PAX—Patios de la Axerquía

Urban Regeneration and Social Innovation in a Heritage Context

Gaia Redaelli

Research Team 'Contemporary City, Architecture and Heritage'. University of Seville, Spain

ABSTRACT  Following a decades-long real estate bubble involving a culture of indiscriminate ownership and occupation of land, PAX—Patios de la Axerquía is proposing an innovative system of governance in the city of Córdoba in Spain that fosters a new urban model consistent with the aims of the New Urban Agenda and a Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive City: from a culture of speculation to one of rehabilitation.
   A system of multilevel co-management between the public administration and the social economy provides the basis for the acquisition and cooperative use of empty houses as a model of urban regeneration through social innovation in a heritage context. The rehabilitation of the patio-houses in Axerquía, which have been threatened by gentrification, aims to restore the environmental values of the Mediterranean city and upgrade its historical characteristics in a contemporary way together with the citizenship: from its architectural value as a World Heritage site to its anthropological value as Intangible Heritage of Humanity, as recognised by UNESCO in 2012.
   The interaction between innovative mechanisms of sustainable urban development opens up a pathway of virtuous policies for the densification of the existing city by the local population, generation of micro-employment, and support for collective projects that incorporate refugees and migrants in a system of solidarity.
   Updating the urban, environmental, social, and economic values of the traditional city is a step toward understanding the Mediterranean city as an undeniable reminder of our past and, at the same time, providing an essential tool for the future development of a smart, sustainable, and inclusive Europe.

KEYWORDS  urban rehabilitation, social innovation, gentrification, heritage, cooperative processes, Housing cooperatives

Received February 4, 2019; accepted March 12, 2019.

Co-sponsored by

Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute Co., Ltd.
Arcplus Group PLC
World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the Auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP)
Shanghai Construction No.4 (Group) Co., Ltd.

Administered by

Ministry of Education of PRC

Sponsored by

Tongji University

Published by

Tongji University Press

​Springer Nature

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