Bitonto (IT)


Bitonto (IT)

Scale L urban and architectural
Team representative architect, urbanist
Location Sistema urbano Bitonto, Palombaio, Mariotto
Population 56,000 inhabitants
Strategic site c. 100 ha - Project site 5 ha

Site proposed by City Bitonto
Actors involved City Bitonto
Owner(s) of the site Public property

Commission after competition workshops with the awarded teams to define the next stages of the process

More Information

Urban City Strategy

Bitonto expands from the high Murgia to 2 km from the Adriatic coast. The territory has natural, historical and rural production systems with a high ecological impact. Known as the city of olive trees, for the big production of olive oil, the city is experiencing a period of growth in the field of cultural and naturalistic tourism. This vocation makes it necessary to give identity to the urban fabric outside the consolidated city. The City follows the strategies of the Patto Città-Campagna and has already launched a program of regeneration interventions, both in the historic center and in the urban belt in the south-east/south-west area. The enhancement of the building heritage - for accommodation, promotion of typical products with spaces for farmer markets and activities related to culture and local economies - are the starting point to relate the values of the historic center with rural and naturalistic values of the hamlets of Palombaio and Mariotto.

Site Definition

The site consists of the squares system of Bitonto, Palombaio and Mariotto: in the center of Bitonto, the squares Aldo Moro, Marconi and Cavour; in the hamlet of Palombaio Piazza Milite Ignoto and the confluence area of all the routes to/from Palombaio; in the hamlet of Mariotto the large Piazza Roma. The strength of the hamlets (7 and 11 km away from the center) is their rural context and their access position to the Alta Murgia Park.
But there are also some critical issues related to isolation from the center of Bitonto. It is necessary to activate a new development, based on alternative energy sources, on life in the open air and on local values to be related to the center of Bitonto.
The naturalistic path, from the Lama Balice towards the Alta Murgia Park, using sections of via Cela, represents the strategic site, a catalyst element for the activation of new functions for the natural environment, which will bring benefits to the hamlets at the cultural, social and economic level.

How Must Metabolism and Inclusivity Be Developed and Connected?

The distance between the city and the hamlets will be reduced by the ability of the Europan project to make the values of each urban center dialogue in order to build a territorial value.
The definition of the nature trail, under construction, from the Balice blade to the Alta Murgia National Park, is an opportunity to generate new urban / territorial metabolisms. The strategy of the City is linked to the provisions of the PPTR (Regional Territorial Landscape Plan) of which it uses: the Regional Ecological Network; the Patto Città-campagna, overcoming the degenerative process that, with the urbanization of the countryside, has seen the growth of the neglect of both the urban and rural environment; the infrastructure system for soft mobility; territorial systems for the use of assets. It is necessary to think of new models of metabolic actions also for parts of the historic center, of which a “typical” block is included in the site. New uses related to the sustainable management of environmental heritage, digitization and social inclusion for a landscape that offers the quality of a living environment, to contribute to the European green transition and counter the climate crisis.
The proposals will have to build a new identity and dialogue between the two hamlets and the urban center of Bitonto, integrating the naturalistic richness with public spaces.
Why start from the squares? Because the squares represent the point where the city talks about itself. The reference point for citizens and travelers. A place where the community meets and identifies itself every day. An attractive place where the spirit of sharing is inevitably synonymous with safety, identity and inclusiveness. All the elements for the renovation are present: great connectivity, a natural space of great quality (Alta Murgia Park, the Bosco di Bitonto, Lama Balice Park, agricultural territory of Palombaio and Mariotto), an ancient center of great wealth and historical architectural value.

Questions on the site

Is it necessary to keep the existing historical paving in Piazza Cavour in Bitonto? Or is it possible to create a new one?

The flooring must be preserved as it is the result of recent intervention. Compared to the system of squares, which could not fail to be thought for all three spaces, the Piazza Cavour is the one that requires less substantial intervention, but rather its re-functionalization with respect to the axes of penetration and the other two squares must be considered.

If the current parking areas are removed, it is necessary to propose their displacemen?  Is an underground parking in the project area of Bitonto required, or can we move the existing parking surfaces in other part of the city (outside the competition area)?

Their displacement depends on your analysis and design choices. Any hypothesis of removing the parking lots must provide for an alternative solution that the designers can freely propose. The underground parking is not required, but, in consideration of its feasibility, it can be proposed as well as possible alternative solutions (intermodal exchanges, 15-minute cities, etc.) towards which the European guidelines are oriented.

The Bitonto intervention area also includes one type-block. Which details level is required for its design? Will it be necessary to plan the interior spaces, or will it be possible only to define new uses? Are the buildings private or public owned?

The type-block was chosen because it is located in a strategic position where the various connection systems with the squares (vehicular / pedestrian) converge.

Considering that the redevelopment of historic centers starts from the inclusion of new functions (especially on the ground floors), from the use of public space and from the ways of life, as well as from possible experiential paths, the proposals on the type-block will have to analyze the current functional deficiencies of the entire historic center. So in this concept phase, the type-block is an example of new ways of use and it is not influential to know the current specific properties and functions of the block. Therefore, designers have ample freedom to analyze the entire historic center and to make proposals.

Which kind of intervention is required along the cycle path of via Cela? should we have to provide some kind of facilities, or equippment? or should we have to focuse our attention only on the intervention areas (the squares), and consider the outskirts only as a connection?

Will the cycle path between the municipalities have to be created along via Cela? Can other cycle and pedestrian connections be envisaged (for example along the provincial road 89)? Is it possible to plan a cycle / pedestrian path along the entire boundary of the walls of the historic center of Bitonto?

In the contents of the tour and the webinar these aspects of the theme have been clarified in depth. The projects on the intervention areas cannot exclude a strategy of the context and its functionality in relation to the Bitonto-Palombaio-Mariotto system. Europan's approach is to consider the strategic area and complementary project sites.

The cycle path of via Cela already exists and can be traveled over (as you can see from the video and as described several times), but it needs an enrichment of functions linked to the entire connection system with the squares also through any new cycle-pedestrian connections resulting from your design choices of possible routes possibly including provincial road 89, always in consideration of the technical and economic feasibility. For information purposes only, it is recalled that safety regulations tend to build cycle-pedestrian paths on low-flow roads. The walls of the historic center are already the subject of other interventions that include cycle-pedestrianism.

In relation to the actual Bitonto's squares, how do we have to relate to the existing viability in a realistic way and with the presence of existing monuments such as statues, historical street lamps and similar items?

A different reorganization of the road network may be foreseen in your project within the limits of actual feasibility. A different reorganization of the road network may be foreseen in your project within the limits of actual feasibility. Regarding the presence of the historical and monumental elements present in the squares, their location can be foreseen, if supported by the project idea and its technical, economic and socio-cultural feasibility.

This site is connected to the following theme

Reinforcing Biodiversity

On these sites, the impetus for the transformation comes from the territory and from the use of all the resources (natural, ecological, infrastructural) to regenerate them.
Here, the driving force of change is the transformation of the (urban) ecology.

Specific documents

Questions on the site

Fr. 18 June 2021
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 2 July 2021
Deadline for answers

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Urban territorial framework
Preliminary Program Document (DPP) strategic scenario map
Bitonto - Aerial view of the three squares
Bitonto - Piazza Cavour
Aerial view of Palombaio
Palombaio - Piazza Milite Ignoto
Aerial view of Mariotto
Mariotto - Piazza Roma
View of the territory - Strategic project Mariotto-Palombaio-via Cela