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La città contemporanea e il territorio agricolo. Una relazione in continuo divenire


Does the balanced relationship between the city and the country, typical of the birth of the urban centers and still existing in the eighteenth century, hold on until today? Can the relationship between the two parts be still considered an equal relationship? And again, can the “limits” of the contemporary city, with their residue of agricultural land be considered key points for the renaissance of a contemporary ecologically-oriented city? These are some questions underlying the research of which this paper presents the results. In order to answer these questions, this research has reflected on the transformation, over the centuries, of the relationship between town and country, on the main causes and on the formal results, but also on the ecological, economic and social impact of these transformations. Another reflection needed to find answers, and especially to be able to understand how to deal with the detected problems, has been the one relating to the role of planning, and its instruments, processing and management of agricultural land. This reasoning has been examined especially for Italy. A potential solution is to return to the land as a way to find one’s roots and to balance the relationship between urban culture and rural culture. To bridge the gap between urban and rural means, in fact, to create a community which is capable of responding to external shocks due to a solid structure, transformable, but only slightly vulnerable. An experience very interesting, in this regard, is the one in progress in Granada, Spain. This is an example where the equilibrium in the territory is being restored thanks to the awareness of the urban and rural actors. This proximity area is the Vega of Granada, an irrigated agricultural area which proves very valuable both for its produce and for its landscape and culture. The current work of re-appropriation of the agricultural area saw the inhabitants of rural areas of the Vega play a leading role. Thanks to the support of the associations, some consumer groups and the university, the direct marketing of products has been initiated and this has held back the devaluation of major fruit and vegetables yard and has encouraged the consumption of local products, often ecologically produced. The experience of Granada, although still in progress and with many challenges still to be faced and overcome, can certainly be considered a best practice and suggest solutions to those cities, such as Palermo, having to deal with an urgent and decisive planning of proximity agricultural areas, rich in cultural values and potential for the revival of the contemporary city.