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Urban transformations are critical to understand and orient design trend and governance processes. In the framework of Urban Metabolism and Circular Economy, the paper focuses on the cyclical use of resources in the processes of urban renewal that are carried out in contaminated lands. Through the explanatory case study of the ex Manifattura Tabacchi – a former industrial site located in the polluted eastern area of Napoli, in South Italy – the research underlines that local policies still strive to operationalize the dialectic between urban design and ecological restoration, raising numerous challenges in both governance and design dimensions.
The paper addresses the unfruitful gap between design and remediation as a new frontier that architects and urban designers must overtake to govern the transition towards an effective ecological turn in design disciplines. The objective of this study is to provide fruitful insights in revealing the soil as a socio-technical resource whose value has to be culturally acknowledged in order to rise stakeholders’ awareness, and thus being instrumental in decision-making. In the conclusion, research trajectories are provided to implement the debate
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