Envisaging L'Aquila
edited by Alessandro Coppola

Open spaces in contemporary mountain metropoles. Discussing the landscape as a place for the public realm


convenors: Cristina Mattiucci,  University of Trento, Italy & Stefania Staniscia, West Virginia University, USA
Keywords: Mountain metropoles, everyday landscape, city/mountain, public space

Contemporary mountain metropoles show a political dimension and a peculiar density within territories, where the conditions of proximity and distance continuously shape the landscape, giving it new attributes, as open space and as environmental multiservice resource, as common heritage and as inhabited place. The complex relationship between urban and rural features of mountain landscapes manifests a high degree of hybridization – in usages, forms and policies – that has to be taken and understood as a distinguishing feature to address analysis and planning processes.

Since the valley cities have expanded up to high altitudes in the last 30 years, the wider territory of contemporary mountain metropoles has become part of polycentric regions. This comes about not only through a continuous urban fabric, but also through the moving network of the perceptions, uses and infrastructures that characterize the new ways of life in these territories. In these contexts, the landscape, which has often preserved a significant consistency due to the presence of rural environments or protected areas, takes on new attributes.

Open spaces, which are scattered along the valleys and at high altitudes, when taken together, become a kind of park – not merely equipped for recreational activities but with many functions that support the contemporary notion of a park – not only for those who decide to live it occasionally, but above all for those who make them part of their everyday life. The whole mountain could be interpreted as a kind of ‘urban garden’, where the metropolitan public realm could find a place.

The session aims to collect, select and discuss papers in order to shape an interdisciplinary debate focussed on exploring the landscape as a constitutive element of the contemporary mountain public realms, by observing how contemporary citizenships reclaim the public city there by means of practices and policies. Scholars are invited to participate in this debate, proposing a theoretical reflection and/or a case study, with an analytic or an operative perspective.

Submission of abstracts for oral and poster proposals >> http://www.pecsrl2016.com/index.php/submission-of-abstract.html

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