The essay presents the approach and the strategy of Design for Territories in processes of economic and identity redefinition of cities. A first theoretical focus explains the fundamental concepts of design oriented approach and describes its strategic process. In this process, creativity and culture become matter of design and drivers for the development of territorial innovation strategies. In particular, the focus is on a work carried on for Biella, once defined the Manchester of Italy. Due to a downsizing of textile industry, the need to redefine local economy and, at the same time, urban identity emerged. Indeed, the mono-industrial inclination and the narrowness that had been win-win features for the city’s economy in the past, represent today limits to territorial innovation. The will and the need to activate a process of change has led public and private stakeholders to think and cooperate for the development of a shared vision for the city. The collaboration with POLI.design, a company established by Politecnico di Milano, has become necessary to implement some important stages of this process, such as listening, territorial animation, development of strategies and scenarios, through didactic experimentation and the implementation of a feasibility study.
design for territories; strategic design; cultural tourism; local development; economy of culture