Marcella Iannuzzi studied architectural history and architecture in IUAV in Venice and ENSA Paris-La-Villette. Following her thesis on contemporary architectural and urban developments in Shanghai, she trained as an architect in ENSA Paris-La-Villette while working in professional practice in Paris. Marcella is currently pursuing research on the cities of southern Italy, preparing her PhD thesis about welfare policies in the South Italy cities in the Università degli Studi Roma Tre, in Rome.
My general research interest focuses on the analysis of cities, urban phenomena and practices of its inhabitants in order to define strategies for policy development.
My research reflects on the relationship between private and public welfare in the cities of Southern Italy. It aims to demonstrate that the practices and the spaces of private welfare are able to produce capability, in a perspective of development policies.
The cities of Southern Europe share mutual specific features which produce forms and mechanisms of development different to those in Northern European cities or in cities of an Anglo-Saxon tradition. Notably they are characterized by: a) a considerable share of the informal sector and “black work” practices in the productive system, b) a high level of unemployment especially among young people and women and c) the presence of nepotism in the distribution of resources. Further, the State’s role in the welfare system is relatively weak: it is up to the individual to care for themselves, to seek and to acquire the necessary resources, and in this way fill the gap in public services through private welfare (e.g. family, neighborhood network, voluntary associations).
It is interesting to examine the informal character of the socio-economic context of Mediterranean cities in the light of the literature that is recently addressing urban policies through the study of welfare space, in order to find a new approach towards constructing welfare policies. One of the ways indicated in the literature as a solution to the welfare crisis is the pluralisation of the Public; it is necessary to improve the social potentials looking at organisation systems “not only for how they are, but for how they could become” (Cottino 2009); trying to catch the “dispersed” common goods (Dewey 1927) and the obstacles that don’t allow us to recognise them.
Thinking the city a local society, welfare space can be considered as the physical deposit the practices and the policies, private or public, of urban welfare. In Southern Italy, as in other Southern European territories, the informal sector and the space of private welfare are particularly developed even if not especially vivacious and not always virtuous. Nevertheless, it is in these regions in particular, where the space of private welfare can be the space where actions and informal networks are developed. In these territories, the capability process can challenge the way through which the satisfaction of needs is institutionalized, promoting new solutions to the malfunctioning of public welfare.
In this way, we want to explore in particular the production and care of common goods (e.g. aid networks for personal care, strategies for young people to find work in the informal market and to create space of amusement, informal work for women, solution to housing problems etc.) in the welfare space of local proximity in Gela, a city in Sicily. The modality of the research envisages: analyses of the urban landscape and living conditions, reading of of space of public welfare in the city, state of relationship between private and public welfare, its spaces and its procedures of action, analyses of aid networks.
My research reflects on the relationship between private and public welfare in the cities of Southern Italy. It aims to demonstrate that the...