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Covid-19: quando la distanza è spazio di relazione


The third session of the INU 2020 conference “Post-pandemic Cities. The challenges of urban planning after the emergency” is dedicated to the new possible urban models that the pandemic led us to consider in the search for a difficult compromise between safety, sociability and a pleasant dwelling. Like a compass, the beauty guides us in achieving the social and environmental objectives that Covid-19 inexorably placed before our eyes: among these, the internal territories. Internal territories emerge as a field of experimentation of settlement structures in which wide landscape horizons prevail among the small compact villages. In 53% of Italian municipalities - equal to 60% of the national territory - just over 20% of the population live at a "slow" pace and in contact with rural production. Actually the numbers disproved the "return to the villages" even if it is often proclaimed in times of pandemics: very few people choose to live or migrate to peripheral areas. The elderly and single-income families are the internal villages main inhabitants and - where marketing operations are carried out - foreigners temporarily settled in buildings abandoned by the "natives". After decades of neglect, some experiences are practiced showing the risk of entrusting new technologies with too decisive power as an antidote to the distance from services and as a work tool. The challenge is to avoid new forms of sprawl fuelled by urban hearts that beats elsewhere or to restore ghost towns. Nevertheless, faced with the weakness of these places it is exactly here where alternatives to the widespread town can be envisaged. The agricultural areas designed as spaces for food production and relations between the smaller villages can make a new settlement structure at the territorial level. This reflection applied at different scales (from open fields to interstitial spaces) can feed urban models in which distances are “commons” for different communities.