Techno pastoral: Regenerative strategies of landscape urbanism in Italian Appennini "marginal" areas

Antonia Chiesa
KEYWORDS Landscape urbanism, urban regeneration, food ecologies, green economy urban SEP2014 -AGO2015 NS08-09 ARTÍCULOS Y NOTAS DE INVESTIGACIÓN / ARTICLES AND RESEARCH NOTES TECHNO PASTORAL and inclination to fog formation picture a gloomy atmosphere further aggravated by unpleasant popular memories of brigandage, cruel intestine fights, poverty handed down in the last two centuries (De Marchi, 1980) . Figure 1: Lorenzo Fratus (2013), territorial map based on castles' visual fields ARTÍCULOS Y
more » ... fields ARTÍCULOS Y NOTAS DE INVESTIGACIÓN / ARTICLES AND RESEARCH NOTES [ 23 ] urban SEP2014 -AGO2015 NS08-09 ANTONIA M. A. CHIESA Yet ages ago, when here knights were trained to be sent as tribute the Pope, salt was carried across the mountains from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the cities in the flat land, sight-seeing towers and castles interpolated crossing routes, these lands knew a florid prosperity. A partly-domesticated nature, called saltus (Sereni, 1961) , was both a threat and a resource; later on technological advancements increasingly transformed wilderness in a more controlled environment: first as hunting reservoirs, then, as agricultural domains. Highly manipulated, terraced, layered, fairly extensively planted, such semi-natural ecosystems developed throughout centuries as background for a sophisticated, place-based environmental knowledge fighting against flaking clay soil, constant erosion by water, harsh climate (De Marchi, op. cit.). Even chestnuts, firs and beeches, whose foliage chromatic tone varies with altitude, are the product of an extensive, selective forestry operation promoted in 20th century to contrast land erosion and provide population with comestible products. Through a series of semi-stable states the nature-culture ecological relation was severely compromised since the 80's by massive migrations towards the attractive cities in the flat land (De Marchi, op. cit.), which, as Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena, were developing as huge urban systems with plenty of services and facilities. Since then the Aemilian Apennine suffered from marginalization, due to intrinsic inhospitable morphology, lack of transportation system and consequent increasing isolation (Sebastiani, 2009) . Such condition of persistent abandonment is causing disrepair of built heritage, infrastructural decay, neglect of productive landscape, reduction in biodiversity and increase in the risk and scale of natural hazards as land sliding and flooding. The cultural and ecological value of such compromised territory needs to be reframed, reactivated and re-launched as irreplaceable resource to sustain urban resilience and feed a high-quality lifestyle.