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Delta International Summer School 2019 – a Green Week

The Delta International Summer School – DISS – is a 6-day interdisciplinary course, a workout for brains and hands, run by the  Dipartimento di Architettura di UniFe and the Scuola Superiore di Studi sulla Città e il Territorio di UniBo (based in Ravenna). The course receives European funds from the L.E.A.D.E.R. (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rural) Local Action Plan Measure 19  (Community-Led Local Development). Since 1989 LEADER has been one of the EU’s policy tools to promote innovation in rural areas through Local Action Groups (LAGs, in this case Delta 2000), with the aim of developing and delivering sustainable local development strategies and cooperative projects between different areas.

School for some finishes in June (or July) while for others that is when it starts. Or perhaps we should say it never finishes: we have known for many years that education is a lifelong process, especially for professionals.

Behind this simple truth lies something more complex. These days, training has to take account not only of legally obligatory professional requirements – which are both continuous and permanent  –  and with the need to be in the market, cultivating one’s network of contacts, relationships and knowledge of the mass of facts and under the pressure of competition at work that is increasingly at “white heat” levels.

For whatever reason, we are dealing today with aspects that require attention in both the virtual world (a job in itself) and targeted real experiences. The availability of resources sets the general rhythm.

The organizers of the DISS decided to contribute in this area by setting up an international and interdisciplinary summer school on the landscape of the Po Delta, and the Emilia Romagna coast more generally.

Landscape is seen here as a heritage of spaces and elements against which have been set, in recent decades, policies of urban and landscape requalification all over the world; it is therefore worth comparing these with policies to protect and enhance rural and aquatic landscapes, bringing in national and international expertise in a structured educational setting.

The working method is to develop experimental projects that require – but also restore – a culture of Landscape.  The programme takes the form of classes with Italian and foreign experts, interdisciplinary seminars, fieldwork and group work to enhance project strategy skills.

The DISS is a residential programme taking place over 3 years, from 2018 to 2020. Each year there are up to 50 participants from the area set out in the Measure, including technicians employed by public bodies, project technicians from the private sector (including equal numbers of architects, engineers, agronomists and forestry experts, geologists and  biologists) together with university students and recent graduates in disciplines that are relevant to the course content.

The first summer school, held in 2018, was on the “Effetti della Resilienza Costiera nelle Zone Rurali” (Effects of coastal resilience in rural areas). This year the focus shifted to “Patrimonio Progettato, Patrimonio Gestito” (Planned heritage, managed heritage). Next year’s programme and topics are still being developed.

In general the participants had many opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the area, to hone their skills for working in groups and to compare their own work or study status with those of people from unfamiliar professional categories and with unfamiliar areas of expertise, as well as obtaining training credits from their own professional organizations.

This video provides more information and is a personal account of what happened during the 6 days of the course.

Further details can be obtained from Giovanni Poletti docpoletti@docgreen.it