The Hydraulic space of the Conca d'Oro of Palermo as a paradigm of the Mediterranean water sensitive city.

Giuseppe Barbera, Francesca Lotta

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review


The orchards TAL on Palermo periurban countryside follows the Arab conception of hydraulic space. The concept of Hydraulic space combines several technologies to achieve the best use of water resources by differentiating agricultural productions in time and space and by connecting different functions (hydraulic, climatic and aesthetic) in a homogeneous system. This conception of space extends to the whole Conca d’Oro across the countryside to the heart of the historical town to the intimate domestic space in the end. During the Norman age the Zisa source used to refresh and embellish the interior of the castle before water slides towards the gardens; on the surface of Fawara-Maredolce lake “citrus fruits smiled to fish” as well as in the other agdal; quanat supplied water to the old town. Water was the fundamental matrix and the systemic element underlining to the whole landscape design anywhere. Water and management of the urban water cycle are the higher-level issues in WSUD emerging paradigm too. Water is superordinate and in keeping with all processes of urban planning and design in order to overturn the urbanistic conception of “forgetfulness waters” emphasizing its perception. WSUD is a land planning and design approach which integrates the urban water cycle, including stormwater, groundwater, wastewater management and water supply, into urban design to minimise environmental degradation and to improve aesthetic and recreational appeal. Nowadays there are many aspects that make the Arab-Norman’s Palermo a case study of a precursor water sensitive city. Likewise there are many reasons to assume its landscape maid of citrus gardens as a WSUD device for the Mediterranean environment; his continuous flow of water chains through terraces, gebbie, vattali and saje (dialectal arabisms) the Mediterranean garden TAL can be taken as emblematic paradigm of aesthetic and perceptual WSUD instances. In a city that taught to Europe the notion of hydraulic space, as Palermo did before, ancient streams run piped or dammed. Due to coastalization and thickening the city is in competition for water with neighbouring agricultural systems. Moreover in a widely impervious city surrounded by steep mountains last piece of Mediterranean garden is threatened by the agricultural crisis and insensitive to water and beauty urbanization.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016


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