D9.1 City report | September 2023

Authors: Veronica Federico, Andrea Gatti, Giovanna Spanò, UNIVERSITY OF FLORENCE

Florence shows a rather plural public (and civic) space, and its social, political, and associative richness potentially renders it a quite inclusive space. Nevertheless, Florence historical and cultural heritage is a well-established pattern of the city identity, which might become exclusive, vis-à-vis other identities. As it is well known, also, Florence has a long history of tourism and given its small dimensions, it belongs to a group of historic cities where tourists – who are often regarded as a resource – might become a risk for public space. In fact, in this regard, processes of gentrification of the cityscape are becoming more and more visible, progressively undermining free and equal access to spaces and places. Outside the most aesthetically glamorous part of the city centre, different cultures and nationalities compete for a tiny place in which to meet or gather. This also implies some kind of internal segmentation of the same shared public space, which further suggests an exclusive way of perceiving the city. The public space in Florence thus appears to be a place that is denied or neglected in terms of its enjoyment as well as the opportunities to foster civil and social interaction. Conceiving its cityscape without tourism is quite a difficult task; however, examples of best practices and ‘resistance’ to the city’s massification can be detected, albeit beyond the city’s “economic” and wealthy core.