The medium-upper Val Cervo, in the province of Biella, in northern Piedmont (Italy), like many other pre-alpine and alpine valleys in the region, has experienced radical depopulation in recent decades. The decline of industrial activities has caused a strong depopulation, in a previously economically very active area. This part of the valley is composed of about forty small urbanized nuclei, characterized by solid constructions, thanks to the use of resistant materials and a consolidated building capacity of the local workers. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the valley has seen patrons and open-minded entrepreneurs operating here, who have set up a program of enhancement and also protection of environmental resources and implementation of infrastructure. Despite the abandonment, the good quality of buildings and the permanence and maintenance of an extensive infrastructure network allows the survival in good conditions of the built heritage and the context. This is possible not so much because the area has not been touched by mass tourism, but above all because a different way of using resources has been set up for decades. The prospects for a revival of the valley pass through the lesson of the past: the echoes of Ermenegildo Zegna’s “green thought” and Adriano Olivetti’s “gentle capitalism” seem to have firmly established themselves in this area and made it resilient, and they still seem fundamental in perspective a revival not only economic in a slow and conscious tourism, but also in a deeper anthropological perspective.

Permanence in absence. Preservation of historic and environmental heritage of Val Cervo (Piedmont, Italy)

pertot
2022

Abstract

The medium-upper Val Cervo, in the province of Biella, in northern Piedmont (Italy), like many other pre-alpine and alpine valleys in the region, has experienced radical depopulation in recent decades. The decline of industrial activities has caused a strong depopulation, in a previously economically very active area. This part of the valley is composed of about forty small urbanized nuclei, characterized by solid constructions, thanks to the use of resistant materials and a consolidated building capacity of the local workers. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the valley has seen patrons and open-minded entrepreneurs operating here, who have set up a program of enhancement and also protection of environmental resources and implementation of infrastructure. Despite the abandonment, the good quality of buildings and the permanence and maintenance of an extensive infrastructure network allows the survival in good conditions of the built heritage and the context. This is possible not so much because the area has not been touched by mass tourism, but above all because a different way of using resources has been set up for decades. The prospects for a revival of the valley pass through the lesson of the past: the echoes of Ermenegildo Zegna’s “green thought” and Adriano Olivetti’s “gentle capitalism” seem to have firmly established themselves in this area and made it resilient, and they still seem fundamental in perspective a revival not only economic in a slow and conscious tourism, but also in a deeper anthropological perspective.
Villages et quartiers à risque d’abandon: stratégies pour la connaissance, la valorisation et la restauration
978-88-5518-535-6
Abandoned villages, Depopulation, Mass tourism, Conservation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1205088
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