- A ''Valley'' Looking for new Strategies - South Eastern Sicily facing new competitive Challenges   click here to open paper content255 kb
by    Martinico, Francesco | fmartinico@dau.unict.it   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper, starting from a review of existing literature, will present a specific case study: the South eastern part of Sicily.
In particular it will be focused on the following issues
– The definition of a comprehensive scientific framework aimed at enlightening methods, approaches and adequate tools to cope with the management of similar cases, especially in the Mediterranean area.
– An oriented description of the analysed domain, aimed at pointing out the strategic factors that can represent the starting point for defining a competitive strategy for the investigated area.
The south- eastern part of Sicily presents a large variety of physical environments and human settlements in a domain rich in history and nature. In 19th century this part of the region was called Val di Noto one of the three administrative subdivisions that existed before Italian National Unity of 1865 since the Spanish domination. Nowadays Val di Noto pertinent territory covers three different provinces (Catania. Siracusa and Ragusa). This system is marked by an increasing density of flows of people, goods and information. The area is assuming the features of a loosely coupled small size urban region that concentrates about 1.7 million inhabitants, 35% of the total population of the Island in about 28% of its total surface.
Its rich endowment of natural and cultural heritage has been recently confirmed by Unesco that inscribed, in year 2002, Eight Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto in the Word Heritage List, as an outstanding testimony to the exuberant genius of late Baroque art and architecture.
Historically, Val di Noto has been characterised by the presence of differentiated domains from a historical geographical, economical and demographical point of view.
– The settlement system main features include: the presence of a central urban core, the Catania Metropolitan Area, a system of medium sized cities, large old-style industrial estates, the agricultural-food district of Ragusa. The connective fabric of this system is represented not only by the archaeological and environmental heritage already listed but also by a spread minor gathering of natural and cultural values.

In this setting, after the end of the traditional policies started in 1950’s for supporting economic development, new territorial policies are emerging. A brief survey of the latter aimed at pinpointing elements of overall coherence will be conducted in order to understand if they are moving toward an integrated scenario.

In conclusion the paper will sketch the main elements that can be helpful for defining a strategy based on the following elements.
• The polycentric pattern in this area maintains a certain level of vitality represents one of the main strength of the area but it contains also the risk of favouring land consumption
• The increasing role of tourism, due to ageing population and the need of territorial quality demanded by the increased affluence of the society opens up new opportunities for peripheral regions but has to be carefully managed in order to avoid its disruptive effects on fragile settlements.
This development perspectives opens up interesting opportunities for devising new strategies that will include creative approaches.

Main References
Calthorpe P., Fulton W. (2001) The regional City Planning for the end of sprawl, Island Press Washington.
Hall, Peter, (1998), Cities in Civilization, Random House, New York.
Hall, Peter, (2002) Planning: millennial retrospect and prospect, in “Progress in Planning”, n. 57.
Healey, Patsy, Khakee, Abdul, Motte, Alain, Needham, Barrien(Eds.), (1997), Making Strategic Spatial Plans: Innovation in Europe. University College London Press: London.
Neumann Michael (2000), Regional design: Recovering a great landscape architecture and urban planning tradition, in “Landscape and Urban Planning” 47.
Turri Eugenio (2002) La megalopoli padana, Marsilio, Padova.
Urbani Leonardo (2003), Habitat, Sellerio, Palermo.
regional planning, environmontal and cultural heritage, tourism and sustainable development, strategic planning
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