Palermo, metropolitan mainstreams with a twist

Francesca Lotta, Maria Laura Scaduto, Simona Rubino, Simone Tulumello

Risultato della ricerca: Other contribution

Abstract

Palermo, administrative capital of Sicily, with its metropolitan region, hosts around one million people. A city with long history which has been, for long periods, one of the richest cities in Europe. At the end of the first millennium, during the Arab domination, Palermo was described as the most beautiful and happy city in the world. An history of multifaceted dominations the one following the other.In XXth century, the worst days had come. After the the world wars, Palermo was one of the cities in Italy which couldn’t - or wouldn’t - step out of post-war era. The city grew, but who decided how wasn’t the public interest: from the country the Mafiosi had come, willing to take their place in the city. And it was them, with the complicity of the leading political class, to draw the city to come.Remember Vito Ciancimino, member of Democrazia Cristiana, major in the seventies, the one who signed - in just one night - for the demolition of numbers of liberty villas, to be substituted by condominiums. Another paradigmatic story regards the airport, built during the 50s. The technicians had suggested to build it on the east of the metropolitan area, but mysterious powers moved it to the other side, shifting the growth of the city to lands bought at low prices by the Mafia. Who paid the bill? In 1972, when technological aids for flight were not developed, the Alitalia 112 flight collided with Montagna Longa, a mountain near the airport. 115 victims of the Mafia, not even acknowledged as that.And the city? The historical centre, one of the biggest and richest in Europe, remained abandoned, restructuring being less profitable than building new neighbourhoods.In the 90s, with the first left-wing administrations of its history, the city had its ‘spring’. In consequence of 1992 Mafia slaughters, the city reacted, a new season had begun. Buildings destroyed since second world war started to be restructured, the focus moved to the historical centre, a detailed plan was designed, local development was launched with partial results.With the new millennium the spring has shifted to a new autumn. A new administration, right-wing sided, promoted the building - more often the design - of infrastructures and flag projects. But suddenly something happened. A major known just for his wild nights - made of alcohols and young ladies -, dozens of scandals - for instance those regarding the management of waste -, fiscal crisis, a second mandate coming from debated elections - pre-empted ballotpapers were found, judicial enquiries are questioning the validity of the process - have undermined the credibility of the administration. Thus, everything seems blocked, the city is stuck, mainstream pressures are slowed by a viscous atmosphere. What has not stopped is private led neighbourhoods upgrading.Palermo’s metropolitan mainstream are going on, but ancient drifts deviate them. Everything reveals backsides, contradiction is normality. Resistance appears where you may not imagine. We’ve tried to show it in the map, where some stories are strangely mixed, some narratives pertaining to different categories than usual.Palermo, Southern Europe, Metropolitan Mainstream with a twist
Lingua originaleEnglish
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010
Pubblicato esternamenteYes

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