Du 20 au 23 juin a eu lieu le colloque international « Productives mountains. Landscapes, actors, flows, perspectives. », organisé par Rete Montagna et IUAV à Venise et en Val Comelico, Dolomites.
Caterina Franco a présenté son travail intitulé « Between product and resource : the transformation of landscape in the history of ski resorts in the French-Italian Alps »
The proposed contribution deals with the production of a landscape by the development of tourist activity in the highlands of the French-Italian Alps. We refer to landscape as to a synergy between the natural features of a site and the work of man on it (Turri, 2001) and we focus the attention on the evolution of this relationship after the implantation ex-nihlo of cities for leisure and sports occurred after the Second World War.
The trajectory of this evolution is characterized by an initial massive exploitation of the environmental elements of the site like snow or pastures; a breaking point after the oil crisis in 1973 and some winters without snow, that demonstrated how the availability of those natural elements was not unlimited; finally, evidences of strategies adopted to face external changes, like huge modification of sites for production of artificial snow or, in some cases, the enhancement of alternative natural features to enlarge the tourist offer.
The main objective of the research is to provide a new knowledge of the historical process of design and construction of alpine ski resorts, shifting from the analysis of autonomous and decontextualized objects, towards the enquire on the transformations that occurred to the natural environment, (using water, soil and vegetation as indicators) and to the built environment (considering the changings in the system of infrastructure).
Basing on the idea that the comprehension of the historical process helps in understanding the response that these sites are giving towards the actual critical issues, the research also wants to provide tools for the actors engaged in the reflection on the future of ski resorts. Understanding the relationship between the tourist activity and the elements of the natural landscape could open the way to a reflection of them as territorial resources (Gumuchian, Pecqueur, 2007).
The contribution proposes a case study analysis of La Plagne, in Savoy (France) and San Sicario in Piemonte (Italy). Trough documents collected in the archives of architects or in municipal archives, we analyse the projects to understand the evolution of ideas; through historical maps or orthoimages we study the effective transformation of the territory. Drawing and cartography are the principal tools used to retrace the changing of the landscape, together with the production of systemic timelines to understand the network of actors and urban tools that contributed to the modification of land.
Landscape is a crucial aspect in the reflection on the future of the high-altitude ski resorts. Indeed, on one side, landscape features could play an important role in the process of diversification of the tourist offer, on the other hand, natural resources will increasingly be considered in the elaboration of post-carbon scenarios.
The research also seems to suggest that both the history and the strategies that could be implemented are “site specific”: rather than proposing general models, a deep understanding of each context could help in revealing its potentialities and vulnerabilities.
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