July 09, 2021 UPDATE

The Direction of the Competition, due to the pandemic that has slowed down activities and interactions among students, in Italy and abroad, in agreement with the organizing Board, states that:
– registration deadline is extended to September 15;

– FAQs can be received by September 5.

All other rules and terms remain unchanged.


PARCO LIBERO A vision for the landscape of the Acqua dei Corsari headland


The theme of the International Competition of Ideas is the landscape design of Park ‘Libero Grassi’ in the neighborhood Acqua dei Corsari, in Palermo.


The Association ‘Parco Libero’, along with other entities and institutions, promotes an International Call for Ideas that bears a high ethical and symbolic value, for the person after whom the Park is named and for the opportunity it could represent for the territory.
From the rubble, neglect, and decay a park will rise, full of nature, art, culture, and recreational opportunities.
A park by the sea, the long denied and now desired sea, with a breathtaking view on the Gulf of Palermo, from Monte Pellegrino to Capo Zafferano.

1 – Panoramic view with Monte Pellegrino in the background


The south coast of Palermo, with its maritime villages, very popular until the 50s among both bathers, thanks to its numerous bathing beaches and healthy water, and fishermen, thanks to its small harbors, was altered and wrecked due to the building boom of the following years, sadly known as the ‘sack of Palermo’.
The building speculation in the northern area of the city, fueled by the interests of the mafia, led to the dumping on the coast of thousands of cubic meters of earth and building material from the demolitions. That dumping changed the shape of several stretches of coast, polluting the water and provoking the sand fill of some of the landfalls. One of these dumpings, technically named ‘mamelon’, is that of Acqua dei Corsari, where the Park, named after Libero Grassi in 2013, stands.
Libero Grassi was an entrepreneur. He was killed by the mafia on August 29, 1991 after having publicly opposed the extortion racket.
The Park has never been open to public fruition. This area, that amounts to 11 hectares, will soon be subject to environmental remediation. Our goal is to provide the area of a design for a multifunctional urban park, that may serve as an example of urban regeneration for the neighborhood and the whole city.

2- Aerial photo of the park

The initiative seeks to identify and define the potentialities of the site, that will be at the base of the expected proposals for the park, for an effective and lasting transformation.
The Competition aims to encourage the circulation of ideas, involving students and new graduates.
The outcomes of the Competition will constitute possible scenarios upon which the debate among the disciplines that deal with urban transformation, the administration and the citizens will be built.
The same outcomes could involve public and private stakeholders and start a network of investors drawn to a good idea.

3 – The amphitheater with a view on Capo Zafferano
4 – View on Monte Pellegrino
5 – View on the city of Palermo


The object of the Competition is the drafting of a landscape project, that emphasizes the extraordinary landscape values of the site, while keeping sustainability and inclusion as goals, and that may give vitality to the neighborhood, taking as a starting point the indications present in the document “Design guidelines document” on

Expected results

The official languages of the Competition are Italian and English, to encourage a wide participation from abroad and to valorize an approach open to different design cultures. The Proposals are asked to produce scenarios open to innovation, possibly appreciable in a multiscale perspective, that will allow, in the future management of the Park, the participation of different entities in the fields of art, social sport, recreation, and education.
The presentation of the outcomes of the Competition, in an exhibition in the vicinity of the site, will constitute a moment of collective reflection and information. A first step towards the desired active participation of the townspeople, at the core of the Parco Libero we envision.


Individuals or groups may participate. The group leader – or individual participant – must be a Landscape Architecture student or an Architecture student.
The Competition is intended for new graduates (graduation session held from 2018 onwards) and undergraduates in Landscape Architecture and Architecture.
However, new graduates and undergraduates in disciplines other than these (e.g., urban planning, agricultural sciences, forestry sciences, environmental sciences, fine arts, design, engineering, humanities, economics, law) may be group members.

The formation of multidisciplinary groups where both humanistic disciplines and a technical-scientific skill set might converge is encouraged.
No participant will be allowed to be a part of more than one group.

The registration procedure is described in the Notice, art.4, and must be completed by 24.00 September 15, 2021, (previous date July 16, 2021). The registration requires the payment of a participation fee of € 30.00 per group, as a donation to the Parco Libero Association. The payment, which will certify the registration, can be made through the PayPal platform or by bank transfer. Failure in paying is a reason for exclusion.

It is forbidden for applicants to have contact with any member of the jury about issues relating to the contest. Participation is forbidden for those who have working or family relationships with any member of the jury.

Upon delivering the entries, no later than 12.00, October 15, 2021, the composition of the applying subject (whether individual or group) will be indicated and, in the case of a group, a group leader delegated to maintain relations with the organizing body will be appointed, using the “administrative documents” forms. 

Required documents

The documents to be sent consist of:

  • technical-descriptive report with an indication of the assumptions, criteria, purposes, and data of the project, in A4 format (vertical), for a maximum of 10 (ten) sides;
  • n° 3 (three) A2 format boards (horizontal). The tables must contain at least one floor plan/planvolumetric from the 1/2000 scale onwards towards greater detail, as well as profiles, sections, three-dimensional images, diagrams, sketches, and photo-insertions.

The administrative documentation to be delivered consists of:

  • For each competitor, both in case of individual or group participation, a pdf file containing the chosen identification code and the complete personal details, University and School of affiliation (file ADM_01.E);
  • In case of team, PDF file showing the identification code of the proposal with the appointment of the team leader signed by all the participants and relative delegation to represent the group (file ADM_02.E);
  • PDF file showing the identification code of the proposal with the declaration of authorization for the processing of personal data pursuant to Italian Law 675/96 signed by the participant and, in case of team, by all the members or relative disclaimer for foreign members (file ADM_03.E);
  • Copy of a valid identity document for each participant.

The organization reserves the right to ask after the award assignment:

  • plain paper certificates of registration at home university, released not before 120 days from the date of delivery of the present application (self-certifications are not valid);
  • Degree certificates for new graduates.

Provided documentation

On the pages relating to the Competition of the site the following material will be available, supplied in part by the municipal administration and in part by the organizing body:

However, the organization is not responsible for the malfunctioning of the telematic systems.

Competition calendar

Publication of the notice   –   June 11, 2021
Registration   –   by 24:00 on July 16, 2021 new deadline September 15, 2021
FAQ    –   by 24:00 on July 16, 2021  new deadline September 05, 2021
Answer to the FAQ   –   by 24:00 on July 30, 2021 new deadline September 10, 2021
Delivery of documents   –   by 12:00 on October 15, 2021
Communication of the results of the competition on the website   –   November 10, 2021
Award ceremony and inauguration of the exhibition   –   November 20, 2021

Judging Commission

The Jury consists of 10 effective members with voting rights.
It will be composed by:

  • Prof. Arch. Manfredi Leone, Contest coordinator, as the Chair;
  • Arch. Alice Grassi, President of Parco Libero Association;
  • Eng. Sergio Marino, Councillor of the Municipality of Palermo;
  • Prof. Arch. M. Luisa Germanà, Department of Architecture of the University of Palermo;
  • Prof. Paolo Inglese, Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Sciences of the University of Palermo;
  • Arch. Fabio Di Carlo, President of IASLA;
  • Prof. Arch. Mario Losasso, President of SITdA;
  • Arch. Maria Cristina Tullio, President of National AIAPP;
  • Arch. Gualtiero Parlato, the President of the Council of Architects of Palermo;
  • Dr. Patrizia Di Dio, the President of Confcommercio Palermo

The meetings of the Jury are valid with the presence of the President and at least 5 (five) members. They can also take place telematically.


The competition will end with a merit ranking and with the awarding of 3 cash prizes. The jury will be able to identify at its sole discretion other proposals worthy of special mention or prizes.
The prizes consist of:

  • First prize € 3.000,00 (three thousand/00);
  • Second prize € 1.500,00 (one thousand and five hundred/00);
  • Third prize € 750,00 (seven hundred and fifty/00).

Are also expected:

  • Certificate of merit for the selected proposals (up to 10th place)
  • Participation certificates for all competitors in compliance with the regulations of the competition notice, which can be used for the purpose of recognizing university credits
  •  Publication of the projects in “open access” on the website
  •  Events for the presentation, awards and discussion of the results

Implementing bodies

Organizing body

Associazione Parco Libero ONLUS
Via Lombardia 20 – 90144 – Palermo

in partnership with IASLA – Società Scientifica Italiana
di Architettura del Paesaggio

Promoters and Supporters

– Associazione Parco Libero OdV
– Comune di Palermo (with whom the Association has signed a memorandum of agreement)
– IASLA – Italian Academic Society of Landscape Architecture
– SITdA, Società Italiana di Tecnologia dell’Architettura
– Università degli Studi di Palermo
– Confcommercio Imprese per l’Italia
– Confcommercio Imprese per l’Italia – Palermo

With the patronage and accession of

• AIAPP – Associazione Italiana di Architettura del Paesaggio
• Council of Architects, Planners, Landscape Conservatives of the Province of Palermo
• Western Sicily Sea Port System Authority

Competition coordination

Manfredi Leone with Giancarlo Gallitano

Scientific committee

Marcello Chiodi, Gianna Di Piazza, Sara Favargiotti, Maria Luisa Germanà, Alice Grassi, Paolo Inglese, Manfredi Leone, Annalisa Metta

Technical coordination and Competition secretariat

Margherita Accascina, Annalisa Metta

Download “Competition brief” pdf file

Comune Palermo logo fondo rosso

Con il patrocinio e l'adesione