Ascoltare il territorio

Listening to the territory

Abstract

The recent history of urban development in Italy largely stems from a policy – here intended as a set of actions and strategies of administrators, entrepreneurs and experts – which has been incapable of planning transformations and, therefore, adopting a shared and far-sighted approach to development. The urban regeneration of metropolitan areas and their consequent demographic and economic development (70% of the population and 80% of GDP are concentrated in these areas) have often penalised internal areas such as the Alps and Apennines. Some peculiar experiences, including the regeneration of the village of Ostana (Cuneo), the project carried out in Contrada Bricconi (Bergamo), or even the activities of the association Dolomiti Contemporanee (Belluno) – just to mention a few interesting cases in the Italian Alps, – show that the understanding of and care for a unique territory are the pillars on which any informed political, administrative, architectural or territorial project should be based. This approach is all the more important in the framework of those events envisaging the construction of large infrastructures (such as the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina). After these events, such infrastructures are often abandoned because they are useless for the territory, economically unsustainable in the long-term, and not shared with the local community. In this perspective, the work of the association Architetti Arco Alpino (Alpine Arc Architects), whose activities range from architecture awards to photographic surveys, conferences and publications, aims to understand the complexity of mountain areas and to promote architectural quality. In this framework, they have successfully shown how the problems are often the same regardless of geographical and cultural distances. The solution to these problems is to be found primarily in the act of listening to the