Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
The Potential of “White Areas”
Urban regeneration should keep in mind the land resources available to pro-
duce a good land project 10 , especially when it deals with “ white areas ” [16],
i.e. with “ still non-expressed potential 11 . In this spirit, in the author's opin-
ion, we should interpret the state of transformation under way in European
cities, which has profoundly altered the original fragile territorial fabric, trans-
forming it into a never-ending succession of individual creations, in which free
spaces become residential areas apparently lacking any sense, or becoming
“negated territories” 12 . In the peri-urban fringe, the agricultural landscape dis-
appears and the urban one, diluting itself into the rural area, fails to take shape.
Cityscape and landscape are untraceable.
The changes, both when they occur spontaneously and uncontrollably and
when they are programmed and realized in conformity with existing urban leg-
islation, have left on the territory:
A quantity of indecisive space that lacks function, on which it is difficult to
impose a norm. This combination does not pertain either to the territory of
shadow or of light. It is situated at the margins: where the forests fray,
along roads and rivers, in corners forgotten by cultivation , where cars do
not pass. It covers disperse surfaces of modest dimension, such as lost cor-
ners in a field, vast and unitary, like bogs, moors, and certain areas aban-
doned following recent decommissioning [17].
At times they seem like scraps, shreds, fragments. These “white areas” can
be found, in particular, in ex-industrial areas that are now decommissioned,
residual agricultural areas within the knitting of the urban framework, degrad-
ed and often abandoned areas (Fig. 6.1). For now they seem insignificant, but
they could be the “new pages” that the territory needs to reorganize and regen-
erate shapeless spreads of “urban jam.” New operating scenarios, new lands,
or “waste areas” are opened, which in reality already existed but which our
gaze was not used to noticing:
10 The “land project,” already outlined in the 1980s by Bernardo Secchi, was proposed again
20years later. Secchi B (1986) Progetto di suolo, Casabella no. 520-521; Secchi B (2006)
Progetto di suolo 2 in Aymonino A and Mosco VP (eds). Skira, Milan.
11 Cf.: Ignacy Sachs, “Futuro”, Enciclopedia Einaudi, Turin.
12 This is a term introduced in the drafting of the Caserta Territorial Coordination Plan. The provin-
cial territory was divided into settlement, agricultural and natural, and “negated” territories. This
deals with areas of decommissioned or underused urban areas, areas pertaining to the infrastruc-
ture that have become open-air dumps, abandoned agricultural areas marked by land movements
and abusive dumping, active or abandoned quarries, dumps, or sites of waste transfer.
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