Annalisa Metta (Roma Tre University);
Davide Onorati (Independent scholar)

Modern Ruralscape and Contemporary Ideology.
The Case of the Pontine Plain

The Pontine Plain exemplifies the controversial shift from the Modernism attempt to radically reshape the landscape and the likewise radical coming back to bare nature of recent decades. The wildest European landscape extended very close to Rome for many centuries, until the Fascist Swamps Battle invented the Agro Pontino. Recently, marshes spots have been recreated as plant-based sewage-treatment facilities, mimicking natural plots into the Thirties’ grid. So, while the Fascist remediation deleted the swamp ecological thickness, lately no less doctrinal positions plead the atonement of its ecocide.

Today the Plain is a huge farming area, undergoing changing: wetlands sometimes emerge through the grid of roads and Eucalyptus-lines, side by side the farm fields, dotted with industrial plants and weekend-homes’ resort, while local people use canals and floodable areas for leisure time, suggesting unpredictable new rural/urban/wild public spaces. How can we deal with this dynamic landscape and combine rural fruitfulness, historical heritage, ecological culture and new ways of living? We propose a general strategy, inspired by the Italian ancient agricultural practice named marcite, and introduce productive wetlands, combining: the bold Thirties’ layout with wetlands wig-wag; the farm production with new social behaviors; the historical identity with ecological process. The aim is overcoming the cliché of dualistic opposition (water/land, marshes/farming, settlements/wilderness) in favor of coexistence, overlapping, simultaneity, negotiation.

Full-text available here: DOI: 10.1051/SHSCONF/20196312002