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ARA - Architecture and agrarian reform. The case of the modern agricultural colonies in Mediterranean area (Italy - Spain - Israël), from historical topic to territory of spatial design

Units : HABITER Study center in Development, Territory and Landscapes | ULB759

Description :

EN: ARA deals with the role of architectural, urban and landscape design in the frame of modern agrarian reforms, through
the case of agricultural colonisation in 20th century Mediterranean. ARA is found on a double hypothesis: 1) the disciplines of
spatial design would have had a structuring role in the implementation of 20th century agricultural colonisations; 2) such policies
have produced territories which are not reducible to generic rural areas. ARA pursues two scientific objectives, one explanatory
and retrospective, the other prospective: 1) to confer scientific legitimacy to the research topic. In doing so, ARA shall question
the historiographies and theories of spatial design's 'urbano-centrism', and bring nuances to the understanding of Mediterranean
agriculture's modernization processes within the frame of rural studies; 2) to verify if the landscapes of agricultural
colonization shows specific territorial challenges at the present day, in the face of the current rural development tools, methods and
policies. The first objective constitutes the core of the ARA project. The second represent a preparatory work for the development of
future research lines. ARA adopts investigation methods derived from the spatial design disciplines, considering visuals not as a
mere support for reflexivity and transmission of knowledge, but as effective tools to produce knowledge. The innovative aspect of
this exercise stands in enlarging the methods developed with the area of urban forms studies to a territorial scale. More largely,
this choice carries an intention to contribute to define the epistemological and methodological frame of spatial design
disciplines, whose scientific nature is largely debated within the French-speaking world.

List of persons in charge :

  • VAN ACKER Wouter

List of lessors :

  • F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)