Constitution, environment, education – people and territory

The author, architect, was rector of Roma Tre University.

Recent amendments to Articles 9 and 41 of the Constitution introduce some but limited elements, all extremely qualifying, careful to open the field of security to a much broader panorama than the current one. The art. 9 adds: the Republic “Protects the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems, also in the interest of future generations. State law governs the methods and forms of animal protection. The Art. 41 specifies that all economic Initiative must not be contrary to social services and must not harm security, freedom, human dignity, “health and the environment”. It also specifies that public and private economic activities are conducted for “social and ecological” purposes and must be coordinated.

These concepts, which seem to be secondary, just consequences, are in fact particularly crucial, as they project the task of protecting the environment and protecting the entire territory. They release attention limited to that extraordinary element, to that of particular interest. In fact, they affirm a much broader principle: natural and built-up areas belong to a single system that does not allow for discontinuity and must be governed without scientific separations. In the field of environment, there can be no projects of more or less importance, treated with other respect and respect. The realization of all “public and private” building, town planning, territorial work must include the same technical depth analysis, so that the future consequences are clear and known, especially on the solidity of the territory and on the maintenance of resources. The effects of this approach, apparently only extensively and quantitatively with respect to territorial size, are in fact leading to a profound change in the system of schooling and vocational training.

The well-established principles are not intended to form a constraint cage designed to reduce operational opportunities; on the contrary, they require the individual designer to abandon his or her sectoral preparation, which too often “justifies” superficial solutions. Any work carried out must have a complex network of implications and circumvent what may have an impact on the whole territory, not just on the historical and artistic relevance that may be present in the area in which it operates.

The introduction of this concept, basic and simple, must relate to university education, establish a dialogue, constantly updated, which clarifies the schools of architecture, and more generally technical design, and to the professional orders that it it is necessary to re-examine the programs, to have a clear intention not to close down for the protection of one’s own disciplinary area. In fact, the training associated with degree courses is still very much influenced by highly self-referential sector skills. Inviting the legislature to expand the field of environmental protection requires as a direct application to privilege and enhance interdisciplinary studies, the only ones capable of controlling a broad process, suitable for selecting different resources and professionals to coordinate them and absolute concreteness.

The goodwill and common sense that sometimes emerge from the programs of some polytechnic schools must be replaced by the commitment to bring together, in environmental courses, skills that know how to with foresight predict the results that could cause changes in the territory over the years and harm to future generations. It is no longer enough for a project to respond properly to its feasibility; as clarified by the legislature, it must not be limited to an operational and control instrument. Every new job must take on active and proactive tasks; transforming in a natural way into an opportunity to extend its own base of competence and action; interact with the possible convergent disciplines on the protection of territory in order, together with new construction, to promote the initially unforeseen interventions to consolidate parts that are at risk of collapse or at least weak.

A false and sometimes not very thoroughly environmentally friendly culture tends to see the action of building, even if it is recognized as necessary and functional, as a component, but negative, of the choking of the soil, which, if altered, must bear burdens , which are natural. unforeseen.and therefore inevitably destined to disturb the balance of the natural environment. On the contrary, the prospect of an increasingly precise and sustainable use of the territory should project construction on more complex and less simplified considerations: the artificial intervention, if coordinated by various specialized contributions – the architect, the engineer, the geologist, etc. – it can be transformed into active support, capable of conserving and consolidating natural resources. A landslide area can be restored by dense forestry, but also by careful construction, which prepares the ground by exploiting the foundation works to maintain new structures but at the same time prevent possible eruptions.

The addition within art. 9 of the explicit reference to animal protection, in addition to recalling the specific topics on the methods of breeding, scientific experiments and slaughter, allows us, in a broader vision, to frame the inclusion of zoos in cities. These, very often, are installed in completely inadequate areas. For a long time, but unfairly, opportunities for a naturalistic and educational projection for the little ones were considered, they were mostly hiding places, where animals were forced into absolutely inappropriate places. The small size of the cages and the often unsuitable climatic conditions have pushed it for years, but unfortunately still in some cases, limit the species to those that can live in extended environments, in conditions of protected freedom. This will imply a radical overhaul of their design. It will be necessary to take into account different and innovative principles also for the dogs, and for the endowment that is properly studied, of the greens in the neighborhoods.

The opportunity may be favorable to gradually coordinate a range of interventions and virtual concepts, but above all of cultural approaches and methods of operation: universities, as already seen, must build programs that, exploiting the potential of the two degree levels, projects. both basic training and those for practical and specialized training intended for truly operational perspectives; the professional order, equally, must include the protective entrenchments, favors the exchange of skills necessary to guide the directions and qualifications of young graduates; finally, public administrations need to prepare sectors, not suffocated by bureaucracy, that coordinate the needs of protection and expansion of the entire territory.

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