Edoardo Signori

la europa urbo

A found manifesto


Grand Sablon. The bus stops. Its a foggy morning in spring. The air is cold. I step outside the bus and look down the Rue des Minimes. Small shops and a gallery line the walkways. Through the fog I can see red and beige facades alongside the street. Occasionally I see people crossing. I hear noises. I turn around and see a big roundabout. It’s rather busy this early in the morning. From here I can see down to the different streets that surround the roundabout and the Place du Grand Sablon which has the same name as the district we are in. In front of me a curved, greyish of ce facade swings along the path of the Rue Lebeau. To my right the Place du Grand Sablon opens up, as if someone had laid a carpet on the city. I see multiple, diverse small houses that frame the big square. I can hear noises coming from the left. I turn to my left I can see the rue Joseph Stevens in front of me. A very lively street it seems. Pedestrians mingle around the shops, there is music playing in the background and as the fog dissolves I can perceive a small house, a kiosk it seems. It is rose coloured with mint details and its walls are overhung with plants. Out of one opening of the kiosk a woman is selling owers to man in a suit. I follow the noise and suddenly see an orange form piercing out on the street. I’m intrigued and I follow the street to the Place Emile Vandevelde. Children play football on the street and people are having their morning coffee at the circular square. To my right I can see a variety of stone and brick facades curving along the circular form of the square. To my left I can see a funny looking building, its greyish, looks like an old garage, or a ruin, which has colourful objects in it. One is pink and rather square, another one is red and round, this seems to be the coffee, another one is orange and on top of that object there is dark blue one. The fog has nearly dissolved and I can see parts of a tower standing on top of these objects. I want to see more and I enter. The pavement is tared, it seems to be a former garage however inside it has street lamps and city benches, waste bins and hydrants, I can even see a the same kiosk again. This one seems to sell ice cream. I walk further into the building towards something that is glimmering green. I step trough a gate and I am in a garden. The fog has disappeared completely. Trees, bushes and owers in all shapes and colours ll my view. I hear birds chirping and I sit down on a table to rest. On top of the table there is a silver piece of paper, I pick it up. It seems to be a pamphlet. It says: “People: come and see the new city extension

On the ground where once stood the Maison de Peuple, that was representing and symbolising the community, now stands a new part of the city. Everyone is welcome. The city is like you: it’s diverse, it’s colourful and in constant ux. It gives you the freedom to express yourself and act: a motor for change. Besides the public program European NGOs can help you out to nd a voice.
What was before a private garage, is now part of your city. The slabs and oors, the niches and edges are now part of your street. And on this lively urban carpet characters emerge, houses for everyone, your buildings.“

the former garage, that before was a private extension of the street, is now street, it belongs to the city. 
the city ventures inside 
the building, appropriating what once had another use. on this play eld, on this urban carpet, characters emerge, small scale houses that have an impact on the building that hosts them and on the street that sur- rounds them.

years go by, new characters emerge, old ones are re- placed or left out, the form remains...