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Il riscaldamento globale come spinta al reinsediamento delle terre alte

an interview with Luca Mercalli, Società Meteorologica Italiana and ISPRA

by Federica Corrado, Polytechnic of Turin, Interuniversity Department of Regional and urban studies and planning

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-5-9 | Published Online: 2021-5-20 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12846

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. This dialogue with Luca Mercalli, researcher and science communicator of environmental issues, focuses on the link between climate change and migration, with a particular reference to what is currently happening here and there in Italian mountains. It is a sort of ‘upwelling’ towards mountain areas whose protagonists (new mountaineers) try to fulfil not only an economic but also a life project. Mercalli explains the reasons of this movement towards the mountains which, in the next future, will become an increasingly central issue in territorial policies, telling his personal experience and choice to live in the upper Susa valley, in the borough of Vazon (Oulx). A complex challenge, this, between struggles and the great beauty expressed in that place. Attention and regard to the place accompany his project both in re-functionalizing and in building technique choices. A sort of ship’s log that helps reflect on the urgent programmes and policies for the re-activation of mountain territories.

Keywords: climate change; migration; mountains; territorial policies; boroughs.




Monica Bolognesi, University of Florence, Department of Architecture

Federica Corrado, Polytechnic of Turin, Interuniversity Department of Regional and urban studies and planning

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-5-9 | Published Online: 2021-5-20 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12815

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)



Neocontadinizzazione nelle montagne mediterranee. Politiche per la terra ed integrate per un neopopolamento sostenibile ed inclusivo

Carlotta Ebbreo, Centre for Rural Studies, University of Calabria

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-2-4 | Published Online: 2021-2-16 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12595

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. This paper argues about one aspect of the mountain re-peopling process: the “repeasantization” (Ploeg 2007; 2013) driven by neorurals (people without any farming family background and characterized by different life trajectories). The study shows that access to resources is a key aspect of the process. Comparative analysis about neopeasant practices in three territories of the Mediterranean mountain bioregion in Europe (in Andalusia and in Sicily) is at the base of the results of this research. These territories are experiencing agrarian de-activation, depopulation and the outsourcing of the economy. Their agrarian history and their socio-ecological specificities show the interconnection between small-scale peasant agriculture and the eco-systemic service (care and production). The interconnection also shows the environmental risks related to peasant agriculture marginalization. The neorural subjects of this study are engaged in temporary and collective strategies of access to resources. The study of their strategies shows on the one hand neorurlas’ capacity to foster local development processes and on the other hand the need to develop local policy (land and integrated policy) in order to make the repeasantization re-peopling stronger and more inclusive.

Keywords: repeasantization; neorurals; mountain; Mediterranean bioregion; access to resources.



L’anthropologie alpine aujourd’hui et ses nouveaux défis

Christiane Dunoyer, CEFP - Centre d’études franco-provençales René Willien, Saint-Nicolas

Language: French | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-2-4 | Published Online: 2021-2-16 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12594

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The paper aims to highlight the mutation of the role of the Alpine anthropologist within a geographical and human space in deep and rapid transformation. As an urban cultural product, the Alpine world is at the centre of many ideological tensions and misunderstanding. In particular, the author insists on the need to adapt the discipline (in terms of methodology and epistemology) to the new representations of the mountain. Researchers could thereby enhance communication between the categories involved in different titles (with different representations of belonging) to this territory and the most distant categories: a very important purpose if we think to the central role of the Alps within Europe.

Keywords: Alps; Alpine world; representations of mountaineer; globalizing knowledge; intangible heritage.



Minoranze che innovano. Riqualificazione urbana come rigenerazione simbolica in un territorio alpino di confine

Vittorio Curzel, Independent researcher, Trento

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-2-4 | Published Online: 2021-2-13 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12588

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. In a little town in South Tyrol, a space that is comparable to four football fields summarizes the European history of the twentieth century. A large barracks was built by the fascist regime after the end of the First World War and the displacement of the Italian border to the alpine watershed, during the years of forced Italianization of the German-speaking South Tyrolean population. Occupied by Nazi troops on the night of September 8, 1943, after the end of the Second World War the barracks joined the NATO defensive system against invasions by the USSR and the Warsaw Pact armies. Following the breaking down of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the entire military settlement has been abandoned. The barracks is now at the centre of an important urban redevelopment and regeneration project. The planning of the intervention initially involved the total demolition, but following an intense public debate, it has been decided to keep a building and transform it into a centre for social innovation and creative activities. A building on which the memory and the complex legacy of a negative and divisive past weighs, thus becomes something completely different also from a symbolic point of view, open to the future and the interaction between cultures, in a path that involves the whole community.

Keywords: border; war; minority; urban redevelopment; symbolic regeneration.



Il margine che sta al centro

Giuseppe Caridi, “Mediterranean” University of Reggio Calabria, Department “Heritage, Architecture, Urban planning”

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-1-15 | Published Online: 2021-2-11 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12585

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The margin that is at the centre. The contribution develops a critical reading of the characteristics of the process of the splitting of mountain and hill centres of habitation (mother centres) and the formation of related coastal (marine) inhabited centres along the southern Ionian side of Calabria. This process is not only limited to southern Italy, but is typical of the Mediterranean basin, however, in the context examined, it has assumed a character generalised to the point that almost all of the mountain or hill towns have generated their own satellite centre along the coast. The author traces, from the time of National Unity, the hundred and eighty-degree about turn in planning and in the evolutionary scenarios of the area, with the aim of proposing, in schematic form, the succession of the different temporal configurations, identifying the diverse thematic variables that, in various capacities and specific ways, have influenced this process. To be more precise, we are witnessing the strategic replacement of one form of territoriality with another, more functional to the system of capitalist industrialisation which emerged in Italy at the end of the nineteenth century and has continued throughout the post-second world war period. Such a reading, framing the process of formation of the marine within the scope of what Soja (2000) defined as the third urban revolution, is certainly of theoretical interest but it also has important implications in regards to planning in relation to which it would be useful if the debate continues and is reinforced.

Keywords: depopulation; mountains; marinas; Ionian coast; Calabria.



Politiche per la centralità della montagna

Fiorenzo Ferlaino, IRES Piemonte, Turin

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-1-15 | Published Online: 2021-2-11 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12584

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The article briefly traces back the development of policies dedicated to the mountain regions of Italy from the post-war era to the present day, starting from ‘depressed territories’, touching ‘disadvantaged areas’ and ‘mountain communities’, to go to the recent ‘Inland Areas National Strategy’. The underlying idea is that such place-based policies are ineffective if not supported by a great labour reform, a regeneration of boroughs and a reuse of abandoned woods apt to redirect towards the mountains most of the (public and private) operators active via teleworking or smart working. . All these policies should be built, programmed, planned to prevent ‘spontaneous development’ logics from destroying (as already happened in coastal areas) the mountains landscape and resources. In other words, we should avoid that the new centrality of mountains forced by climate change (and by the rising concern of new pandemics) may generate new phenomena such as uncontrolled growth or deterritorialisation which can undermine the path towards sustainability.

Keywords: inland areas; less favoured areas; mountain centrality; climate change; localization factors.



Autogoverno dei territori montani. Storia e prospettive

Annibale Salsa, TSM/SteP, Trento

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-2-4 | Published Online: 2021-2-11 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12583

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The fragility of mountain territories has demanded adaptive solutions to the limit of liveability. When the demographic pressure following the year 1000 (11th century) dictated the need to use new land, until then covered by forests, the policy makers of that time started a colonisation process on a large scale. The purpose was to turn forests into fields, meadows, and pastures. This phenomenon, which had extensive economic and social implications, mainly involved the Alpine arc and especially the central and eastern sectors of the chain. Thanks to said initiatives, many seasonal settlements destined for aestivation (alpine pastures) by the pre-existing populations, became permanent settlements inhabited all year round. The great rural revolution in the highlands during the late Middle Ages, was made possible through the granting of legal incentives to colonists called upon to clear uncultivated land by territorial lordships, both ecclesiastical (princely abbeys, bishoprics) and lay. Such long-sighted political and administrative choices led to the “freedom of land clearing” that constitutes the foundation of many forms of self-government and autonomy. Colonists who agreed to clear the land received in return those mountain freedoms which have contributed to strengthening the idea that “the mountain sets one free”. The end of old regime societies and the advent of modernity with the rise of nation-states has challenged the alpine models of self-government.

Keywords: self-government; Alpine autonomies; freedom of land clearing; rights of the colonists; Charters of Freedom.



La visione della montagna nel Manifesto di Camaldoli

Giusepppe Dematteis, Polytechnic University of Turin, professor emeritus of Urban and regional geography

Alberto Magnaghi, University of Florence, professor emeritus of Urban and regional planning

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-2-11 | Published Online: 2021-2-11 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12582

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. Taking up the long historical thread of the multidimensional centrality of mountains, broken by depopulation and abandonment in the second half of the last century, the Camaldoli Manifesto envisages new roles of centrality for mountain territories, founded on resistance, resilience and self-government, and founding towards a general renewal of settlement and development models; a new civilization that, starting from the evidence of the crisis of metropolitan models, advocates the recognition of places with a high density of patrimonial values – firstly the mountains – as a forgotten treasure trove of deep riches to draw on in order to reorganize socio-territorial relations and quality horizons of housing and production for the entire country.

Keywords: mountains; resistance; resilience; self-government; new civilization.



Alla ricerca di un modello territoriale agroecologico e integrato per l’agricoltura di montagna: il caso Valbelluna

Simona Zollet, University of Hiroshima, Department of International cooperation and development

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-1-3 | Published Online: 2021-1-9 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12498

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. This paper summarizes some of the results of a research project conducted in the Belluno province on the topic of new farmers’ embeddedness in local agri-food systems. The article first outlines the agrarian development of the area over the past decades, describing the shortcomings of the dominant development model as well as its intrinsic tensions and aspirations for change. Through interviews with new farmers and other territorial actors involved in the local agri-food system, the article aims at highlighting the potential for an agroecologically-oriented and territorially embedded transition of local agriculture. Moreover, it describes some of the emerging issues and leverage points for change.

Keywords: Belluno Province; agroecological transition; territorial networks; local agri-food systems; new farmers.



Le montagne italiane tra dinamicità e marginalità. La ripartizione del Piemonte in montagna interna, montagna integrata e distretti turistici

Ludovica Lella, IRES Piemonte, Turin

Francesca Silvia Rota, IRCrES CNR, Moncalieri

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-1-3 | Published Online: 2021-1-9 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12497

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. In Italy, since 2015, and with an evident acceleration after the outbreak of the pandemic, mountains returned central in the political debate. At the same time, the consideration of the variety of the development models expressed by the mountain territories remains poor. Focusing on Piedmont, our contribution integrates some recent studies on the regional mountain context, to provide a new way of reading and, hopefully, thinking and planning mountain development. The starting point is the classification provided in the Report The mountains of Piedmont according to three larger areas, characterised by similar socio-economic and territorial dynamics (the inner mountain, the integrated mountain, and the tourist districts), and 21 smaller areas, also differentiated according to the mountain range (Alpine or Apennine) and the valley they belong to. The analysis of the different types of territorial capital in these smaller areas results in is a mosaic of dynamism and fragility, practical to guide the next strategies for the governance and the development of the mountains in Piedmont.

Keywords: inland areas; mountains; marginality; territorial development; Piedmont.



Agri-cultural resistance and local development: the cases of lavender and rye in the Susa Valley

Maria Anna Bertolino, University of Turin, Department of Foreign languages, literatures and modern cultures

Language: English | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-1-3 | Published Online: 2021-1-7 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12490

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The reconversion of raw lands into productive areas through cultivation may be considered as a practice of resistance toward territorial policies dictated from outside. So, marginal areas are taking new meaning in the eyes of their inhabitants or of the people who decide to settle here from the city. This attitude has triggered virtuous processes of development that are part of a general rethinking of mountains, in large part characterized by new creative ways of dealing with them, in terms of living and doing business in accordance to the local resources. In the following contribution will be analysed the recovery of two crops – lavender and rye – in the Susa Valley. They were studied in the research project MA.S.K.A. (Marginal Areas and Know-how in the Alps), funded by Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation and University of Turin in 2015 and 2016.

Keywords: Italian Alps; marginal areas; new highlanders; mountain agriculture; local development.



Piccole scuole e territorio: un’indagine sulla relazione scuola-Comune per un progetto formativo allargato

Rudi Bartolini, INDIRE, Florence

Giuseppina Rita Jose Mangione, INDIRE, Florence

Francesca De Santis, INDIRE, Florence

Anna Tancredi, INDIRE, Florence

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2021-1-3 | Published Online: 2021-1-5 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12483

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. 'Small schools', characterized by a low number of pupils and located in 'difficult' territories, represent an important phenomenon of the Italian school, especially as regards the first cycle of education. They are present particularly in mountain areas, small islands and in all those inland areas characterized by low population density, often presenting critical socio-economic situations and difficulties linked to isolation and distance from services. For these territories, they represent an important cultural garrison and a wall against depopulation. Small schools often develop close ties with the reference community, playing an important role in the formation of place identity. From an educational and organizational point of view, the link with the territory allows them to develop innovative organizational and educational solutions able to cope with difficulties. This article presents the qualitative-quantitative survey results carried out by INDIRE, Movimento delle Piccole scuole and ANCI. The goals of this work are investigating the existing forms of collaboration between small schools, municipalities and economic players in the area and identifying which conditions favour the effective and sustainable functioning of small schools. A complex picture emerges, not always easy to interpret, where, in the light of evident critical issues, there are encouraging signs for the development of a fruitful dialogue between school, community and territory.

Keywords: small schools; small municipalities; territorial cooperation; community school; local identity.



Una finestra di opportunità per la montagna

Maria Chiara Cattaneo, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, CRANEC - Research centre on Economic analysis and international economic development

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2020-12-22 | Published Online: 2020-12-24 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12406

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. Centre and periphery, global and local as paradigms being uprooted in the pandemic that has swept all territories. If global trends confirm a tendency for the population to live in urban areas, the movements in the opposite direction regarding those who choose the mountain as the place to live could strengthen. The image of the Italian Alpine mountains today returns a complexity made of quality of life, personal safety, tourist attraction, quality of the environment, wealth of resources, to which spaces in proximity, quality of relationships, digitalization reducing distance and increasing mountain attractiveness are to be added. The more the paths aimed at redesigning the future will be participated and taking place in a productive relationship and dialogue with institutions and stakeholders, the more possibilities for a reinforced centrality of mountains will open up.

Keywords: mountain economies; resiliency; community; innovation; local development.



La centralità della montagna in una inedita forma di urbanità: una controstoria per nutrire la nostra immaginazione

Lidia Decandia, University of Sassari, Department of Architecture, design and urban planning

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2020-12-22 | Published Online: 2020-12-24 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12407

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The article stems from an awareness of the fact that current models of organisation of the territory are undergoing great changes and that the interpretative categories we habitually use for them no longer suffice to express the range of transformations underway. It attempts to contradict the impression that the urban concept must traditionally be associated with an idea of city as having a centralised, delimited and circumscribed shape. It does so, following in the tracks of Scott and Soja, proposing the embryos of a counter-history illustrated by some significant moments, aiming to show how the actual idea of urban has created diverse spatial organisms in the course of history, in which, notwithstanding the urban/rural dichotomy, the mountains themselves have sometimes taken on a role of great centrality. In observing the familiar connection between the destination of the land and the numerous contemporary signs showing us that a “new loving trend’ appears to be binding the mountains to the cities, the article invites us to reappraise the territory, drawing on the genealogy proposed: no longer external and peripheral but rather an integral part of an extended, polyphonic city. The expression, therefore, of a new relationship of co-belonging between man and nature wherein – with increased closeness between densification and gaps, slowness and speed, deserted spots and high-density nodes – silent places may also finally be listened to and the mountain acquire unprecedented centrality.

Keywords: urban; mountains; counter-history; genealogy; imagination.



Chi ha bisogno della montagna italiana? Migrazioni internazionali e nuova centralità delle Alpi e degli Appennini

Giulia Bergamasco, Eurac Research, Bolzano

Andrea Membretti, Eurac Research, Bolzano

Maria Molinari, Independent expert in cultural heritage enhancement

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2020-12-22 | Published Online: 2020-12-24 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12408

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. Due to urban and industrial development in the post-war period, the Italian Alps and Apennines and have experience an intense phenomenon of depopulation, mainly caused by massive emigration to urban areas. Italian mountains regions have been considered for a long time as marginal, neglected areas out of public and political attention. , yet, taking a closer look, these regions have also been subject to different forms of migration that question their representation as places “left behind”. Different studies investigated these aspects, at first focusing on the phenomenon of the "new mountain people" and later on taking in account also the role of foreign migrants in mountain areas. These researches highlighted the fundamental role of im-migration flows in transforming Italian mountains, favouring a "return to the centre" of highlands also - and above all - in public and political discourse. This article investigates/examines/considers, also through the analysis of Berceto's case, the role - current and potential - of foreign immigrants in this re-thematization in economic, territorial as well as demographic and socio-cultural terms of the marginalized territories of the Alps and Apennines.

Keywords: foreign immigration; “new highlanders”; “highlanders by force”; Alps; Apennines.



Risalire. Dinamiche demografiche e tipologie del ritorno

Rossano Pazzagli, University of Molise, Department of Biosciences and territory

Language: Italian | Issue: no. 9/2020

Accepted: 2020-12-22 | Published Online: 2020-12-24 | DOI: 10.13128/sdt-12409

(accepted manuscript: to be completed and edited)

Abstract. The mountain, a primary component of the Italian inland areas, was hit by a drift whose main effects were depopulation, emigration, social and productive rarefaction, land abandonment, hydrogeological vulnerability and changes in the landscape. The article recalls the historical dimension of this process and asks what is left up there, in the large rural area, wooded, grazing and full of villages. Not nothingness, nor emptiness, but a set of resources that the central areas cannot dispose of. The article is also an invitation to build a map of the best practises and of the return experiences, within a perspective of changing the economic, social and cultural model.

Keywords: mountain; demography; economy; agriculture; school.