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La riconquista popolare della città storica a Saint-Macaire (Aquitania). Per una monografia di villaggio

Ilaria Agostini, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, assistant professor at the Department of Cultural heritage

Daniele Vannetiello, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, guest lecturer at the Department of Cultural heritage

Accepted: 2020-5-13 | Published Online: 2020-6-18 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11788

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The French town of Saint-Macaire, near Bordeaux along the Garonne, since 1967 has been representing an experiment site for the popular re-conquest of historic cities: from the restoration yard of the Benedictine cloister, wanted and managed by the village youth, the movement quickly switched its target towards municipal management. Over more than three decades of city government, it became possible to integrate into the historic city, read as a common good, public housing and collective facilities, re-appropriation of artisan skills and a dense cultural and associative activity, new and old dwellers. All this through forms of social self-organisation that have given rise to a fundamental grassroots planning experience.

Keywords: urban planning; historical built heritage; historical city; urban regeneration; public housing.



Democracies in common places: stories from baldios and ‘fire-tales’ in Portugal

Rita Serra, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

Giovanni Allegretti, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

Accepted: 2020-5-21 | Published Online: 2020-6-18 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11790

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. We respond to Greta Thunberg’s call for democracy to protect, restore and fund forests by taking it to the commoners’ assemblies of baldios – mountain community forests returned to the local people in the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution. We highlight that when trees are considered as a technology to repair the climate, they must be understood as a tool whose purpose is set by the people. By telling the tale of the afforestation of baldios, we show that trees can be harmful for the local populations when their plantation disrupts local ways of being without providing alternatives, changing fire regimes. We argue the ontological transformation that results from the break-up of mutually constitutive relationships between the people and mountain places opened the way for ‘Faustian contracts’ – the loss of ‘the soul’ - by selling the long-term provision of goods to address short-term needs. When decentralization processes are captured by Faustian contracts, they can result in a battle of democracies, opposing participatory democracies to representative democracies of parishes and municipalities. Community forestry is reframed as a struggle not so much about for local control, but to gain back the soul and collectively set directions to respond the adversities that must be faced.

Keywords: community forestry; civic participation; common lands; wildfires; decentralisation.



Coscienza di luogo e comunità patrimoniali: alcune esperienze in Puglia

Francesco Baratti, architect and archaeologist

Accepted: 2020-6-5 | Published Online: 2020-6-18 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11791

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. By “patrimonial communities”, the Article 2 of the Faro Convention defines “a group of people who attach value to specific aspect of the cultural heritage, and who wish to support and transmit them to future generations, within the framework of public action”. The present contribution aims at exploring the role of patrimonial communities in developing methods and tools for the affirmation of new institutions of democracy able to enhance the eco-territorial and common dimension of places. The European Landscape Convention and the Faro Cultural Heritage Convention represent the common denominator of a broader reflection that intends to look at the value that landscape and cultural heritage can have for contemporary society through the concrete experimentation with participatory practices and policies. The implementation of these Conventions has been pursued in Puglia within the experimental project called "Community Maps" of the Regional Territorial Landscape Plan (PPTR). In particular, the contribution focuses on the experience, gained in the city of Lecce, with the participatory laboratory set up within the sustainable urban regeneration process for the degraded areas of the Lecce’s marinas.

Keywords: local development; cultural heritage; sense of place; participation; ecomuseums.



La ciudad contra el Estado

Kike España, University of Seville, PhD candidate in Urban theory

Accepted: 2020-5-21 | Published Online: 2020-6-20 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11808

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The idea that the city is the form that the State takes at its smallest scale is widespread. Its institutions and its way of functioning respond to the logic of the State-form, but has it always been like that? Can it work differently? Does the city have its own form beyond, and even against, the State? The city against the State would be the possibility of a social formation with a different logic to the capture of state apparatus. The city-form coexists with the State-form, in conflict, from Athens to the Paris Commune of 1871, even in the recent municipalist experiences.

Keywords: city-form; State-form; municipalism; Clastres; Deleuze.



L’auto-organizzazione tra partecipazione attiva e logiche neoliberiste: il caso Ballarò a Palermo

Giancarlo Gallitano, University of Palermo, Department of Architecture

Accepted: 2020-5-11 | Published Online: 2020-6-21 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11809

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. Cities represent the main sites of capital accumulation and reproduction, so urban space highlights the most violent contradictions of capitalism (e.g. Harvey 2012) through privatization and managerial strategies. At the same time, cities are the primary sites of ‘biopolitical production’, constituted by “living dynamic of cultural practices, intellectual circuits, affective networks and social institutions” (Hardt, Negri 2009, 154). These elements too are subject to capitalist accumulation. For this reason, self-organized movements of resistance to neoliberal policies emerge in terms of re-appropriation of the collective dimension by citizens. The alleged extraneousness of these experiences with respect to the neoliberal logics represents, however, only a theoretical assumption that is constantly tested by the everyday life of the practices. In examining the self-organization processes as re-appropriation practices of the territorial heritage – through the theoretical framework of commoning (De Angelis 2010) – the analysis of SOS Ballarò civic committee experience in Palermo will allow to highlight the areas of interference between dimension of 'common' and market logics, which characterize the daily routine of practices.

Keywords: self-organization; community; territorial heritage; commons; neoliberalism.



Industrial-scale wind energy in Italian southern Apennine: territorio grabbing, value extraction and democracy

Samadhi Lipari, University of Leeds, School of Geography

Accepted: 2020-5-19 | Published Online: 2020-6-21 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11810

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. This paper analyses the penetration of industrial scale wind-energy in the south Italy provinces of Benevento, Avellino, Foggia and Potenza, which host 43 per cent of national installed capacity. Such a process has induced transformations affecting (i) historical contextualised socio-ecological patterns as a consequence of the inclusion into value extraction chains and (ii) substantive democratic dynamics at the local level. The underlying theoretical framework interprets the green economy or green capitalism as a transformation of capitalism mode of regulation in accordance with ecological modernisation theories. It fits into the political ecology debate around extractivism, primitive accumulation, land grabbing and environmentality. The paper develops by first giving an account of the investment penetration, then describing extractive mechanisms in terms of practices and actors. The last two sections explore effects on territorial democracy and propose the concept of territorio grabbing as an analytical innovation.

Keywords: wind-energy; extractivism; territorio; grabbing; democracy.



Da parco urbano ad ‘agorà’ pubblica: un progetto multifunzionale per la costruzione di un’identità civica ‘glocale’

Sergio Messina, University of Salerno, Department of Law

Accepted: 2020-6-13 | Published Online: 2020-6-21 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11811

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The “right to the city” theorized at the end of the 1960s by Henri Lefebvre and ‘positivized’ in some international and European Charters is now intertwined with the current theme of the regeneration and reuse of certain fundamental goods for the needs of community. A need today increasingly perceived as necessary and urgent by citizens, associations and movements that share with local institutions the management through innovative administrative tools that find a direct foundation in the Italian Constitution. In the face of sectoral nature of urban policies, however, there is a risk of losing sight of what concern the sense of territory in its dynamic unity. Through the narration of a story-telling that involved a municipal public park located in the centre of Caserta called ‘Villa Giaquinto’, we will try to demonstrate how, despite this area has also been invested by an experience of ‘shared administration’ like many others in Italy, through a gradual growth and maturation by engagement of various subjects that are part of the social and economic web of the city, we can now say that part of the citizens of Caserta has managed it to rebuild (albeit in an embryonic form) a small agora, and has promoted a wide network that is now a potential ‘point of irradiation’ for the entire city.

Keywords: right to the city; partnership agreements; urban commons; relationships acceleration; socio-environmental skills and connections.



Si scrive cibo (agroecologico e territorializzato), si legge democrazia (di luogo)

Paola De Meo, Development cooperation and food policy expert

Fabio Parascandolo, University of Cagliari, School of Humanities

Accepted: 2020-6-27 | Published Online: 2020-7-6 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11861

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. This essay offers an analysis of the global food systems, emphasising a few landmarks concerning two interconnected issues: the democratisation of the access to food, and the need to heal the ecological damage caused by the centralized systems for mass production and consumption of merchandise. We approach phenomena through multiple lens so as to interpret the geographical articulation of all social behaviour, shifting constantly from local to global scale. Here we focus on the modernization processes that lead to the rise of the concept of food as a commodity. Since last century, these processes took hold in many regions, along with a whole set of social and ecological failures. Subsequently, various alternative paths of production, distribution and consumption of food are studied, trying to match the nutritional daily needs of any given group of citizens, with the ecological features of their territories, meanwhile providing support to the living systems of our planet. Food and democracy are inextricably interlinked as our most urgent challenge is to recover the capacity to reconcile human and ecological communities. This can only be achieved by renouncing the centralized, and hierarchical (and anti-democratic by nature) models that currently govern commodity management. Ultimately, the most progressive “therapies” to heal the present social and political situation, are nestled in agroecological, small-scale farming practices, that by cooling the climate can help restore the independence of local communities and their inhabitants.

Keywords: peasant movements; territory; food systems; democracy; participation.