Publication: Reusing heritage: activist planning for place-based regeneration processes
The research aims at discussing the potential role of reusing abandoned built heritage as driver for place-based regeneration processes in inner areas. The study focuses on disused railway heritage in Italy because of its relevant size, the low percentage of effective initiatives, and its strategic position into the territory. In European context, successful initiatives show the considerable role of political agenda and economic programmes as well as shared interests among institutional subjects, associations, entrepreneurs and local communities to achieve common goals. In Italy, these necessary components are often lacking, especially in terms of strategic initiatives and dialogue between policy makers, activists and socio-economic stakeholders, although the National Railway Company (RFI) has promoted institutional initiatives in the last decades. In this field, could activist planning have a key role for regeneration processes by recycling unused heritage? Could activist planning contribute to new territorial metabolisms, especially in deprived and marginal areas? The Southern case of Campania Region has been selected taking into account that it is included among the regions that need support to promote development and reduce regional disparities in European countries, according to European Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund. In this region, on one hand, the potentiality of railway heritage has been recognised for its being an existent infrastructure network on the territory that could link cultural, historical and environmental resources; on the other hand, the crisis of 2008 has cut down investments addressing main of them to sustain market-led processes. This conflicting scenario has induced social reactions such as civic movements, new local associations and community-based initiatives that have a proactive role in carrying out bottom up planning initiatives. To discuss that, the researchers have selected a case study in the Campania Region – the historical Avellino-Rocchetta Sant’Antonio railway – to reflect on the process induced by activist planning in reusing railway heritage. Through the consultation of indirect sources, fieldwork sessions, interaction with local key actors of the selected case study, the research group aims at verifying if bottom-up reuse initiatives are able to trigger place-based regeneration processes, producing positive impacts in terms of social, economic and cultural dimension.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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