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Il Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia. Un paesaggio [Eng. Transl. The Alta Murgia National Park. A Landscape Perspective]

Perrotti, D. (2011) Il Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia. Un paesaggio [Eng. Transl. The Alta Murgia National Park. A Landscape Perspective]. Edizioni L'Orbicolare, Milan. ISBN 9788895061795

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Abstract/Summary

The book has been commissioned by the Italian Ministry for the Environment in 2011. It builds on the main results of the case study elaborated in Dr Perrotti's PhD thesis "Paysage-Infrastructure: The Infrastructural Dimension of the Landscape". The book retraces the historical development of the Alta Murgia rural area in Southern-Italy, and discusses its current socio-ecological trajectories and projected future evolutions. Located in the hinterland of the Mediterranean town of Bari, in the Apulia region, Alta Murgia has been historically devoted to intensive cereal production and livestock farming. In 2004, about 68 ha of the whole Alta Murgia area became a protected area: the Alta Murgia National Park. The park is totally circumscribed within a pre-existing Site of Community Importance and a Special Protection Area (“Murgia Alta” SPA), which was established in 1998 under the European Bird Directive, 79/409/EEC. Extending over more than 143 ha, this SPA is part of the Nature 2000 network. Apart from the substantial impacts on the socio-ecological evolution of the area itself, the institution of the Alta Murgia National Park also engendered significant change in the legislative framework at the national level. Alta Murgia was the first Rural Park to be established in Italy. The definition of “Rural Park” differs from those of “natural” and “agricultural” protected areas. The notion of “rural” is endowed with a specific meaning, which is particularly reflected in the Alta Murgia area. Beyond the simple consideration of the area’s physical features and the aim of protecting natural environments, the connotation of “rural” stresses the importance of the whole set of relations established over time between the physical environment, human agency, historical development and processes of land reclamation. With a radically different meaning and function than merely nature preservation, the making of the rural protected area has been experienced by local associations and political stakeholders as an unprecedented opportunity to cross and discuss different socio-political visions for the future of the region: protecting the natural, historical and architectural heritage; regenerating and diversifying the local intensive and almost exclusively monoculture farming; establishing a new eco-touristic infrastructure with low environmental impacts; creating new opportunities in professional sectors connected with agricultural industry (including agronomic research and education). Building on the results of a survey conducted with key public and private stakeholders in 2011 (local administrators at both region and local level, farmers, inhabitants and representatives of local associations), the book retraces the dynamic approach collectively adopted to ensure that the Park was not turned into a fixed, archaic, and anachronistic image of the area. As explicitly mentioned in the Park Action Plan, the “in progress” vision adopted by the administrators is grounded in the consideration of socio-economic vitality and agricultural productivity as basic conditions for the area overall development over time. In the Plan, socio-economic viability is considered in a dialectical relationship with the historical rural identity of Alta Murgia. The new socio-political infrastructure established through the regulatory framework of the Park resulted in the co-production of future-proof alternative pathways to sustainable development of the whole region.

Item Type:Book
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Architecture
ID Code:66422
Uncontrolled Keywords:Landscape Design and Planning, Green Infrastructure, Landscape Policy
Publisher:Edizioni L'Orbicolare

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