Situated on the eastern periphery of Rome, Casal Bruciato is a thriving community with a storied past. Originally a housing development for working-class immigrants from the Italian south, the neighborhood has since become an outpost for wealthier middle class Romans, marked by the construction of new condominiums and apartment complexes among existing social housing. The juxtaposition of public and private housing entities together in the same neighborhood has created feelings of separation, animosity, and neighborhood dysfunction. We also learned from informal interviews and focus groups about nighttime safety and isolation from the center of Rome.

To unify the neighborhood together, the team proposed a system of pathways and open spaces that would connect key components of Casal Bruciato and join together at Piazza Balsamo Crivelli, located at the central point along the neighborhood's southern edge. To determine the placement of the pathways, the team analyzed the exact location of housing entities, key businesses, congregational points, and local landmarks. The team also advocated for street furniture, appropriate signage, wayfinding, and lamps, and general beautification to make the paths enjoyable for everyone. In the long run, it is envisioned that the pathways will help to bring together local residents and create a more unified feel.

Cornell University, Spring 2009.

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