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Environmental Shortcomings And Opportunities For Periurban Areas Of Developed Mediterranean Countries As Warnings And Hints For Sustainability In Developing Ones

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  022278,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10447) @2002
Authors:   Giuliana Trisorio-Liuzzi, Nicola Martinelli, Paola Mairota, Rinaldo Grittani
Keywords:   buffer zones, catchment, ephemeral stream, landscape, landscape ecology, riparian vegetation, system of urban open spaces, urban agriculture, urban planning

Two major peri-urban and sub-urban types of sprawl from compact urban areas can be recognised in both developed and less developed countries: the diffuse city and the urbanised countryside. In Mediterranean countries, as in many others, this process is particularly severe and occurs at the expense of proper rural spaces, ultimately leading both to the consumption of agricultural soil and to the loss of landscape elements associated to key ecological functions.

This work tackles the issue within the complex conceptual framework of the integration of large scale and urban planning, crucial for the formulation of environmental management strategies that may consider resources form the viewpoints of human safety, sustainability of development, quality and conservation of sub and semi-natural ecosystems. As far as land use planning at the urban scale is concerned, the work focuses on the definition of rules according to which the planning of a system of open/green spaces can be achieved, that would be able to preserve and give new value to peri-urban agricultural lands and ecologically significant landscape elements.

A case study, the metropolitan area of Bari (southern Italy), is analysed as representative of typical Mediterranean conditions where uncompromising changes in land use are endangering both the characters and function of important landscape features, such as riparian zones, agricultural and coastal areas. The area, characterised by a network of ephemeral water courses, interwoven with agricultural fields linking coastal to interior landscapes and constituting a kind of weft, is thus considered as the foundation for protection proposals. Such proposals are based upon considerations that are relevant to both the physical-environmental context and the way of conceiving landscape change. The latter often envisages neglected issues related to citizens needs, the preservation of tangible historical heritage and equity principles.

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