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Issue Date: 19-Jul-2006
Journal: Proceedings of the Conference THE CULTURAL TURN IN GEOGRAPHY, 18-20th of September 2003 - Gorizia Campus
Part V: Economical Trends and Cultural Environmental Chances
To attain concrete and long lasting results, current development policies are essentially
aimed at management of the milieu present in each local system. From this perspective, the
cultural specificity, concretely expressed in the features of the landscape, is revealed as a
fundamental component in orienting economic – productive selections, in perceiving the
effects on the social system and the impact on the environment. Comprehension of the
interconnection between natural and anthropic components, the overall significance given to
single situations, the difficult relationship between the features of the landscape and their
functions constitute only a few of the preliminary analyses required for drawing up projects in
which there is participation on the part of the community and local forces and which are
rooted in the territory. The cultural and environmental heritage which characterises each
context becomes a powerful key to comprehension, a valid support to trace the complex of the
historical events and of the various established cultures. The entire set of human, instrumental,
cultural and natural resources available to a community constitutes an articulated and varied
system of internality, whose use and development in an innovative dimension may favour
proper insertion of each framework within a greater context. The complex of internality
provides a concrete opportunity for development when associated with a network of
externality, that is infrastructures and services, capable of integrating the situations, and
linking them to connect them to external circuits in order to guarantee concrete utilisation by
insiders and outsiders.
Internality and externality, even in their roles as necessary components in the
implementation of sustainable development, cannot be opportunely enhanced by synergic
action of local parties without an adequately satisfactory level of environmental quality. The
installation of industrial plants which are incompatible with the traditional agricultural
vocation of specified contexts has produced a significant alteration of cultural and
environmental values and of the overall landscape system. In terms of territorial management,
the issue of the environment has assumed tremendous importance; and is no longer
considered, as it was in the past, merely a background for human activities but instead is a
central factor in the insertion of eco-compatible functions in keeping with local specificity, in
order to promote true development. It is a determining factor in sustaining marketing
operations aimed at conspicuous launching of endogenous potential and is the first step for the
re-appropriation of essentials places and situations necessary to the perseverance of
persistence of identifying links. With the progressive affirmation of principles of sustainability
and territorial approaches, the environmental factor is destined to assume a determining role in
transforming the functional aspects of various places, guaranteeing economic growth, social
development and the quality of life.
The local Campania systems can justly be considered territories of significant landscape,
historical and cultural import to the extent that most of the rural and seaside centres would
lose a great deal of their appeal were it not for their insertion within such a picturesque
“natural context”. In reference to human settlements, built, in the interior on the Apennine
hills, or spread along the coastline, bear witness to a well balanced relationship between man
and nature, an appropriate use of resources, when building speculation and productive
activities which are not compatible with the local context are not involved. This link between
centres and territory, between nature and culture is found in the plans, which reflect political
events and the various foreign rules which followed one another in Campania, and in forms of
the buildings, which bear witness to functions and productive activities conducted by the local
communities. The very division of the rural lands is a concrete reminder of complex legal and
agrarian events (reclamation, landed estates, parcelling, centuriation, etc….). Landscapes thus
structured constitute “complex cultural assets” because here, where human intervention has
not completely distorted the features and symbols of identity, cultural contributions, historical
stratifications and environmental values are still visible.
The area of Vesuvius constitutes a differentiated and complex reality from an
morphological, historical and economic point of view, as well as owing to the role that cultural
heritage has played and continues to play in the processes of territorialisation and
development. An analysis of the “Vesuvian system” provides support for understanding the
impact and alteration brought about by excessive demographic and productive concentration
on the entire organic structure of natural and cultural components. Over the last years, close
cooperation, with the perspective of governance, between enterprises, cultural associations,
consortiums and local authorities was the starting point for a positive trend of inversion aimed
at recovering cultural specificity and Vesuvian identity. -enhancement of internalities was, in
fact, facilitated by the support and presence of a considerable and articulated network of infrastructure.
To the contrary, owing to the attraction of stronger urban organisms and a lack of
well structured “network of externalities”, many interior towns have not managed to succeed
in transforming a territorially ingrained cultural heritage and a, as yet, uncompromised natural
environment into factors of development. Close collaboration between the main “territorial
forces” thus becomes an essential priority element for inserting currently marginal local
realities into more ample and integrated circuits. Internality, externality and environmental
quality are thus “fixed points” a dynamic and productive interpretation of a identifying
heritage and landscape specificity.
ISBN: 88-8303-180-6
Rights: © Copyright 2003 Edizioni Università di Trieste - EUT
Appears in Collections:The cultural turn in geography

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