Il laboratorio italiano e Agronica: Oltre la dialettica città-campagna

Translated title of the contribution: The Italian laboratory and Agronica: Beyond the city-countryside dialectic

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The city-countryside dialectic is deeply rooted in our culture and has been essential to shape our territorial understanding throughout history. Yet, today's environmental crisis demands an expanded and nuanced understanding of how we inhabit the world that could clearly benefit from going beyond said categorization, which has often lead to schematic or naïve views of the built environment. This contribution to the catalogue of the Italian Pavilion in the Venice Architecture Biennale looks at Italy as a territorial and economic laboratory where said dialectic has been, to some extent, overcome.
Due to an intense anthropization process that goes back to classical antiquity, a significant part of Italian territory has undergone an intense process of hybridization between urban and rural. During the second half of the 20th century, said process was further enhanced by post-Fordist phenomena such us the 'flexible specialization' and 'productive decentralization’ of which, according to economic historians, Italy was an early and paradigmatic example. The unique traits of Italian territory have also led Italian scholars to put forward new concepts such as ‘city territory’, ‘city region’, ‘urban diffusion’, ‘urbanised countryside’ or ‘diffuse city’.
The contribution also analyses Andrea Branzi's ‘Symbiotic Metropolis Agronica’ (1995) as a theoretical expression of this territorial understanding. This theoretical model blurs the limits between city and countryside and incorporates natural logics into the design of the built environment. As a whole, this set of Italian historical, geographical, and economic phenomena, together with theoretical concepts and proposals, offers a richer and more nuanced territorial understanding that could open the door to the design of more sustainable and resilient habitats.
Translated title of the contributionThe Italian laboratory and Agronica: Beyond the city-countryside dialectic
Original languageMultiple languages
Title of host publicationRicerca, Resilienza e Utopia
Subtitle of host publicationApprofondimento al Catalogo del Padiglione Italia “Comunità Resilienti” alla Biennale Architettura 2021
EditorsAlessandro Melis
Place of PublicationRome
PublisherD Editore
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9788894830828
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventVenice Architecture Biennale 2021, Padiglione Italia: Resilient Communities - Arsenale, Venice, Italy
Duration: 25 May 202121 Nov 2021


ExhibitionVenice Architecture Biennale 2021, Padiglione Italia: Resilient Communities
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