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La Val de Sambre et ses friches. Un’indagine progettuale su un territtorio produttivo europeo

This thesis investigates the relationship between territory and spaces of production in Val de Sambre, a region of Belgium which has been dramatically shaped by heavy industrialization since the Second Industrial Revolution, and it is facing a progressive abandon of its industrial spaces since the 1970s. The thesis aims at critically understanding the role of those abandoned spaces – the so-called Friches industrielles – both as byproducts of old modes of production and as opportunities for being part of new territorial design scenarios.
The thesis is divided into three parts. The first part deepens the historical and geographical role of Val de Sambre in the productive territory of the Wallonie region (Belgium). It does so by presenting a written piece that reconstructs the industrial history of the valley and a number of maps that provide a framework for reading the territory according to four themes (Urbanization, Infrastructures, Naturality and Production).
The second part focuses on the Friches industrielles present in Val de Sambre. It shows information about the role, the dimensions and the history of those spaces, as well as a brief overview of critical positions – most notably, Alan Berger, Solà-Morales, and Gilles Clément – about the “Friche as a problem” in the architectural and urban studies debate.
In the third and final part, three territorial scenarios for the transformation of the region will be presented. The first one proposes the pursuing of a different and innovative type of production in the former industrial spaces; the second one focuses on the role of the friches as natural spaces integrated in a new park, at the territorial scale; lastly, the third one proposes a radical subtraction of those parts from the whole of the territory, following Clément’s Third landscape theory.

Giulio Gonella, Tesi di Laurea Magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città Architettura per il Restauro e la Valorizzazione del Patrimonio, Politecnico di Torino, A.A. 2017/2018. Relatore: Cristina Bianchetti Politecnico di Torino

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