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The term Disused Areas defines those spaces that over time are no longer used for the activities for which they have been designed and built.
Very often the abandoned areas create urban voids that are perceived by the population as degraded and dangerous areas, or because of the lack of stability of the dilapidated structures still present, sometimes also put at risk the safety of the inhabitants. Or, because of uncivilized people, they become real open-air landfills, thus causing a sense of abandonment on the part of the institutions to arise in the community, as they do not meet the primary needs of citizens (safety, hygiene, aesthetics …). These areas should be subject to a redevelopment that gives them a new use, according to their intrinsic characteristics and relations with the context in which they are located. This mending the urban fabric to ensure the qualitative improvement of the life of the communities is a resource to be exploited by transforming the urban fabric. The alternatives are many including the construction of infrastructure and services, or areas intended for public green or even a multipurpose use. Depending on the chosen destination, the type of intervention to be operated also changes, and if there are significant elements of industrial archeology, its reuse can be expected, safeguarding its historical memory, being an important piece of the history of the cities. In this way we move from considering the phenomenon of disposal a dramatic problem for the city, to a resource to be exploited to transform and redevelop it.
Waiting for a Law on Land Consumption:
Against overbuilding, the House recently received the first green light to the bill for the containment of land consumption and for its reuse, which now passes the Senate. Finally, a measure that aims at a single objective: to reduce the already large amount of overbuilding of the Italian territory to define the basic principle according to which land consumption is allowed only when there are no alternatives to reuse to safeguard the landscape and agricultural activities, up to zero land consumption by 2050.
If the law were to pass, a three-year moratorium would be imposed on all transformations that involve new land consumption, except those already included in the urban plans. In these three years, the Ministry of Agricultural Policies, together with those of the Environment, Cultural Heritage and Infrastructure, will have to issue a decree indicating how to progressively reduce land consumption, until it is completely eliminated in 2050, as provided for in the European Union.
It will then be the Regions to set the implementation criteria for the Municipalities, which will also have to census buildings and abandoned areas, to verify if the new buildings can be carried out by redeveloping degraded areas. For the recovery of these areas, the municipalities will have priority in state and regional funding and will see the procedures simplified and the best will be listed in a register of virtuous municipalities.
Recovery of abandoned or partially used areas
A large number of industrial areas are underutilized (unallocated lots, abandoned sheds, incomplete, not productive for years or never entered production) despite being served by roads, sewerage systems, lighting and already prepared land.
Possible solutions are mainly of two types:
• Recovery of manufactured goods for other uses,(for example, a small abandoned craft area near a town, or a case such as that of larger industrial areas where it is necessary to give a different perspective to the industrial sector declared no longer productive). Among the areas belonging to this type we cite for example the case of the industrial area infrastructured with public funds around the port of Gioia Tauro (Reggio Calabria) where about 2/3 of the surfaces are still unused or underused (source: WWF Italy elaborations).
• Renaturalization, especially in relation to areas only partially occupied, or to areas connected to industrial sites. We cit, for example, the case of Saline Ioniche where, although the industrial plants were built, they never entered production (data: total area: about 700,000 square meters, total area occupied / paved about 231,200 square meters; cubic meters built: 216,660 cubic meters). It is possible to operate a large project of environmental requalification and conservation of the Pantani, increasing the naturalness of the area and restoring its functionality for agricultural, recreational and bathing purposes.
Recovery of areas closed or marginal to urbanization
In peripheral areas the transformative wave (connected to urbanization) has often produced a much more significant degradation than has directly affected the existing building. Recovering these areas to social, cultural, recreational activities, improves the quality of life of the inhabitants (urban gardens, reconstruction of ecosystems, activities of associations, proximity agriculture, etc.).
An example for this type of area is the naturalistic and productive recovery project present since 2009 at the XII Municipality of Rome, participated by the population of the neighborhood where it hypothesizes in the area an extensive renaturalization, the restoration of agricultural activities, the recovery of artifacts for social purposes (a restaurant with organic products, the headquarters of social cooperatives, bars) , urban gardens and the possibility of walking, cycling and horseback riding routes.
Recovery of degraded areas
Widespread degradation in urban suburbs caused by industrial areas, the concentration of roads and artifacts, abusiveness and incorrect spills have often created widespread degradation.
The reclamation and redevelopment of these areas is desirable as it returns to the local community a common good deprived to the territory for other functions. Although the redevelopment of these areas is complex and costly due to the high costs involved in reclamation, the potential of these operations is highly productive in the long term, especially in the areas where these areas are located, as demonstrated by operations of this kind in large European capitals.
An example to which reference can be made with regard to degraded areas is that of the Coast of Lago Patria (NA). It is evident that in this case, it is believed that the naturalistic redevelopment can bring a new local seaside economy.