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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

Language: Italian

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

Language: English

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

Language: Italian

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

Language: Spanish

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

Language: Italian

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

Language: English

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

Language: Italian

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

Language: Italian

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.



Domini collettivi, forme di autogoverno per la gestione degli ecosistemi e lo sviluppo locale

Marco Emanuel Francucci, University of Palermo, Department of Architecture

Language: Italian

Accepted: 2020-6-25 | Published Online: 2020-7-23 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11863

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. One of the most ancient forms of self-government of environmental systems is that relating to the management of civic uses and collective lands, in which a specific local community controls and manages sustainable resources (fields, pastures, woods, etc.) sustainably and efficiently. The paper aims to briefly retrace the salient stages of the history of collective domains, and to explore their value as "goods that are produced by long co-evolutionary processes between human settlement and environment" (Magnaghi 2016, 139) highlighting the appearance of complex socio-ecological systems (SES). Finally, using the SES framework, developed by Elinor Ostrom to analyze the sustainability of socio-ecological systems (Ostrom 2009), on the role of collective domains as an ecosystem management tool and as a device for local development. Through the empirical analysis of a case study located in Central Apennine in Umbria, we want to highlight elements of continuity and discontinuity of the system as the socio-economic conditions change.

Keywords: self-government; collective domains; socio-ecological systems; local development; ecosystem management.



Usi civici di pascolo e legnatico nell’altopiano di Rascino (Rieti), trasformazioni delle antiche forme di democrazia e autogoverno comunitario

Settimio Adriani, University of Tuscia, Department of Agriculture and forestry

Antonio Di Pasquale, Sabina Universitas, Department of Mountain science

Language: Italian

Accepted: 2020-6-25 | Published Online: 2020-7-23 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11916

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. Since the Middle Ages the vast area of the Rascino plateau (Fiamignano, Rieti) has been burdened by the civic uses of pasture and firewood. The primary purpose of civic uses, for the exclusive benefit of the residents and clearly explained in the current municipal regulations, is to provide opportunities for the survival to the poorer classes. The civic use of pasture exists in the communal lands, and subsequently to the harvest also in the private ones. In this way, even those who do not have their own land have the opportunity to practice sheep farming, an activity that characterizes the territory. The annual assignment of a batch of municipal beechwood to each family guarantees, instead, the heating of the houses. The social changes and the new productive systems that occurred in the middle of the last century modified the conduction of civic uses. The grazing one is concentrated in the hands of a few large breeders; that of firewood, suffocated by increasingly stringent laws and regulations, is now practically exclusively used by professional forest companies. In both cases the social purpose of the civic uses has been completely distorted. This work has a double purpose: to examine the distorted dynamics in place, to induce the institutions to take the necessary measures to bring everything back to its original form, already positively tested elsewhere, with positive economic / social results for the populations and benefits for environmental conservation.

Keywords: plateau; Rascino; sheep-farming; transhumance; firewood.



Autogestione del lavoro, territorio ed istituzionalità popolare: l’esperienza della fabbrica recuperata ‘19 de Diciembre’ in Argentina

Alioscia Castronovo, "Sapienza" University of Rome and National University of San Martín, Argentina

Language: Italian

Accepted: 2020-6-23 | Published Online: 2020-7-23 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11917

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. In the middle of the capitalistic crisis new forms of self organization and self management of labour are growing up in Latin America, extending their activities from labour to territories, redefining from below social relationships and social conflict in the metropolitan spaces. While opening up new processes of organization both of production and social reproduction, these heterogeneous social , political, cultural and economic frameworks contributes to the production of common spaces in popular neighbourhoods where education, labour and social reproduction are reorganized inside and against dispossession and exploitation processes that characterize neoliberal urbanism. The actual neoliberal global regime of accumulation combines privatization of welfare and services with financialization, intensifying the exploitation of social cooperation and control of urban space. In this context, analyzing the experiences of the recuperated factory “19 de Diciembre”, where I developed an ethnographic fieldwork in Buenos Aires, I reflect on the implication of her popular-communitarian frameworks related to the politization and democratization of production and reproduction in the metropolitan territories through self management of services and infrastructure. Taking in account potentialities and limits of these experiences in the crisis Argentina is facing, I analyze the capacity of these frameworks to redefine the urban form below experimenting new ways of organize labour and urban life in common as social infrastructures of an emergent popular institutionality based on self management, that contributes to renovate social practices, unionism and cooperatives, showing new territories of valorisation of capital and spaces where social conflict develop in the city.

Keywords: self-management; territory; popular institutionality; recuperated factories; labour.



Reti integrate di comunità per la sperimentazione di nuove forme di democrazia di comunità

Elisa Caruso, University of Florence, Department of Architecture

Language: Italian

Accepted: 2020-4-23 | Published Online: 2020-7-23 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11919

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. In response to the strong crisis of representative democracy, an active citizenship movement has been formed which is experimenting with innovative community forms throughout Italy, new ways of living and cooperative solidarity systems that are opposed to the main social trends of our times. The experimentation of social management of the territory is the result of the most recent experiences of the application of tools of negotiating nature, capable of triggering multiscalar paths and generating integrated networks of communities. An example of such experiences is the River Agreement which attempt to experiment forms of direct democracy. The paper reports two experiences that, born from the bottom and triggered by conflictual situations generated by nimby issues, find their strength in the path of empowerment of the community and manage to turn critical issues into opportunities for growth. In both cases the ability to create networks and the framework of research-action in which they develop, represent the strengths of the path for the construction of the River Agreement. The first experience concerns the Simeto River Agreement, born from an anti-incinerator campaign activated in 2002. The second concerns the Ombrone River Agreement, promoted by a small local committee born in 2012. Such experiences, through River Agreements, can modify and influence governance models and produce concrete social impacts, if they manage to create a dense network of horizontal and vertical synergies from the local scale to that of vast area.

Keywords: river agreements; conflicts; bottom-up; democracy; community.



Autorganizzazioni urbane. Capacità di futuro e ‘politica significante’

Carlo Cellamare, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Department of Civil, constructional and environmental engineering

Language: Italian

Accepted: 2020-3-24 | Published Online: 2020-7-25 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11923

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. In Rome, we have a wide diffusion of self-organization experiences, not only related to squatting for housing purposes. Self-organization practices and processes are widespread in the cities, not only in Rome, but also in the rest of Italy and abroad. The forms of self-organization certainly reveal great potential. First, they express a social ‘protagonism’ that involves important social organization skills. Secondly, they allow building social fabric and symbolic values. They also carry out a service “for” and “on” territories. They represent today one of the few ways to reconstruct democratic conditions within a historical phase of crisis of democracy. In fact, they are places where today political culture is produced. Such politics could be defined as “significant” because it is able to express the emerging meanings, pertinent to the social conditions of everyday life, that “magma of emerging social meanings” that Castoriadis (1975) associates with the “establishing society”. The contribution refers to the extensive field research in the Roman context. It aims to give a broader general reflection, highlighting the critical elements emerging in urban contexts subjected more strongly to the pressures of extractive capitalism and the welfare state retreat, the difficulties and ambiguities with respect to the real conditions for constructing alternative policies and new subjectivities, re-signification processes and a “significant politics”.

Keywords: self-organization; city; politics; outskirts; re-appropriation of places.



Democrazia in azione e governo del territorio: divergenze e connessioni possibili

Angela Barbanente, Polytechnic University of Bari, Department of Environmental and civil enineering

Language: Italian

Accepted: 2020-7-26 | Published Online: 2020-7-27 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11926

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The spread and growing importance assumed, also in Italy, by a variety of bottom-up actions of territorial re-appropriation and community self-organisation seems to diverge to a large extent from institutionalised practices of territorial government. In an era characterized by a strong delegitimization of the “public”, this disconnection produces a series of negative consequences. Among these, the risk not only of not affecting socio-spatial inequalities, but also of widening the gap between citizens and institutions, fuelling possessive individualism and populism. The breaking of active citizenship into the practices of territorial transformation implies a significant detachment from the interpretation of participatory democracy prevailing in the theory and practice of spatial planning: the focus shifts from the opening of spaces for decision and public choice to different actors, to the widening of spaces for active mobilization of citizens in the production and reproduction of their living environments. The contribution reflects on the need to reunite the problematic relationship between community self-organised initiatives and territorial planning and on the horizons of possibilities towards community self-government opened by a different interpretation of the ‘public’ in territorial governance.

Keywords: community self-organisation; democratic participation; territorial government; territorial planning; socio-spatial inequality.



Quale comunità per quale territorio

Sergio De La Pierre, Polytechnic University of Bari, Department of Environmental and civil enineering

Language: Italian

Accepted: 2019-12-7 | Published Online: 2020-7-27 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-11109

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. A wide-ranging reflection on the theme of ‘community’ is all the more urgent today, because this word is inflated and at the same time necessary for a perspective of ‘regeneration’ of society. The industrial era tended to marginalise the historical forms of ‘community’ organisation, but then slipped into a vision of both man and world centred on individual competitiveness and purely economic values. This is why today we are witnessing the rebirth of a strong ‘need for community’: this, even if often manifests itself as a defensive closure to the world (the ‘communities of resentment’), actually can allude to new paths of civilization, provided that the principles of individual freedom and a participatory community democracy, based on the idea of multidimensional integration, are safeguarded.

Keywords: community; need for community; community of resentment; socio-territorial dimensions; participatory community democracy.