Pietro Porcinai

Urban planning as a social problem in connection with the organization of industrial areas.

In a concrete sense, the “green” in urban planning certainly cannot be limited to what often happens to see in plans and projects, that is the mere indication, not on the ground, but on the plans, of that color in correspondence with the areas destined to be planted with trees, generic bushes, or lawns. Instead, it must be much more.

First of all it is good to remember that planting without precise views, or even calling, after the works have been carried out, a gardener who tucks plants into the earth, the action in favor of the “green” would be very similar to that of certain engineers of the past who made the building and called the architect to make the facade.

Well, when it comes to greenery, today, with us in Italy (but not only in Italy) we are unfortunately right in the case of the façade conceived and designed afterwards, given that green areas are frequently left to abandonment or are made to plant with talent by the first any self-styled gardener worker who happens to be at hand.

And by doing so, not only green areas come to be what they are that is often a miserable or trivial thing, but, which also counts, they cost enormously more, both as a system and as maintenance. ione: it frequently follows that – as economies are always made on the last things – nothing or little, in the end, is concretely beneficial to green areas.

This is not only painful, but also absurd, because, on the other hand, if it became habitual to operate appropriately already in the design phase, already at the beginning of the earth movements (first job in any construction), it would be easy to create green areas by taking advantage of the only economies obtained by operating in a logical and rational sense.

To achieve this, architects, engineers and surveyors, all builders, must educate themselves appropriately. Today, the era of green areas, we do not have even a course of study in Italy that these builders can glimpse how the aforementioned plant and maintenance savings can be achieved.

Among the fundamental concepts, it does not appear to be known that the green area cannot and must not be a piece of garden to be moved over a given area. Much less, then, when it came to arranging an industrial plant with greenery. What is needed instead is to create a set of plants which, due to the appropriate choice and the desired placement, has the aptitude to form a complex in which the individuals keep each other at bay, without, therefore, the need for the continuous intervention of the gardener.

Neglecting the aforementioned fundamental criteria, the green areas cost much more than they should and, therefore, will always be opposed by those who have to open the bag. It is therefore necessary to understand and make it clear that by operating properly, the green areas are susceptible to very strong plant and maintenance economy, abundantly repaid by the many other benefits that are obtained, especially in the field of industry.

Another basic criterion is that of the choice of land.

Determined the area in which, with respect to raw materials, hand of works, energy and markets, it is considered convenient to build an industrial plant, you must first worry about choosing, for the final location, land of minimum agricultural profitability.

To justify this criterion, it is sufficient to reflect that, in a country like ours, super populated and poor not only in essential raw materials but also in good land, it is guilty to destroy plots of land capable of being a source of life, that is, those with of the marvelous force that transforms a seed into a product o.

It therefore appears essential and wise, before placing an establishment, to consult an agrogeological map. It is also true, often, that the paper is not there, because government bodies do not always deal with providing for things that some bureaucracy considers detailed. But, even in this case, it can be supplied with local information sources. Please note that consulting the cadastral income data is not enough; often, low-income land can be put in value with appropriate work.

The industrial area must always be destined, if possible, unprofitable land under the ‘agrarian aspect.

But that’s not enough, there is still a criterion to be taken as a guide in the choice of areas of complexes intended for industry, and that is that the plant, once built, does not damage or disfigure the natural environment, as occurs, not infrequently, due to a bad integration into the landscape, or due to fumes, noise, waste disposal, etc.

Too much havoc has been done so far in this regard, and in a country that has the beauties of ours it is not possible to continue the destruction of the landscape indefinitely: in these destructions , guilty because moreover not at all necessary and instead easily avoidable, the industry, together with the military and civil engineering, has its fair share of guilt.

The insertion of the industrial complex into the landscape essentially depends on the sensitivity of the designers. An ugly factory is, even technically, always wrong; while a well-integrated whole in the landscape is a notable advertising motif for the sale of products, and is a source of pleasure for those who work, which, for those who intend, is something of the utmost importance.

Studies, publications and experiments are multiplying on the efficiency of rationalized work, and it is agreed that it is not enough to create industries well equipped with modern machinery, tools and furnishings, if, together, one does not pay attention to adaptation to ‘man of the workplace.

Creating the most suitable environment for human work is nowadays considered by specialists and far-sighted industrialists to be the essential antidote to effort, monotony, depersonalization coming from modern technical processing systems.

The worker in the factory is not as happy as the craftsman, especially because he has no plus the possibility of using creative talent: in the stabi modern industrial food, well ordered, well gifted, well organized, man tends to become little more than a tool and this has serious consequences on the possibilities of performance and, indirectly, on the moods that affect the entire community socially. / p>

The green areas and the garden of the establishment create an environment that in the best way contrasts with the mechanics, because it brings the human soul back into contact with nature. Resolving the issue of “green” in a factory means to beneficially influence all those who work: from the president of the industrial complex to the last unskilled worker and the most modest employee. The influence of a well-organized environment with a population of trees and plants is incalculable and can not only change the fate of a bad day, but also be a favorable stimulus for an entire existence In silence the details, it can be said that where courageous attempts to conduct the garden and greenery in industry have been made, the premise has been created for a greater performance of the human factor and for a more peaceful coexistence of relationships. p>

Green areas and the garden of the establishment must be, of course, preliminarily studied in relation to the characteristics of the place, space, processing.

Whenever possible, the workers of the factory will dedicate themselves to the maintenance of the garden and the green. If the complex includes workers’ houses, a house should not be built that does not have its own small piece of land where the worker can do something at his own talent, as reactive to the necessary discipline and coordination of the workshop: this will be the best way to preserve all the worker has his creative faculty, to the benefit of the usual work.

In the area of ​​the worker town, do not give up the common ground to be allocated to the games of lads. On this ground, indeed, elementary means are made available, stones, bricks, poles and the like, with which to the imagination of children and young people it is possible to “build” something; Abroad, in Scandinavia in particular, there are highly significant examples of what can be achieved in terms of self-education in the work of the children of workers. Free to “create” what is most talented to them, accustomed to solving the contingent problems that arise in such games, these guys will then remember the difficulties they have overcome and will be able to get out of the way of tomorrow’s work, when once they will become workers in the industry.

Repairing the damage and harassment that can derive from factory fumes and noise is easy to solve with technical measures; for noises in particular, one should not forget, among other things, the absorbing and breaking power of suitably arranged plantations.

The more complex is the question of disposal of factory waste, but this too must be programmatically resolved at the beginning so as not to damage the environment and the surrounding land and water. The solutions are neither difficult nor expensive; it is enough to entrust the realization to those who have practice and experience on the subject, and in Italy there are those who know a lot about it.

A topic, finally, that is added with its weight to the others mentioned to advise the creation of green areas in the context of industrial buildings and obtain the complete acclimatization of them in the surrounding landscape, is the mimetic one. Without dwelling on it, just remember that in Congressinternational city of Madrid, urban planners and landscape architects from all the main countries of the world agreed to vote on an address to the Governments in order to promote the creation, around each industrial complex, of a tree-lined enclosure, the thicker the greater the area occupied by buildings and dependencies .

In a world without peace, this is a very wise measure that no industrialist and no industrial construction designer should lightly ignore; all the more so as a protection of green that responds to the purposes is not something that can be improvised in a despicable tomorrow in which a dangerous necessity looms.

Summarizing and concluding what has been stated , it can therefore be said that, as regards industry and industrial urban planning in particular, the problem of “green” is first and foremost a problem of correct understanding and economics.

Designing an industry keeping in mind the green element can allow, from the very first earth movements, to economize considerably; the landscape is avoided and a protective masking measure is implemented; finally, the foundations are laid for creating a work environment suitable for the human factor, enabling the worker to produce more and be happier, preserving longer the psychic energy which benefits material work, and the formation of habits and cohabitations useful for peaceful social relations in the community is also promoted.

So that the new industrial constructions and the transformations of the existing ones are started on a so that the importance of green areas is understood at the right value, we must hope for an educational action that is convincing and formative for architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors and clients. In the meantime, we could start with the latter.

The State, as far as it is concerned, and as emanator of laws on the protection of the landscape, should provide in a simple and clear way so that from now on an industrial plant is always built with the same harmony that results from working in the fields, and set in a beautiful and harmonious landscape.

Yes think, for example, of the sweet Tuscan countryside, where human labor in agricultural works is an admirable continuation of the millennial work of nature.

And, above all, do not miss the will, intended to do something practically and morally useful to the private economy and to the economy of the entire nation.

Essay by Pietro Porcinai presented at the congress of National Institute of Urban Planning of 1951

Courtesy of Anna Porcinai, Pietro Porc Archive inai – Via Bandini, 15, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI)

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