The crisis in the publishing industry has had an impact on the entire sector. The obvious consequence is the closure of newsstands, a phenomenon that inspires new approaches to a very valuable neighbourhood service, especially in this historic moment.
In recent years, the growing crisis in the publishing industry has had a number of effects on the entire economic sector, of which one clear phenomenon in Italy is the closure of almost four newsstands a day. Many newsagents have been forced to close their doors, others are holding out through many difficulties, and still others are rethinking their business by integrating it with non-traditional products or transforming it into a service hub to support citizens, culture and tourism. These initiatives are often in line with a hot topic such as the '15-minute city'.
There are many virtuous cases where municipal administrations, associations and private entities have implemented or are implementing experiences to renew the place and role of newsstands as a guardian of democracy, a hub for essential and cultural services, and a meeting place.
Lulu Dans Ma Rue, Parigi
In Paris, since 2015 there is Lulu Dans Ma Rue, a network of traditional kiosks distributed in different parts of the city and managed by neighbourhood concierges. They coordinate the network of 'Lulus', who provide occasional services of all kinds (from cleaning and housework to transport and gardening) at local level. The work of the Lulus is guaranteed thanks to a partnership with AXA, while payments are managed by the local newsagent/concierge.
Edicola Quisco, Milano
In Milan, there are many experiences and projects already tested. Edicola Quisco, since 2018 is a mobile newsstand service on an Ape Car, which moves freely around the city, with base at the kiosk in Via Plinio. The mobile newsstand pays no taxes or utilities, can stop wherever it is more convenient, and can cover the area in a few hours without having to wait for customers all day. Quotidiana is a totally renovated network of newsstands owned by the MilanoCard Group, which is a mix of the newsagent and the traditional grocery store. In addition to the sale of newspapers and editorial products, Quotidiana sell essential products and services from both the food and non-food sectors. The aim is to be a point of reference for the neighbourhood and for local services.
Quotidiana, Milano © Scalco
Quotidiana, Milano © Scalco
In Perugia, ’Edicola 518 is an independent publishing project that finds a home in an early 20th century newsstand that inaugurated in 2016. Edicola 518 does not work with large-scale distribution but promotes, also through public presentation meetings, independent magazines, especially international ones, artist's books, fanzines, self-productions and art books. Since the same year and following the same trend of cultural renovation, Edicola Radetzky in Darsena in Milan has been a traditional kiosk from the early 20th century, conceived today as a micro-museum of contemporary art open 24 hours a day.
Edicola 518, Perugia © Leonardo Pellegrino
Edicola Radetzky, Milano - Blowindow by Marco Siciliano, 2020
To speak about architecture and design, the first sustainable newsstand in Milan opened in 2020 in Piazza della Resistenza Partigiana, built by Rubner Haus, leading company in the construction of wooden houses and structures, and designed by Abc - architects Barban Cappellari of Vicenza. The kiosk looks like a modular wooden "hut" whose walls open during the day and close at night, in a solid, compact form.
Edicola Sostenibile by Rubner Haus, Milano
In 2020, also Nemo Monti presented L'Edicola del Futuro (The Newsstand of the Future), realised in collaboration with Corriere della Sera. The project, through a contest between 7 important international design studios (Edge Design Studio - Gary Chang; El Equipo Mazzanti; Embt - Benedetta Tagliabue; Fabio Novembre Studio; Gambardella Architetti; Lina Ghotmeh Architecture; Matali Crasset), aims to give the publishing sector and the newspaper distribution system new places through which to develop a dialogue with the public by restoring a new central role to newsstands.
L'Edicola del Futuro - Arcade by Fabio Novembre Studio, 2020
Starting from the analysis of these and other good practices, in the context of the Scuola per la Sostenibilità e il Benessere delle Città 2020 (Milan School on Wellbeing and Sustainability of Cities 2020) organised by ASVIS, the Sotto Casa project turned into a study of the conditions of possibility for a new model of newsstand in the city of Venice. Taking the specific case of the Italian cities of art, of which Venice is the landmark, the sale of newspapers is increasingly engulfed by the presence of souvenirs and articles for tourists, which have in fact completely distorted the original cultural function of newsstands.
As the final outcome of the Sotto Casa project, on Monday 1 March a digital round table will be held between professionals in the sector, to explore the ideas and opportunities that the issue can offer, with a view to sustainable redesign and redevelopment of the newsstand system in Venice. Will participate in the round table: Francesca Orlandini (head of communication at Quotidiana), Franco Schenkel (Municipality of Venice, Murano, Burano), Alvise Ballarin (Newsagent and member of SiNaGi Venice), Enrico Vettore (Confartigianato), Roberto Paladini (CNA Venice), Paolo Cagnan (La Nuova di Venice e Mestre), Roberto Pappetti (Il Gazzettino).
To participate in the meeting, it is necessary to register at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org after which you will be able to connect to Zoom at this link.
The Milan School on Wellbeing and Sustainability of Cities 2020 is organised by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), in collaboration with Milano2046 - Laboratory promoted by the Municipality of Milan and with the participation of the 8 Universities of the Milan territory (Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca, Università Bocconi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Università Humanitas, Università IULM, Università degli Studi di Milano, Politecnico di Milano, Università Vita e Salute San Raffaele), Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and with the contribution of Edison.
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