Saluzzo is a “Resilient Community”. The Alpine repopulation projects that have become a case of regeneration based on architectural quality, identity, community and environmental sustainability and the model management of water and energy resources, earned Saluzzo participation in the 2021 Italian Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale, scheduled until November 21st.
At the center of the exhibition, dedicated to the theme of Resilient Communities, is the issue of climate change, in all its drama, and the significant challenges connected with it that challenge architecture. In particular, we want to underline how climate change is putting a strain on the resilience of the urban, productive and agricultural system. The project, promoted by the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, is based on the conviction that architecture must contribute significantly to improving the quality of life we lead and of health, providing adequate responses to the environmental and social changes in progress.
Resilient communities are understood as organisms made up of interweaving relationships, resources, opportunities and perspectives, capable of implementing strategies capable of dealing with the effects of climate change. Saluzzo, which together with the lands of Monviso is the first Alpine territory candidate for the Italian Capital of Culture 2024, was considered a model for the correct management of water and energy resources.
Characterized by a network of canals, it conveys the flow of the Varaita stream towards the lands of the plain, one of the largest fruit growing districts in the country. The bealera also arrive inside the city to which they give energy: once mills, fullers and sawmills, today non-invasive hydroelectric plants. A capillary connective tissue able to spread energy, resources and life. A network that has centuries of history, built ahead of the times, with ancient techniques and skills that are at the same time modern and innovative for the Middle Ages.
Just like veins and capillaries that spread in living beings, they are not seen, they pass underground or hidden by plants and bushes, but they are essential for existence to carry sap and wealth. The irrigation canals for over 600 years have “fed” the city of Saluzzo and the entire rich and fertile territory on the slopes of Monviso, a mountain symbol of Piedmont, which for several decades has become one of the most important agricultural districts in Italy for the production of fruit and for animal husbandry.
The Italian Pavilion was curated by Alessandro Melis, with the collaboration, among others, of the Florentine architect Paolo Di Nardo, who has been a “friend” of Saluzzo for years, a city where he has brought numerous students from the University of Florence where he teaches for workshops and study days.
«It fascinated us right away – explains the mayor of Saluzzo, Mauro Calderoni – the idea that our city, its history, its peculiarities and architectural peculiarities could contribute to the debate on the future of the organization of the spaces in which to inhabit our Planet Earth. Thus, we welcomed with great favor the proposal to participate in the Biennale made by the architect Di Nardo and we made ourselves available to provide material and ideas. Now all the work is on display in a unique city like Venice and this only increases the value of this initiative from a cultural and also a symbolic point of view ».
In addition to and together with Saluzzo, ideas and stories from Ancona, Mantua, Modica, Radicondoli, Montebello sul Sangro, Caserta, Prato, Padua, Cagliari, Olbia, Aquileia, the Province of Varese and the Tuscany Region are presented inside the Italian Pavilion. .