Don’t forget: I promised to speak about positive examples, best practices in our global society.

Today’s story is about social housing. I did not know anything about social housing before accidentally meeting with Floriana Marotta and Massimo Basile. They are two amazing architects, Italians like me, almost same age, travelling around the world to find opportunities. The interesting part of this story is the kind of opportunities that Floriana and Massimo look for.

Social housing tries to merge three apparently conflicting goals: beauty, social and economic impact . Amazing, but this seems almost like rhetoric, right? So, please, look at these pictures:

Social Housing 2

Social Housing 1

Floriana and Massimo’s project provides 184 apartments of social housing, services and public space in via Gallarte, a peripheral area of Milan.  “Social housing” means that apartments are rented at a symbolic price to people in need  (generally for a limited amount of time).

But, a careful analysis of Floriana and Massimo’s work shows that these constructions have achieved many objectives, above and beyond the original intention of the City of Milan that sponsored the design and construction.

First, they provide beautiful, stylish constructions in an area characterized by “cheap buildings” or shoddy constructions.  Frankly, I like the idea that people in need, and the less wealthy persons can live in a beautiful place .

Second, the creation of public spaces has ignited social activities and a sense of community in an area that was characterized by social disintegration and marginalization.

Third, the new constructions have re-launched local economic activity providing new working opportunities  to the local people.

Social housing: beauty, social and economic impact. How could we possibly want more?  I leave you with a beautiful video so you can see how good, responsible design can dramatically improve the life of people that deserve a better future: