Nuove ecologie alpine: industrializzazione e costruzione della città-territorio

This research study offers a reflection on the Alpine urban condition through the observation of the spaces of production. Departing from the premise that the tourist economy cannot be the only possible horizon for Alpine development, this thesis reflects on the role and the potentialities of the spaces of production in the construction process of the Alpine city-territory. The economic-ecological transition underway offers the chance to redefine the productive and settlement geography of the Alpine territories, by examining anew their centrality in the European context. The main objective of this research is to investigate the relation between the economy and the construction of the territory. In this prospect, the spaces of production and their related infrastructure are used as a lens through which the question of settlement development can be read and conceptualised. This exploration has been carried out via intense work "in the field". The experience of the territories is here portrayed through a series of descriptive operations, including 6 industrial micro(hi)stories that enable the specificities of some exemplary industrial realities to be grasped and understood in relation to the surrounding territorial context. The case study covers a cross-border Alpine transect located between Lake Leman and Lake Maggiore. A territory along which a strategic European corridor runs, connecting the two great metropolises of the plains: the Métropole Lémanique and the Milanese Metropolitan Area. The cross-border character of the area under study offers the opportunity of comparing different logics of territorial industrialisation that also have strongly different economic policies and models of settlement development. The research study is structured in 3 parts The first part ,that reviews the existing literature and presents the territory under study, tackles, on the one hand, the centrality and potentialities of the Alpine space in the European context and, on the other, makes explicit the role of the infrastructures and the spaces of production in the construction of the Alpine city-territory. The second part observes the Alpine territory through three key paradoxes: -the energy paradox, that raises the contradictions associated with an unsustainable exploitation of local natural resources by extra-local economic actors; -the cross-border paradox, that reveals the very contradictions of a territory crossed by European infrastructural corridors not always attentive to the inclusion of the dynamics of local development; -the metropolitan paradox, that highlights the social and environmental risks associated with a polarised economic-settlement development of the Alpine region. This delineation of a possible synergy between settlement and productive development in the Alps has in the end enabled the proposal, in the third part, of 3 new images for the Alpine city territory, three "New Alpine Ecologies": -the "productive mesh", that highlights the need for an economic-settlement organisation more coherent with local ecological equilibriums; -the "Alpine-metropolitan figures", that forces the existing synergies between Alpine territories and the metropolises of the plains, in the assumption of a single system capable of enriching itself thanks to the complementary nature of both parts; -the "network of Alpine valleys", that shows the potentialities of a new federative geography, bearer of the political awareness of the Alpine region in Europe.

Viganò, Paola
Garofoli, Gioacchino
Lausanne, EPFL

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 Record created 2018-10-10, last modified 2019-05-09

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