Existential risks of an excluded community: Le mani sulle città by Franco Rosi

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L’articolo analizza la questione dell’abusivismo edilizio, esploso negli anni ’60, attraverso la riflessione su un famoso film di Franco Rosi, Le mani sulla città, che ha trattato le contraddizioni e i fallimenti della disciplina urbanistica se corrotta da interessi privati. The essay focuses on the film Le mani sulla città (Hands on the city, 1963) by Francesco Rosi. The film, set in Naples, explores some significant aspects of the Italian "Reconstruction" after the end of the Second World War and offers interesting insights. That period was characterized by a number of active, social and economic, recovery policies which produced job and development opportunities and triggered the development of the real estate market and urban speculation. Reconstruction meant consumption of resources (urban land and landscape), creation of new neighborhoods with proposed housing models unrelated to the population who moved to some new peripheral suburbs. This generated a social and physical structure of opposite features to what we call "sustainable". Specifically, the article relates to Naples, one of the Italian cities where the INA-Casa projects were realized. The construction of public housing, financed by the State was a chance for corrupted administration and politicians for profit. Characters such as Achille Lauro and the Gava family, facilitated and supported the urban speculation, created by entrepreneurs and property developers. Rosi's film recounts this cross-section that impressed a never healing "wound" to the city, the territory and the landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-458
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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