13 Luglio 2023
What's left? A strategy for the inner areas

BLENDED INTENSIVE PROGRAMME (BIP) 2023 What's left? A strategy for the inner areas


The line of research concerns the internal areas of the Abruzzo region, subject to a process of depopulation and abandonment. A phenomenon that affects almost all the Apennine areas of Italy and, to a lesser extent, the Alps. The same phenomenon also affects many rural regions of Portugal and Spain and for this reason the program aims to encourage the exchange of ideas, policies and best practices in the different Mediterranean countries.
On the Italian side the project will be based on the Italy’s National Strategy for “Inner Areas” (SNAI), which is an innovative policy for development and territorial cohesion to counteract marginalisation and demographic decline within “Inner Areas” throughout the Country. SNAI relies on an ambitious place-based policy based on new multilevel local governance through integrated local promotion and development, addressing demographic challenges and responding to the needs of territories penalised by significant geographical and/or demographic handicaps. “Inner Areas” are considered fragile territories, far away from main centres of supply of essential services and too often abandoned to themselves. They stretch over 60% of the national surface, and host 52% of Italian municipalities and 22% of its population. This “truest” and most authentic Italian areas primarily need to enable their inhabitants to still reside or return there.
The National Strategy aims to promote and protect “Inner Areas” assets and local communities, enhancing their natural and cultural resources, creating new employment circuits and new opportunities – in short, counteracting the massive demographic exodus. The National Strategy addresses 72 “Inner Areas” – overall, 1,077 municipalities and about 2,072,718 inhabitants.

The program has two main slots: the first consists of 4 online meetings of 3 hours each; the second of a 6-day workshop (plus two days of travel) to be held at the Pescara school of architecture. During the workshop, 1 day of study visit is planned in Fara San Martino, a small town in the Apennines which will constitute the case study for the experimental application. The design activity in the town will be patronized by the Maiella National Park, which will host the final day of presentation of the summer school works.

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