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Today, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and is subject to particular environmental and economic impacts against the backdrop of an evolving planetary crisis. This book explores the intimate relationship between the quality of life of city dwellers and the quality of urban landscapes, including those regenerated through green spaces and environmental networks. Starting from the concept of “landscape” as defined by the European Landscape Convention (i.e. "an area, perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors"), it expands upon, in particular, the interactions between the different biotic and abiotic components that contribute to the quality of the landscape and the environment. In the first part of the book, the author examines fundamental concepts and discusses a variety of relevant topics, such as the city under transformation, waste spaces, smart communities, regeneration programs, the role of environmental networks, and new instruments for decision making. The second part is devoted to a case study of the Italian Adriatic city that highlights the need for interdisciplinary interaction among researchers in apparently disparate fields, including ecology, forest botany, chemistry, biology, geology, sociology, economics, architecture, and engineering.​

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Bios, Techne, and Logos

Abstract
Tomas Kačerauska1 conducted an etymological study on a few keywords associated with globalization: bios, techne, and logos. He carried out this study in the field of existential phenomenology, and suggested that our body is not separable from the spiritual environment. Techne manages the creation of interactive components between body and spirit. In transposing the reflection to a more extensive, planetary field, biological life (bios) is an inseparable part of the entire space-time system and is immersed in the spiritual environment. Conceptual reflection and language (logos) allow the context of the spiritual environment to be defined. The art of creation and also of continuous intervention activities on the planet keep this unavoidable intertwining in mind. Therefore, just as we can never imagine our body separate from the machines that surround us, it is likewise impossible to think of the Earth without the transformational activities of humans. Techne is the center of our reflections and applications (logos), while always maintaining close contact with bios.
Massimo Sargolini

2. Ecology vs Aesthetics

Abstract
Beauty will save the world”. This celebrated claim by Dostoyevsky uniting aesthetic and ethical aspects finds its roots in the Greek principle that beauty coincides with goodness [1]. In the Greek world, “beautiful” and “good” are so indissoluble that a term exists to describe both concepts: kalokagathòs, “beautiful and good”.
Massimo Sargolini

3. Environmental and Landscape Quality

Abstract
The winds of urban renewal blowing throughout Europe are signaling the overcoming of rigidity, determinism, and the traditional hierarchical structure of planning processes at different governmental levels. Conversely, the themes of subsidiarity, sharing, and cooperation assume ever more relevance and centrality and, as a consequence, increase the interest in a strategic approach and in evaluation processes [1]. These two new requests hold a central role in the modification of physical space, are finely intertwined, and support each other with reciprocal pressure.
Massimo Sargolini

4. The City Under Transformation

Abstract
Different studies by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology regarding scenarios for our future demonstrate that it is not possible to pursue unlimited economic, material, and quantitative growth in a world that presents welldefined biophysical limits [1,2]. The city is the one most responsible for this uncontrolled and uncontrollable growth, which leads to unlimited land consumption. The urban conversion of land has progressively increased everywhere in Europe [3]. Italy leads the classification. From 1960 to 2002, in some regions of low settlement energy, i.e. where substantially stable demographics subsist, land consumption has been higher than 500%. The city has undergone a profound change in its substance regarding changes in:
1.
Economic systems, starting from the second industrial revolution and continuing to today [4], with effects on the landscape from agriculture to industry, on the infrastructure, on the functional organization of the living/ working system, and on the juxtaposition of functions for living with those for production, commerce, and residual rural areas [5].
 
2.
The social structure of the population, especially starting in the 1970s, with the progressive improvement of average living conditions, the growth in levels of education, and the growing flux of immigration, tourism development, and city users [6].
 
3.
The system of public and/or collective spaces, places of collective identification for meeting and public representation, once limited to the city’s political centers, progressively moved to peripheral or marginal areas [7].
 
Massimo Sargolini

5. The Metabolism of Changes

Abstract
Changes in the city have occurred, and are still happening, in such a rapid and uncontrolled way that it seems as if there has not been time for adequate metabolism, either on behalf of governance or on behalf of the settlement communities.
Massimo Sargolini

6. Changes in Vision

Abstract
In the last ten years, it appears that people dealing with urban and territorial planning and design are putting much effort into ensuring the future of the city:
  • Starting with the tenth edition of the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice in 2006, when Richard Burdett updated us with qualitative and quantitative assessments on the health of major world cities, and therefore on the health of the planet.
  • Through national competitions and European announcements that decidedly move in the direction of experimenting with new and more sustainable ways of living and producing in cities, combating waste, and creating new settlement forms and technological solutions.
  • Carrying out important experiments in urban design, in which natural components enter the city, relate with artificial components, and originate stimulating unions between the transformative actions of humans and natural spaces, in agreement with the reminders of Landscape Urbanism [1].
Massimo Sargolini

7. Environmental Networks for Smart Territories

Abstract
In this chapter, the concepts of environmental networks and territories are brought together. They are already dense with meaning individually, but we make adjectives of them and consider the added value that derives from their close geographical/conceptual connection. To carry out this reflection, we start from the case study of the Marche Regional Ecological Network (REM) for two reasons: first, considering the range of interpretations referring to this concept, by presenting a concrete case we can refer to a specific meaning, which we would like to reflect on without missing on an appropriate comparison to other approaches; the second reason is directed at the recovery of an experiential methodology that we often overlook in favor of abstractions. Unfortunately, in the field of governance, we have often seen what can sometime happen with apparently irrefutable theories, such that nothing positive is left in the territory if the comparison with concrete implementation at different levels of government is not controlled. The failures recorded in the history of landscape planning in countries such as Italy, which should focus its development policies on this extraordinary and strategic resource, are a warning we should not ignore: from the sharing of guidelines, programs, and master plans on the regional and national levels, it is difficult to proceed with identifying the effects of implementation on the provincial and community levels.
Massimo Sargolini

8. Techne. Interdisciplinary Examination for an Integrated Vision. Case Study: the Adriatic City

Abstract
The different forms of environmental determinism (starting with the intuition of Ian McHarg) [1], which accompanied the interpretation of territorial dynamics in the last century, extinguished themselves without the need to refer to Kant’s thoughts regarding “students of nature.” Finally, we are convinced that nature does not design itself, let alone areas originating from a deep complex interaction between natural and anthropic dynamics, such as agrarian landscapes or settlements. On the contrary, it is necessary to develop design interpretations capable of structuring themselves amid the complexity of systematic visions.
Massimo Sargolini

Afterword

Abstract
This afterword is organized in two parts; one is a kind of summary concerning the topics that emerge from this book. The other is a perspective concerning the points that, in my opinion, can lead to further discussion and developments in land planning.
Massimo Sargolini
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