Pietro Garau


The fourth Biennial of Public Space (BISP 2017 – http://www.biennalespaziopubblico.it/) will be held in Rome on May 25-27th, at University of Roma TRE, Testaccio neighbourhood. It will be the first one held after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. Therefore, it will have the opportunity to take stock of the challenges the two events posed to city dwellers, civil society and policy makers.
If it will limit itself to parading good practices and admirable projects it will miss this opportunity. However, the intention is to lend an attentive ear, as always, to the work of international agencies and organizations. In fact, one of the preparatory activities proposed is to activate a dialogue paying special attention to the role that local governments and an efficient and responsible public sector can perform in addressing the SDG Public Space Target, and their unique civic responsibility and development potential: policies and planning. Unless this role is explored and enabled, it is highly unlikely that the SDG public space target will be achieved simply relying on civil society initiatives, isolated good practices and spirited performances.


How to Cite
Garau, P. (2017) “The Biennial of Public Space in Rome. From the Charter of Public Space to the Post-Habitat III Agenda”, The Journal of Public Space, 2(1), pp. 157–160. doi: 10.5204/jps.v2i1.59.
Author Biography

Pietro Garau, University of Rome “La Sapienza”

Pietro Garau, an architect-planner and, first, a tenured lecturer/researcher in planning at the University of Rome, joined what was then the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) in 1980 where he worked for more than 20 years in the areas of human settlements research and policy. There he pioneered and led the production of the first Global Report on Human Settlements. As Habitat's head of research from 1990 to 1994 he authored several policy documents, including the "New Agenda for Human Settlements" and the "Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000,"  participated in the interagency work leading to UNDP's Human Development report series and authored the Human Settlements chapter of "Agenda 21".
Between 1994 and 1995 he led the Secretariat of the Habitat II Conference, subsequently acting as Habitat's Europe focal point for the Habitat II preparatory process. As head of the UN-Habitat UN office in New York City he organized the UN's special session on Habitat II + 5 and engineered Habitat's upgrading from "center" to “program." Between 2002 and 2005 he co-led the Millennium Project's Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, which produced the report "A Home in the City." Back in the academic arena, he taught urban policies at Rome’s Sapienza, directed that university's Planning Research Centre for the Developing Countries, and directed courses of higher learning on the Millennium Development Goals. This work was summarized in the book Barefoot and Prada. Recently he co-organized the National Planning Institute's 2011 and 2013 Biennials on Public Space and pioneered and steered the process leading to the adoption of the Charter of Public Space. He is currently the biennial's international curator.