Vaiano is a linear city, although with only 10,000 inhabitants it is closer to the scale of a village.
During the post WWII period the town created many collective structures in solidarity with the working population and enjoyed a 40-year period of prosperity in competition with Prato. Due to globalization, new methods of working clothes, and labor issues, the local industrial sector underwent severe structural changes during the last 30 years, leading to precipitous decline and the closure of many factories.
While this has damaged the local economy, such a crisis might also be considered as a great opportunity to rethink local ecology—perhaps creating an interdependence of economy/ecology, terms that derive from the same root word oikos.
Terra Viva Workshops would like to create a few scenarios for the creative reuse of Vaiano’s urban fabric and natural resources. The town is set in a narrow valley, engulfed by intense natural features, either pine forests or olive terraces. Along the course of the Bisenzio River, Vaiano possesses at least 15 large industrial sites that are either abandoned or under-used. The river was Vaiano’s first source of energy and in the modern period its main site for dumping effluents, creating an ambivalent relationship.
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