The description of the area, based on the relationships among geography, infrastructures and neighbourhoods, aims to a double goal: to plot an analytical layout, open to overlaying and integration by other forms of description based on the analysis of historical maps and documents, of the uses of terrains, of the master plans for landscape and urban development; to define peculiar themes for a research to be carried out through design. The description is organized along a number of layers. These are either readable one by one, each as an isolated reading parameter, or all together, overlaid in order to emphasize the relationships between different elements of the territorial structure. The main themes, as geography, infrastructures and neighbourhoods are subdivided into a hierarchy of minor themes. Together with the structural layers, a number of landscape, geographical and infrastructural elements are described and classified. In order to define themes for a research to be carried out through design – aiming to improve the area and to restore its possible identities – besides the described characteristics, further parameters are taken into account. These are: guidelines given by master plans; the main causes of environmental damage which lead to a condition of refused landscape; the main actual or potential resources to be found in the area. Fives design themes are finally defined; out of them, four can be outlined as four sub-areas (the Quarto canal valley, the delta of the Ripuaria road, the crest along the Asse Mediano [urban highway], the coastal belt), whereas the fifth, based on the binomial infrastructural improvement – urban densification, can be developed throughout the whole area, complementarily to the formers. The above mentioned design research themes are developed as methodological scenarios in the final synthesis of the research
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