Invisible projects: imagined nearness as a tool to explore long-term transitions of landscape/heritage. The case of the river Tiber in Rome

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How to deal with landscapes (and heritage) whose transformation has only been imagined by built environment disciplines for more than a century? How can long-term transitions of landscapes/heritage be explored to better understand a territory? This paper focuses on invisible projects: imagined transformations that have been developed for the Tiber riverbanks, in the historic centre of the city of Rome. The “massive change” determined by the construction of the riverbanks, at the end of the Nineteenth century, is here taken as a starting point for a process of long-term transition for the landscape/heritage of the Tiber, in its relationship with Rome historic centre. Such a change has physically modified the perception of the river in the city, with the construction of two embankment walls along the river. Because of this change, planners and designers have had difficulties in rethinking a role for the Tiber riverbanks. This can be linked to a lack of effective analytical tools to address the (sometimes invisible) existing dynamics that occur in and towards the area. The concept of nearness will be introduced to investigate a number of narratives, representations and collective memories partaking on the construction of positions/points of view of who practices a place.
landscape/heritage, long-term transitions, nearness, imaginary, Tiber