First International Conference of Young Urban Researchers (FICYUrb)
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Claudia Brazzale

MEANDERING THROUGH NORTHEAST ITALY’S NEW LOCAL AND GLOBAL GEOGRAPHIES OF PRODUCTION

Claudia Brazzale
UCLA

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     Last modified: May 24, 2007
     Presentation date: 06/11/2007 11:30 AM in ISCTE-II C104
     (View Schedule)

Abstract
This paper explores the geographies of production of Veneto, my home region, in order to understand the logics sustaining its seemingly contradicting processes of simultaneous urban concentration and dispersion. Since the 1980s, the Veneto region of Northeast Italy, the engine of what is known as the Nordest miracle, has seen the successful rise of a noteworthy number of small family-firms targeting niche markets worldwide. The capillary spread of these small firms resulted in an endless sprawl of residential-industrial nebulae that transformed the landscape into a single, indistinct urbanized region. This development created a new type of urbanity characterized by a series of endless nodes that challenge and, at the same time, re-inscribe traditional urban organization. Forming a highly hybridized territory where the periphery takes over cities and towns, the spaces of production of the Italian Nordest stand in opposition to conventional territorial paradigms that view cities as dynamic central spaces and peripheries as fringes lagging behind. Furthermore, the successful export numbers and trans-national economic interactions of the regional production challenge the notion that the global economy revolves predominantly around cosmopolitan centers. On the other hand, the firms’ deployment of global cities as architectural and design inspirations re-affirms the central role of the cosmopolitan metropole, thus reinstating conventional territorial organizations.

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