Can a Small Italian Village Point the Way to More Livable Modern Cities?

Jul 25, 2019 388


Artena, Italy is approximately 25 miles from Rome. Despite their proximity to each other, Artena is a much sleepier, old-world village, not encumbered by Rome’s foot traffic or consumerism. The beauty of Artena is in its organic simplicity, and its rebellion against the capricious whims of technology that have influenced city planning and development everywhere else. Its streets are narrow, walkable, and not perfectly paved with cement or painted with traffic signs. And, similarly to Rome, it’s inspiring.

Artena is “human-centered,” Stefano Serafini says. Serafini is a director of the International Society of Biourbanism, a group headquartered in Artena that focuses on our urban environments as an organism, and, through research, aims to realize optimal environmental enhancements for cities based on human needs. What that looks like in practice is at the heart of the Biourbanism Summer School, a week-long event I will attend and report on next month.

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