SINCE 1970 : KENZO TANGE ASSOCIATES CATANIA CITY ITALY
Interview with habitants at Librino from the
TV program "Il Dito" Librino e il problema casa 14 Jan. 2005
Cast ( Dub in Japanese ) : Tsuji Noriyuki, Harada Machiko, Mori Akira, Mariko
Man 1 Here are 25 families that should have apartments. And there are families
that live inside cars... in some apartments three or four families live...We
are all waiting for this to change. Today, we join as a group. "Rainbow". The
unemployed and homeless people stand united... we'll try to organize and to
arrange these houses, these abandoned buildings... in the hope that the city
will aid us. Our proposal is that to finish the construction of the buildings,
like the one behind me, that are unfinished ... but we still haven't received
Woman1 I have seven children, and with my husband we are nine people in one home.
I am a squatter. I've squatted the house and I've maintained it...well, I can't
say that it's habitable. Unfortunately, I'm unemployed and I don't have enough
money. My house is a shame. Some other journalists have been here to see it.
I live in with my children which is the same way many other families in this
place live. At first, as you can see, we are without doors.... here, in order
to protect ourselves from the winter cold, I had to put this big refrigerator
door. Nobody should ever enter because of the trash downstairs...it is a shame
to see all this filth, at the risk getting a disease. I'll also show you the
other side of the house. This is my son's room. It can't be said that this house
is habitable...All the rooms are the same This is the bathroom, Look at the
holes here... the other day a piece of the wall fell down ...while I was washing
myself... humidity and water everywhere...because of the wind this piece has
fallen and broke the toilet.
Man 2 Tell Scapagnini, to the mayor, that sick children are living here... and
handicapped. I have a child who is 14 years old whose blind in the left eye
...and there are children are contaminated... green areas, parks where children
could play. We just live into the trash! ... social workers? They don't show
up around here. Social workers are not interested...
Woman 2 We want the house!!! The children are cold! My child suffers from asthma.
I wish he was one of the mayor relatives ...so that he would have been assigned
a proper house... We want have our house not bullshit!
Librino New Town Project is a city plan which was never fully
completed. Situated in the second largest city in Sicily Catania.
It was designed by the Japanese Architect Kenzo Tange from 1970 to 1972 and
: Public housings with residences for 60,000 people
: Public Schools
: Green zones and parks areas
: A hospital
: An upgraded new University campus
: connections to the city center which included the construction of new roads,
trains and a bus station.
The plan is one of the most extended public residential building areas ever
made in Italy.
However the construction was often behind schedule and at times even stopped
and many of parts were abandoned and left in different states of construction.
It was only in 1976 that the plan was finally accepted after a long bureaucratic
process for approval.
In 1979, a change of the plan was made by the City Council and some of the housing
nuclei have been removed from the former plan.
In 1989 most of the buildings were finally realized but without all the proper
facilities such as comprehensive water and the sewing systems.
Only one school was ever realized and there is no longer any concrete plan to
build any hospitals or University campus in the area.
Green areas were also realized but not according to the original plans. These
areas were mainly around the buildings which are owned by the workers cooperatives
assigned by the City and subsequently fenced off from the rest of the housing
Also during the 80's the Mafia war spread terror in the Catania streets and
hundreds of people were murdered each year.
Librino became classed as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city
and was governed through organized crime.
However during this period the population of the new town grew by approximately
The historical center of Catania city is largely part-owned by few local wealthy
families or business owners.
However recently many of old buildings are being squatted or rented by new immigrants
from China, Ceylon or sub-Sahara countries.
These new inhabitants who for the largest part live in precariousness, developing
small market areas which function mainly to cover their illegal activity such
as the regulation of immigration and the sex and drug trafficking.
Now the major commercial developments in Catania city have been springing up
on the other city external ring with the mushrooming of new shopping centres,
airport renovation and what is expected to become southern Italy's largest market
area. The local population has steadily been moving from the city center to
the suburban areas and many unemployed and low-income families have begun to
squat the unfinished buildings in Librino, buildings which have been left without
any proper facilities such as doors or windows, elevators and the drainage systems.
Today Librino hosts 75.000 people and has subsequently been reorganized to accommodate
approximately 45.000 new residents. However the city plan for Librino is still
being ignored by the City Council since there's no plan or budget resources
left to complete the construction.
A CANDY FACTORY PROJECT 2006
Takuji Kogo + Federico Baronello
This work had been shown through the candy factory project at Akiyoshidai International
Art Village 2005