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Title: Il ruolo delle aree agricole nella definizione della qualità degli insediamenti diffusi nei territori intermedi della metropolizzazione
Tutor: Galassi, Antonella
Keywords: Territori intermedi della metropolizzazione
Qualità degli insediamenti diffusi
Agricoltura multifunzionale
Società civile
Issue Date: 26-Oct-2012
Abstract: This thesis investigates the mechanisms which are currently generating new cycles of urban sprawl; on the one hand they are influenced by the global economic crisis, but on the other hand, they tend to converge and develop in the wake of a more general condition of metropolization involving land use. In other words there is a tendency to favour the integration of relations, economic activities and functions that is affecting vast urban areas both in proximity of scattered settlements and within the most important and historically consolidated European conurbations. This condition of metropolization highlights the appearance of forms of intermediate territory which can be interpreted as articulated branches of residences and diverse functions juxtaposed to a connective tissue of farms and infrastructures that induce residents and users to experiment with alternative land uses. In this context, the prevailing viewpoint is the urban-centric one, which relegates the agricultural sphere to the role of mere container of scattered settlements phenomena. Through the overturning of said point of view, this thesis aims to identify strategies and guidelines for the management and reorganization of the intermediate territory that, actively and most importantly, involve the agricultural areas present in it. Essentially we introduce two basic questions to which we want to provide an answer: • can a multifunctional agriculture, tangibly, take part in the regeneration of entire scattered settlements, unregulated and with seemingly chaotic morphological and functional characteristics, overcoming the problem of excessive property fragmentation and the lack of financial resources through various forms of public-private partnership? • can the multifunctional agriculture of some intermediate areas redesign a new welfare and improve social cohesion and the involvement of civil society in the construction of tangible quality? Such strategies are identified through a process that involves both the construction of a model of existing and potential interactions among several territorial areas affected by the phenomena of metropolization and the creation of "principles of compatibility and integrability" that regulate the relationships amid the various existing or potential activities within the above-mentioned areas. The analysis of Italian and European case studies shows a concealed vis inertiae which prevents (as inhibiting agent) the above mentioned strategies from being turned into urban design practices, and which occurs as the result of some "resistance factors" that, although not strong enough to prevent the possibility of defining complementary strategies, still limit the focus of directives, guidelines and constraints. One wonders then what "type" of governance manages to engage and select the most sensitive and stimulable subjects with regards to the possibility of realizing practical projects in order to improve the quality of scattered settlements, starting from the agricultural areas of intermediate territories. The answer to this question is to relate civil society with intermediate territories. They in fact share an “intermediate condition" that makes both the object (the intermediate territory) and the subject (civil society) highly similar and compatible in terms of intrinsic qualities derived from the fact that they rarely refer to a defined "place" (whether a space or a conceptual category). The meeting point between civil society and the intermediate territory is represented by one of the most advanced forms of “contractual community” currently present across Western countries, the phenomenon of co-housing. By analyzing it, the thesis aims to introduce a wider frame of reference as the landing point of generalizable-because-sustainable directives (if placed in intermediate territorial contexts). Through these directives the improvement processes of the morpho-typological and functional quality of scattered settlements are influenced by practical actions which refer to disadvantaged and fragmentary agricultural sectors. By analyzing the issues that emerged from the case studies we have deduced that, compared to the static and repetitive nature of real estate interventions, both on a public and private level, the co-housing option offers a compromise among formal, functional and typological experimentation, in the search of a possible link between the borders of scattered settlements and structures of the intermediate territories.
Research interests: Territorial and urban planning. Meeting point between the morpho-typological and functional quality of scattered settlements and civil society.
Personal skills keywords: Territorial and urban planner

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