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San Clemente Valley


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Location: Italy / Type: Cultural Heritage / Edible / Nature Paths / Restorations / Built: 2023 /
Published on May 12, 2023

San Clemente Valley is a rural area between the provinces of Ancona and Macerata, in the hinterland of the Marche Region. Like many inland areas, this territory is subject to depopulation and abandonment phenomena, due to multiple and complex reasons (lack of infrastructure, lack of large urban centers, less availability of services…).

In this context, the Loccioni Group, a leading company in measurement and control systems, created its LOV (Land Of Value) “innovation laboratory”: a public-private project to enhance the historical, cultural, artistic, naturalistic and agricultural heritage of the valley.

For many years, Pool landscape office has been working alongside the Loccioni Group, and a team of multidisciplinary professionals and researchers, in the strategic planning of the valley, defining the guidelines and interventions that can be implemented over time. Starting from the values of the earth, from the local agricultural tradition, from the geology and the specificity of the soil and subsoil, a reference model for the valorization and regeneration of rural areas is being outlined, in order to bring back work and vitality.

The main intervention themes are:

Regenerative Agriculture

The soil of the hills has lost much of its organic substance and is at high risk of erosion.

The interventions improves soil health, primarily through the practices that increase soil organic matter. This not only aids in increasing soil biota diversity and health, but increases biodiversity both above and below the soil surface, merging principles of organic, biodynamic and conservation agriculture in the geographic basin.

Good pracrtice such as crop rotations, compost, and animal manures, restore the plant/soil microbiome to promote liberation, transfer, and cycling of essential soil nutrients. Maintenance of organic substance its helped by transverse furrow, to the maximum slope, that reduce laminar and gutter erosion.

Controlled grassing between rows of specialized crops and buffer strips along waterways also contribute to increases water infiltration, biodiversity and landscape value, together with minimal tillage (or no tillage) of the soils.

Preservation and enhancement of the rural landscape

The Marche hills are a heritage of incredible value. The landscape was designed by an agriculture traditionally made up of small lots, cared like vegetable gardens and ornamental gardens, unique in Italy.
In this scenario, rows of trees implement the structure of the secondary ecological network and hydreogeological safety. Pollinator strips along the paths increase also biodiversity.

Redevelopment of the built heritage

New functions for old buildings: the “House of Biodiversity”, the “House of Agricultural Innovation”, the “House of Technology”, the “School of Higher Education”. Disused rural buildings are redeveloped with attractive functions, spreading the principles for good regenerative and economically sustainable agriculture in the area.

Slow mobility

The multiple interventions distributed throughout the area are networked with more than 6 km of equipped walks. Rest areas, lookout points and Wayfinding Design, contribute to enhancing the identity of the area, discovering the culture and the eno-gastronomic and naturalistic treasures of the San Clemente Valley.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Pool Landscape

Year completed: 2015 – Ongoing
Photo credits: Giovanni della Ceca

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