considered as one of the entrance from the city to the Parco del Conero.