The profound changes spanning across contemporary society leave areas of the city in need of new uses and new meanings. This is the case of many former industrial areas, harbours, and low-income neighbourhoods. Many cities around the world have been faced with a series of radical transformations, from the slums of New York like Brooklyn and Harlem, to Canary Wharf in London and the multi-ethnic neighbourhoods of Berlin’s Mitte and Kreuzberg, only to name a few. In all these cases, a bulk of successful initiatives have been aimed at attracting new investments and residents (mainly artists, musicians and the like) while gearing for the involvement of  local people, the regeneration of the neighbourhood, and the increase of ‘ cultural opportunities. Neighbourhoods that were once suffering at the edge of the tourist and economic flows of the respective cities are now playing an increasing role that goes beyond that of the cities that host them.


Why Porta Capuana


Porta Capuana is one of the neighbourhoods of Naples that most resembles the ones mentioned above. Its well-established tradition of production, cuisine, ethnic restaurants, and the large amount of unused urbanspaces – Castel Capuano with Its 47,000 square meters, the ancient woollen mill, etc. – have been attracting more and more young artists and musicians. Porta Capuana, however, is neither like Brooklyn, nor Harlem nor Kreuzberg. Unlike those neighbourhoods, its building boast a long-lasting heritage, a wealth of artistic and architectural masterpieces, a popular art museum, architecture and local cuisine that can work as a proper engine of regeneration for this area. The Castel Capuano (XII century.), San Giovanni a Carbonara (XIV c.) and  Porta Capuana itself (XV cent.) are only a part of the historical and artistic richness that this area of the city can offer. And yet, this area is to date still outside the flow of tourism, which prefer to run towards less valuable yet more renowned areas The urban transformation, The closure to vehicular traffic outside (ZTL) of the historical centre of Naples, and the follow-through of the renovation of Piazza Garibaldi are giving this area a whole new lease of life. With new interchanges and accesses to the city, this area could become a privileged passage for tourists and visitors heading to the old city centre. Easy and direct accesses from the motorway, rail combined with direct connections to the harbour and the airport will make this area  the “natural” entrance to the city, just as it used to be ever since the fifteenth century.


The approach


Urban regeneration is a participatory process aimed to give the city a new look and competitiveness. In this case, reviving the image of the city goes through not only  an aesthetic physical rehabilitation but also through the active engagement of cultural, social, economic and environmental forces aimed at increasing the quality of life of the citizens while respecting the principles of sustainability. On this account, in addition to our economic plan of action, we will take care of  other aspects concerning sustainability, that is: social (citizenship involvement) and environmental features (waste disposal, recycling, reuse of waste materials). This is an interactive process that also intends to involve public institutions (Municipality, Foundations like Castel Capuano and Banco di Napoli, the Curia with its churches …) and private (Foundations and Associations) flanked by architects, artists, and above all merchants, restaurateurs, and local residents.




Three main areas form the backbone of this project. Those are:



People, tourists, citizens but also  tour operators,  discover the architectural and artistic beauties of this area.

Following on from the great success of Porta_mi in Naples (16 tours in Port Capuana on the occasion of May Monuments 2012, brought more than 400 visitors into the district) we organize two monthly tours every first and third Saturday of each month.



Rediscover the culinary tradition while bringing it to the attention of a wide audience.

Support the dozens of restaurants that offer the “typical cuisine of Porta Capuana” and put them together in a network that is capable of competing. Integrate and enrich the well-established culinary tradition with the culinary offer of new ethnic restaurants .




Involve historical production activities at large and small scale.

The participation of the economy is essential for the successful of Porta Capuana regeneration. These subjects are, in fact, that ensure long-term continuity and sustainability of economic action, without them the commitment of the institutions and the social world would be null.

A goal is the enhancement of the neighbourhood well-established craft tradition by putting it in a constructive discussion with the local style and design worldwide.

Further aim is to improve information and dissemination about  Hotels and  Bed and Breakfasts in Porta Capuana neighborhood.


The innovation


This project, relies on the use of advanced information technologies (eg, targeted application for smartphones and tablets), and regards the World Wide Web as a tool to build a network able to make stakeholders interact at any at time and let them actively participate in the process of regeneration. This entails very low production costs, a potentially unlimited use and access to international direct and local horizontal information with the possibility of directly interact with the users by creating a link between demand (tourists and visitors) and supply (business and citizens).

Resources Public and private funding. Crowdfunding




“Psychology loves Portacapuana”.

This Participatory action research is aimed at fostering the neighbourhood’s livability while analysing its weak and strong points. The project has been promoted by the team composed by the researchers in Community Psychology of the Department of Humanities of the University of Naples Federico II  ( and the undergraduates in the “Psychological science and techniques” program. It has also benefited from the collaboration with association and with all the partners and promoters of the “I love Porta Capuana” Committee.


Porta Capuana cookery book – Volumes on press, edited by Aste e Nodi.


Lanificio 25 – A series of cultural entertainment initiatives by means of which Carlo Rendano Association has been promoting and advertising the area of Porta Capuana for the past 6 years.




Coordinamento I Love Porta Capuana –

Organizzazione Non Profit C.F. 95201300639   Piazza Enrico De Nicola, 46 80139 Napoli