Big infrastructures effects on local developments

  • Bruna Vendemmia Diap - Politecnico di Milano
Keywords: Multi-scale, New Centralities, Local Nodes, Self-transformation.


This research aims to clarify the consequences generated by regional infrastructures strategies on local city growth.

Do regional infrastructure strategies activate transformation processes at a local level? And may these  processes generate virtuous rules for local development in bottom-up transformations?

To answer at these questions, in my opinion,  the Metropolitan Area of Naples represents an interesting case study. In these area, and due to the lack of Institutions, the processes, object of this work, are clearly visible: a coexistence between “top-down” projects and “bottom-up” transformations is highlighted.


In 2010 Naples lies on a huge conurbation: the high-way infrastructures reduced the distance, increasing the accessibility of the region but without building a clear relation with the surroundings; as a consequence, the city sprawls, messing  up the previous rural structure. At the same time, the industrial areas produced visible fractures on the configuration of the territory.

The different technologies produced physical changes in the Metropolitan Area, as well as in citizens life style. We are trying to understand, here, the relations between this two dynamics in order to measure the influences and forecast the transformations.

An important fact is that nowadays and worldwide, we are assisting to the replacement of the industrial sector with global services and transport; commercial activities are transforming the landscape, finding their location in places that have well defined characteristics: big plots, high visibility, global connectivity and easy accessibility. In Naples they have been established in the same area where agriculture, industries and residential suburbs have already layered. Even though, here, they symbolize territorial references: “land-marks” (Lynch, 2006). New infrastructure have to been built in order to support this renewed uses of the territory.


If the city can be described “as points of articulation and of translation between different extensive layers of the multi-scaled urban ‘cake’“ (Read, 2007) it will not be astonishing to discover, in Naples Metropolitan Area, new peripheral commercial centralities on the trucks of an old roman street. This synergy, raised in some urban nodes, is the result of a slow bottom-up process. Meanwhile, as the opposite top-down development, and as a consequence of the industrial sector reorganization, faster global dynamics create “new centralities” producing effects at the local scale and increasing the fragmentation. Moreover, it must be taken into account that these layers and processes are not only restricted to physical networks but they are shaped also by economical and social interactions, and that a network is always global and local in all its points (Latour, Nous n'avons jamais été modernes. Essai d'anthropologie symétrique, 1991).

From a methodological point of you, a first interpretation of the city growth has driven to the compilation of thematic maps and photographical reports. The information, learned through the graphical and photographical process, were supported by a theoretical approach about both urban development in general and Naples growth in particular.



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Author Biography

Bruna Vendemmia, Diap - Politecnico di Milano
Bruna Vendemmia, was born in Naples in 1980. She graduated in architecture at “Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II” in 2003. Since 2005 to 2007 she lives in Paris working at “Architecture-Studio” and Pierre-Louis Faloci office. In 2007 she starts a research program coordinated by four Universities: KU Leuven, IUAV, UPC Barcelona and TU Delft. Here she graduated in 2009 presenting a Thesis: Napoly: latent-city” studying the transformations occurred to Naples Metropolitan Area in last century. In the same year she went back to Naples to found “Duediquattro, Collaboratorio di architettura ed urbanistica”. She is now phd student in “Governo e Progettazione del Territorio” at Politecnico di Milano.


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How to Cite
VendemmiaB. (2011). Big infrastructures effects on local developments. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 4(3).