Its means are fundamental and light structures, artistic installations or social facilities, public services and street furniture; they may consist in public transport pulled by horses and comprehensive systems for accommodation and tourism; impressive one-day events or cultural happenings lasting for a month, emergency measures or long-term city development plans.
In the cities where public places are considered as mere locations for private interests, as containers for cars and advertising posters, and as pure venues used to steal the media spotlight, design pubblico aims to highlight their collective nature and to exploit their potential in terms of entertainment and participation. If this is achieved, it will pave the way for a fair economy.
Public space is the first springboard for cultural and personal growth, the first playground without rules, the first field where people are confronted with the unexpected, where curiosity can lead to unlimited knowledge and where everybody's actions could change the world. It is a microcosm where every corner entails potentially democratic and peaceful activities - impressive words for a basic idea that now needs to be safeguarded more than ever.
In the big cities around the world, parks and squares, shopping centres and clubs, public events and customs are getting more and more similar. Not only the leading brands, the symbols of globalization and the trendiest architecture styles, but also the works of street art and the words expressing protests and disquiet are increasingly conforming to an universal and superficial language. Uniqueness, which seems to be celebrated on paper, is relegated to anthropological studies. The areas for free expression are sparser and sparser but the need for them - paradoxically - seems to decrease as well.