sabato 27 giugno 2009

Reinventing Development Paradigms in the Sibari Region

Workshop Eco-Polis | Book finale

On June 19th, 2009, the second edition of the University of Ferrara EcoPolis International Master Program completed its first planning/policy project, working on-site in Calabria, in southern Italy. The research group of 25 students and six instructors spent the first part of the three week workshop visiting the hilltop historical centers, lowland modern districts (scali) and beachfront seasonal vacation communities of the Sibari coastal region. Based out of the picturesque Byzantine city of Rossano, the group participated in seminars and stakeholder meetings with local politicians, business owners, citizens and activists. After the initial week of fieldwork, the team relocated to the regional capital of Cosenza for two weeks of intense analysis, synthesis and policy formulation, preparing the final project report and presentation. In Cosenza, the team worked closely with the University of Calabria in the Department of Regional Planning (DiPiTer), a key EcoPolis institutional partner. Benefitting from the facilities and expertise of DiPiTer, the group formulated a analysis and synthesis of the regional planning issues based on the identification of five critical concepts (or key words):

  • Multi-form
  • Fragmentation
  • Marginality
  • Suspension/Anticipation
  • Identity

While the region has already been the subject of numerous policy studies and strategic plans, in practice it has been plagued by decades of economic stagnation as well as a sense of political and social isolation. Without rewriting or refuting the existing planning strategies, the EcoPolis team proposed a series of strategic pilot projects to support innovative policies for revitalizing the regional economy, restoring local pride, and realizing the potential of a region that abounds with a wealth of historical, architectural, landscape and cultural resources. The final report was presented on June 19th as part of a regional planning seminar in Rossano, attended by a mix of international consultants and researchers, as well as local politicians, key project participants and stakeholders.


Gregory Delaune