1_NEWLANDS

If we look at the existing, we could say that contemporary landscape is invariably artificial, even when there is no sign of human intervention. This means that everything we see around us could have been different. The quality of a place depends on how it interacts with the land. This interaction between the land and the city is always constructed, it is never a chance occurrence, and subsequently determines the way in which a city is perceived and lived. But contemporary environment have lost this interaction, leading to inhospital condition for wildlife, especially for sensitive species. Even open-air spaces which are usually conceived as natural reservoirs, suffer this condition. In that sense we found some critical issues in areas among the waterways and agricoltural fields of Parco Agricolo Sud. Surprisingly, those places show a lack of biodiversity and do not offer any ways for improving this condition. This land was turned into an area of productivity. So we wrestled with the question: is it too late for shaping new spatialities and attractive backgrounds for non-humans? The aim of the project was, in that sense, finding the key for a new relation between human activities and animal needs, demonstrating how they can coexist and help each other. Before this, we procedeed with the mapping of all the elements that constitute the land we were dealing with, such as trees, canals, highways, railways, vacant spaces.. It is all about revealing the existing. After this reading, layering and re-designing, a territorial anchorage becomes possible and tangible. After all it’s just a cultural achievement. In his work “Court traité du paysage”, Alain Roger defines this process as “artialisation”. “Nature is indeterminate and only receives its various determinations through art. The land is, in some way, the zero degrees of the landscape and is what precedes its artialisation”. The hidden structure of Parco Agricolo Sud is a capillary hydrography of canals that are now strictly used and exploited for agricultural needs. That network is coherently linked to many vacant spaces, to non-agricultural fields and to open-spaces of the suburbs. Those spaces could be intended as Gilles Clemènt did in his “Manifeste du Tiers-paysage”, such as shelters for diversity, consisting of the sum of residues derived from abandon- ment. According to a potential sce- nario all those places could become the background of biodiversity inside an artificial landscape. In order to do that, it is necessary to strengthen the elements of the territory which constitute the landscape: canals and row of trees. By widening sections and slopes, new natural buffer-zones trasform artificial canals in “nests” in which non-human species could live and move freely. Thanks to political and economical policies, producing landscape and sustainable agricolture is paradoxically more convenient than conventional agricultural profit. The continuity between those areas is achieved through soil movements, avoiding ecological fragmentation and combining the rural and urban areas. The richness of those in-between places is so explained by Gilles Clemènt: “[…] If you stop to look at the landscape as the object of human activity, it turns out immediately a lot of undeci- ded spaces, without function, on which it is difficult to put a name. This set does not belong neither to the land of shadow nor to the one of light. It is located on the edge. Where the woods fray, along roads and rivers, in the recesses forgotten by the crops, where the cars do not pass. It covers modestly sized surfaces, dispersed, like the lost places of a field […]”.

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