According to the European Convention approach, Tuscany Region has started through the Regional Plan (Piano di indirizzo territoriale, PIT, 2007), a challenging governance process that entails responsibilities shared among different administrative levels (region, districts and municipalities) on a crucial issue concerning landscape planning. Since our legal system traditionally refers to an understanding of landscape deriving from the Nineteenth century notion of “beauty”, being charged to the State, the Tuscany Region and the Office for the Cultural Activities have decided to undertake a common planning process. The specific aim is to support decisional processes by increasing the relevance of landscape and environmental issues inside local policies at different scales. This approach is supposed to promote an appropriate fieldwork for subsidizing “top-down” strategies, referring to the 38 different “landscapes” identified by the PIT (a sort of recognisable landscape areas), providing guidelines and setting patterns on a broad scale, with “bottom-up” planning activities, regarding local requirements. This approach marks a fundamental step towards the acknowledgement of “everyday” landscapes, meant both in material and symbolic terms (the “identity”). This paper takes into account the implementation of “landscape quality objectives” set up in the Arno river Plain between Florence and Pistoia (Florence Plain), that can be definitely considered as a case of urbanized country. Despite its relevant environmental and historical resources, this area, still rural until few decades ago, went through a deep urbanization process that changed completely its original structure, without any consideration for previous uses and for environmental and hydrogeological risks. Today the Plain is an urbanized area that mixes up scattered suburbs, shopping centers, industrial estates, metropolitan facilities and services, with crops, lawns, fruit and vegetable gardens, that witness for a still profitable agriculture. The recent "Park of the Plain" agreement, subscribed by the Region, two districts (Firenze and Prato), and four municipalities (Firenze, Prato, Sesto Fiorentino, Campi Bisenzio), regards landscape not only as a sort of “frame” for any transformation, but also as a “development device” regulating sustainability, equity and efficiency requirements in the area . From this point of view, the Park is an opportunity to preserve some 3000 hectares from urbanization and to improve the quality of life with development strategies defined by common landscape quality objectives. A set of policies especially launched for local community rehabilitation and regeneration projects focussing on the design of open spaces, has to cope with sustainable agriculture paths supported by the food demand by local market (“Zero Mile Model”). Furthermore, farmers and landowners can directly provide a large set of consumer goods and facilities, including welfare facilities for resident population and tourists. Some major issues have been investigated, such as: • subsidiarity and transparency in the decision making process; • the relationship between “expert” and “common” knowledge in evaluating resources and values, that entails a common awareness among public authorities, communities and practitioners about collective responsibilities about strategies and actions to take; • the crucial dilemma between “project” and “process”, as Kevin Lynch argued about 40 years ago. In other terms, this planning approach built up on PIT’s strategy requires flexibility, even when managing issues referring to a regulatory tradition, such as zoning, or urban real estate practices.
Palazzo, A.L., Giecillo, L. (2010). ASSESSING CULTURAL LANDSCAPE IN THE PLAIN OF FLORENCE: A METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK. In THE EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE CONVENTION IN RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE (pp.343-354). FIRENZE : Bandelli e Vivaldi.