Nuova gestione del territorio e riqualificazione del paesaggio terrazzato del Canale di Brenta

Menzione Speciale

Edizione 2016

Ambito A

Soggetto Proponente
Comitato Adotta un terrazzamento in Canal di Brenta Veneto, Italia

‘Adopt a terrace' is a project that aims to directly engage the citizens in the restoration of the Brenta Canal terraced landscape and to fight against the process of abandonment that valley slopes have been experiencing over the past decades. The main activity of the ‘Adopt a terrace' project is the mediation between the owners of abandoned terraces and anyone who is interested in recovering this land. The concession of the terraces by the landowners is formalised by means of a gratuitous loan for use agreement for a period of five years (renewable) which, on the one hand protects the terrace owners, and on the other, allows for the restoration, maintenance and cultivation of the terraces. People who are interested in using these terraces, after an inspection to choose among those available, become members of a committee thereby gaining the possibility to use the terrace assigned to them. The committee has an open structure and gathers local authorities and research bodies, together with citizens of the valley and foreigners, who participate in the activities according to their individual skills, for the benefit of all parties involved. The new farmers undertake to comply with management and good maintenance rules, thus ensuring respect for the landscape in which they operate. The Committee provides some of the equipment and organises days of collective work to support the start of cultivation activities and the revitalisation of terraces in the most challenging areas. The new productive uses of this land are generally horticulture, apiculture and fruit cultivation. The new farmers come from the urban centres of the Venetian plain, from Bassano del Grappa to Padua and Venice. Between 2010 and 2015, it was possible to restore more than 100 terraces, allowing for the sustainable reuse and protection of several rural districts of high historical, architectural and cultural value. By doing so, the project established an integrated management system of disused land which allows for the maintenance of the terraced landscape even in an area subject to abandonment dynamics, achieving a considerable impact on the territory and ensuring the durability of the initiative in only five years.

Nuova gestione del territorio e riqualificazione del paesaggio terrazzato del Canale di Brenta

Localizzazione del progetto

Valstagna, Veneto , Valstagna

Motivazione della Giuria

Terraces are an important testimony of traditional agriculture, as well as an element that strongly haracterises mountainside and hillside landscapes. Overtime, terraced landscapes experienced a widespread degradation that in many cases led to the reforestation of previously cultivated areas and to the gradual collapse of dry stone walls and of the infrastructure.  
‘Adopt a terrace' addresses this delicate issue by suggesting innovative forms of intervention focused primarily on engagement and on the collective management of the restoration and upgrading of the terraced landscape. Through a synergistic action and the convergence of interests amongst different stakeholders (landowners, ‘adoptive' citizens, public administration, associations and cultural institutions), the large terraced area that characterises the Brenta Canal is witnessing a widespread action for the restoration of fields and artefacts, along with cultural initiatives that have considerably strengthened social cohesion and the sense of belonging.