Work details
Application Number 0000801702
Author La Varra, Giovanni , Italy
Coauthors Barreca, Gianandrea , Italy
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Work title: Free Cultural Zones (0000801702)

The cities of Southern Italy are born as Mediterranean cities. They are colonies, crystallizations of other cultures that landed on the peninsula not only for reasons of conquest, but to replant new towns elsewhere. This sequence of cities that takes root in Southern Italy, starting from the VIII century BC, represents since a long time the structure for the urban and historical development of regions such as Sicily, Campania, Calabria, Puglia, Basilicata and Sardinia. To be in the center of the Mediterranean sea led to be a land of conquest, but also a fertile territory for innovation and exchange. Today, the six regions of Southern Italy are experiencing the biggest economic and cultural crisis of recent years. Southern Italy will become soon an even more poor, aged, uninhabited and uninhabitable country than it is today. Demographic forecasts indicate that in 2030 the young inhabitants of southern Italy (18-34) will pass from 12 million to 10 million, coming to be only the 17% of the total population. Likewise in 2030, people over 65 will increase from the current 12 million to 16 million, while a resident in 10 will be over 80 years and just one in 10 will have less than 14 years. In these regions there is a strong presence of large criminal organizations, expanding their interests in the world but keeping their decision bases there. This is the area with the highest rates of illegal buildings and with the highest youth unemployment rate in southern Europe, with Greece. On the Mediterranean coast, cities are on fire, men and women are manifesting, 250 million people are discussing their future. Some of the largest ports in the world are being extended to intercept the third part of the world maritime trade passing between Suez and Gibraltar. Every night thousands of boat-people try to cross the Mediterranean. Each region of Southern Italy will offer part of its territory to create a Cultural Free as a bridge between different sides of the Mediterranean: places where is possible to exchange knowledge, as has always happened, create new economies, new possibilities, a different future for Italy and Europe.