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Hinterland
(2010)

project

La Bassa bolognese:
un’identità in trasformazione.

Bologna’s Lowlands are changing rapidly. During the last twenty years the “Bassa” has experienced a population growth never seen before in its long history. During this period the population has doubled and its identity is transforming. This photographic project hopes to contribute towards the debate on the sustainable development of the Lowlands and its emerging new identity. Urban Spread is a global phenomenon. The gradual urbanisation of land around our cities, their hinterland and what eventually become satellite towns is caused by many factors, not least market trends and variations in the prices of land. Even though Europe’s population is growing slower then that of other continents, in the last couple of decades, the European urban/rural divide is becoming evermore difficult to define as many urban dwellers choose to live beyond the suburbs, thereby pushing and blurring suburban edgelands.
New ‘Metropolitan Areas’ are developing around Europe’s cities, their satellite towns and along our main transport corridors. Consequently, local authorities are seeing their traditional roles change as the metropolitan areas expand both beyond and into their boundaries.
This project, part of a larger European study, aims to be a useful contribution in the debate, both local and international, around future sustainable urban/rural development.

 

H-001
H-001      

San Giovanni in Persiceto

Ecological homes, San Giovanni in Persiceto
H-002
H-002      

San Giorgio di Piano

Private residential flats, San Giorgio di Piano
H-003
H-003      

Castel Maggiore

Residential buildings, Castel Maggiore.
H-004
H-004      

San Pietro in Casale

Residential buildings, San Pietro in Casale.
H-005
H-005      

Funo, Argelato

Semidetached homes, Funo, Argelato.
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H-006      

Castel Maggiore

New luxury apartments, Castel Maggiore.
H-007
H-007      

Pieve di Cento

Ecological home, Pieve di Cento
H-008
H-008      

Baricella

Private residential flats, Baricella.
H-009
H-009      

Budrio

Traditional farmhouse and new buildings, Budrio.
H-010
H-010      

San Giorgio di Piano

New shopping centre, San Giorgio di Piano.
H-011
H-011      

Argelato

Nursery school, Argelato.
H-012
H-012      

Castello d’Argile

Recently renovated residential area in “traditional style”, Castello d’Argile.
H-013
H-013      

Galliera

House recently renovated in “traditional style”, Galliera
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H-014      

Argelato

Farm house recently renovated in “traditional style”, Argelato.
H-015
H-015      

Malacappa, Argelato

Modern farmhouse, Malacappa, Argelato
H-016
H-016      

Castel Maggiore

Shopping centre under construction, Castel Maggiore.
H-017
H-017      

Calderara di Reno

Residential flats under construction, Calderara di Reno.
H-018
H-018      

Castello d’Argile

New factory under construction, Castello d’Argile.
H-019
H-019      

Altedo, Malalbergo

Recently built factory, Altedo, Malalbergo
H-020
H-020      

Molinella

Recently built industrial park, Molinella.
H-021
H-021      

San Giorgio di Piano

New Provincial Agricultural Union building, San Giorgio di Piano.
H-022
H-022      

San Vincenzo, Galliera

New mixed (commercial and residential) building, San Vincenzo, Galliera.
H-023
H-023      

Funo, Argelato

Commercial building, Centergross, Funo, Argelato
H-024
H-024      

San Giovanni in Persiceto

Supermarket, San Giovanni in Persiceto.
H-025
H-025      

Castagnolo Minore, Bentivoglio

Logistics warehouse, Interporto, Castagnolo Minore, Bentivoglio.
H-026
H-026      

Centergross, Funo, Argelato

Commercial building, Centergross, Funo, Argelato.
H-027
H-027      

Castagnolo Minore, Bentivoglio

Logistical warehouses under construction, Castagnolo Minore, Bentivoglio.
H-028
H-028      

Altedo, Malalbergo

Commercial wholesale fruit market, Altedo, Malalbergo
H-029
H-029      

San Marino di Bentivoglio

Museum of Farming Culture, San Marino di Bentivoglio.
H-030
H-030      

Bentivoglio

Publicity hoardings, Bentivoglio.
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H-031      

Ponte Samoggia

High speed train, Ponte Samoggia
H-032
H-032      

Molinella

New urban train, Molinella
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H-033      

Argelato

Petrol station with extra services, Argelato.
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H-034      

San Giovanni in Persiceto

Biogas and solar energy plant, San Giovanni in Persiceto
H-035
H-035      

Centergross, Funo, Argelato

Publicity hoarding and Christmas tree, Centergross, Funo, Argelato.
H-036
H-036      

Argelato

Neon sign for the Festa dell’Unità, Argelato
H-037
H-037      

Sant’Agata Bolognese

Multiplex cinema, Sant’Agata Bolognese
H-038
H-038      

Castel Maggiore

New church, Castel Maggiore.
H-039
H-039      

Castello d’Argile

Swiming pool, Castello d’Argile
H-040
H-040      

Volta Reno, Argelato

Plantation of autochthonous trees, Volta Reno, Argelato
H-041
H-041      

Marco, Lorenzo, Stefano

Marco P, Lorenzo B, Stefano S e Lorenzo C were all brought up in Funo or Castel Maggiore although they were born elsewhere. They do not identify themselves as either ‘country lads’ or ‘urban citizens’. One of them told me: “we are like so many others; ‘suburban youth’”
H-042
H-042      

Francesca

Francesca A. was born in Calabria and moved to the area in 2009, where her sister also lives. She studies in Bologna University but lives in Funo, where she also works part time, mainly because rent is cheaper. “Here evenings are dead and there’s no transport to get back from the city at night, apart from that it’s fine”.
H-043
H-043      

Olawumi

Olawumi O. is from Nigeria and joined her husband in Italy two years ago. Despite a Masters in economics, she is currently unemployed. “Recently my husband was also made redundant after seven years working in the same factory. Given the current laws, we now risk expulsion from Italy.”
H-044
H-044      

Bruno and Silvana

On retirement Bruno S. and Silvana L. moved from Bologna to a renovated farmhouse in the country, but found life there too isolated. They are now living in a new semi-detached in Funo: “A happy compromise”
H-045
H-045      

Andrea

Andrea was brought up in Funo from the age of 5 years, After his studies he left the area, returning when he started a family (in the photo). “Many young couples come here to buy their first home, they are less expensive then in the city, life is less hectic and the services are good”.
H-046
H-046      

Haroon

Haroon M. (6 yrs) and his two younger brothers were born in Italy and speak Italian with a strong local accent. His parents came from Pakistan 12 years ago. “I speak better Italian then my parents. It’s a problem - they can’t help me with my homework!”
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H-047      

Giuseppe

Giuseppe is originally from Naples, while his wife is local. “Now, there are less small shops in Funo even though the town has doubled in size since I moved here ten years ago; many people tend to shop more in supermarkets even though the products are of inferior quality.”
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H-048      

Claudio

Claudio Z is originally from Bologna. Five years ago he decided to move his restaurant, Il Bischero which specializes in Tuscan cuisine, to the lowlands. “There is a strong local culinary tradition here. But the population is changing and, with it, their culinary curiosity, anyway many come here from the city.”
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H-049      

Monica

Monica’s (Xixi W.) family bought “Bar Tarola” in Funo a year ago. Originally from Zheijiang Province in China, she has lived in Italy since the age of six. “We keep the bar open for twenty hours a day, it’s a meeting place for all ages and all nationalities”.
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H-050      

Artur

Artur C. was born in Albania and now lives in Faenza where his company, specializing in solar Energy systems, is based. “The system we are mounting here at the Interporto (Bentivoglio) is huge, it could easily provide all the Energy needed locally”.
H-051
H-051      

Cinzia

Cinzia C. has lived in the area all her life. “Sure, I’ve seen things change. When I was a child practically none of this (Funo) was here. The growth has also meant we have to provide more and improved services”.
H-052
H-052      

Giuseppe

Giuseppe S., born in Sicily, came to the area to study in Bologna University eventually obtaining two degrees. Recently married he bought a flat in San Giorgio. He originally wanted to be a teacher. “The only way I could get a mortgage was to have a full time contract - the only one available in a school in this area was as a school caretaker.”
H-053
H-053      

Andrea

Andrea G.’s familly have farmed in the lowlands for three generations. “Not many of my generation want to do this job, the hours are endless and money scarce. We always have to invent new solutions. I recently opened this fresh milk distributor – have to see how it works out”.
H-054
H-054      

Antonia

Antonia A. lives in Parma, where she studied, and commutes by train (3hrs return) to Funo where she teaches twice weekly. “The Fashion and Style” course held here is run by a state institute although Centregross is a private enterprise. If I found a full-time job here, I would probably live here although the transport infrastructure could do with improvement”.
H-055
H-055      

Roberto

Roberto O. lives and works in the lowlands as a real estate agent. “Young people are increasingly interested in new technology and the ecology, there is a growth in demand for eco-homes. However, there is also a crises; it’s no longer possible to buy a home on mortgage alone.”
H-056
H-056      

Luigi

Luigi B. runs Ranch Dosolo with his wife. “We started out nine years ago and still have a real passion for this sport. This style of riding is still relatively unknown but is becoming more popular. The people who come here mainly live in the area but we have a few who come from the city, too”.
H-057
H-057      

Lino

Lino A. was born in Budrio but has lived in Funo with his wife since 1970. “Funo has seen a development you won’t find in towns elsewhere in Italy. In a few years we’ve grown from 500 to 6000 to 7000 people. We’ve got all we need but it’s also true that the countryside has changed a lot; when the people worked the land they had a different rapport with it, they felt a deeper bond.”
H-058
H-058      

Nicolas

Nicolas F. comes to Funo for his rolling skate course three times a week from Cesena, a round trip of 220km. His mother told me: “We come here because Nicolas’ instructor is one of the best in Italy. All towns have buildings of one sort or another, what really makes the difference between the towns is the people in those buildings.”
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H-059      

Wood Plantation

Softwood plantation near the banks of the Reno river. Volta Reno, Argelato
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H-060      

Malacappa, Argelato

Altar for patron saint's procession. Malacapa, Argelato