Un paese ci vuole. Studi e prospettive per i centri abbandonati e in via di spopolamento, «ArcHistor» Extra, 7

A.M. Oteri, G. Scamardì

ArcHistoR Extra 7/2020 (supplemento di «ArcHistoR» 13/2020)., Reggio Calabria


The phenomenon of abandonment today mainly concerns small villages, located in disadvantaged or fragile areas, but also urban and industrial “fragments”, which have concluded their life cycle or have lost their function, becoming incompatible with the socio-economic system. The most obvious causes are natural and anthropic, traumatic and gradual, and depend on the fragility of the territory, often increased by neglect and poor maintenance, in a spiral process in which abandonment increases neglect, neglect increases abandonment; but they also depend on the traditional socio-economic system, which cannot keep up with the speed of processes in the so-called advanced areas. Depopulation and abandonment are not phenomena of our time. In every age and at every latitude territories have been gradually inhabited, abandoned and then re-inhabited, according to a life cycle that is sometimes natural, sometimes unnaturally accelerated by political choices. However, it is evident, looking at the history of places, that single events have almost never been the sole cause of abandonment: often communities have faced and overcome a disaster, finding in themselves the stimuli and solutions for a possible recovery. Problems arise, however, when human action is added to the event, a disrespectful, short-sighted intervention or even simple inaction. These are political actions that directly or indirectly trigger processes of abandonment, where they do not follow the history, needs and identity of places and communities.


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