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Inner areas and ecosystem services

1) The Ecosystem Services framework

The Ecosystem Services concept was formulated at the end of the 70s’ with the aim of promoting biodiversity conservation policies. At the operational level, the concept has been translated in economic terms by assigning a (mainly monetary) value to the ecological functions instrumental to human needs, such as supporting (e.g. nutrient cycling, soil formation, etc.), regulating (e.g. water purification, climate regulation, etc.), provisioning (e.g. food, raw materials, etc.) and cultural (e.g. landscape aesthetics, outdoor recreation and eco-tourism, environmental education, etc.). This introductory session explores the theoretical and practical evolution of the concept, presenting advantages and shortcomings emerged during its application.

With Fulvia Calcagni, environmental engineer and PhD candidate in environmental science and technology at the Autònoma University of Barcelona. Currently interested in analysing the potential and impact of digital technologies on socio-ecological interactions.

2) The agricultural landscape in the inner areas

Does the framework of the agricultural landscape still help us to question the long and plural history of material construction and modernization of the Italian territory? Is this “classic” analytical category still sufficient to describe and represent the new contemporary logics of organization and reproduction of rural space? The session questions the limits and perspectives of this concept applied to the particular context of inner areas.

With Luca Filippi, architect and PhD student in urban planning at the IUAV University of Venice, he carries out research and professional activity in the field of agricultural landscape and rural development.

3) Introduction to Participatory Mapping

Since ancient times humans have tried to represent space: to orient themselves, to understand the territory, to control it, to govern it, but often with many debates. Usually maps are oriented by the judgment and subjectivity of those who build them, and for that they are used as a propaganda tool with an impartial and simplified reading of reality. To look at spatial representation from new points of view and open up new perspectives, we believe that maps can be rethought today: no longer as a technical tool suitable for an audience of experts, politicians and planners, but as a common language that arises from the observation and listening of a territory and its inhabitants. We believe that the map, as abstract image, can be a spatialization of ideas, the expression of the community. Not hegemonic maps but rather a language able to give voice to all individuals and to convey a message.
In this session we will discover the participatory mapping, the counter-mapping and some tools, both analogical and digital, through experiences of geosocial activism.

With Comuni-dados, an open project that proposes community actions, by placing marginal communities on the map through processes of participation and providing technological support

4) Mapping ecosystem services: from theory to action

The shift from theory to practice will take place by mapping the perceptions of the territory and its ecosystem services between Ripe San Ginesio and Colmurano. Before the walk-event along the Vallenzuolo Ring, we will reflect on the questions, inputs, and perceptions of our interaction with the place through a shared dialogue. We will build a questionnaire to keep track of our perceptions during the walk, deconstructing the traditional methods of survey and data collection, which look at “the interviewee” as a provider of information. Using both digital and analogical tools, objects from our daily lives, which will allow us to spatialize our perceptions of the territory, we will map our feelings connected to the environment.

With Comuni-dados

5) New ecological landscapes: Ecosystem services, cultural processes and planning

How can an ecosystem services approach inform the way we plan our surrounding territories? The ecosystem crisis in the Anthropocene era and the environmental and economic effects on urban and rural territories call for a radical switch in the management of the Natural Capital. By making explicit the value of natural resources on which our collective well-being depends and by activating participatory processes, a new planning practice emerges, able to bring back landscape and its resources into territorial development. We will talk about new prospects to rethink local and regional planning and the role of rural and inner areas as resources providers for the whole territory.

With Caterina Selva, architect, currently active in landscape planning and participatory design. She has a deep interest in ecological landscape planning and in border and conflicted landscapes.

6) Presentation of the maps at Borgofuturo festival

What will be the results of the shared experience of mapping ecosystem services? Can the map represent a message for citizens and policy makers? Can we think of mapping as a language that can broaden the debate on ecosystem services and internal areas? We will retrace the process that led to the construction of the maps, we will discuss together about their collective message. Maps as a language not only for those who contributed to their construction, but a common language able to offer food for thought, to open new perspectives for the community.

With Comuni-dados, Fulvia Calcagni, Caterina Selva.