Europan 16 - Bitonto (IT)
Winner project

Year: 2021
Location: Bitonto (BA), Italy
Status: Competition - First Prize

The need to regenerate Bitonto itself in the light of the challenges of the Anthropocene is possible through an enhancement of the functioning of its three main scopes: the urban scope, the agricultural scope, and the naturalistic scope of Lama Balice. The latter is the one whose potential currently is the least developed. The analysis of the natural mechanisms existing within the Lama and the study of its complex biology generate exchange models that, once implemented and replicated, could contribute to reinforcing the biodiversity with positive effects on environmental quality, urban livability, and economic processes. The piazzas of Bitonto, Palombaio, and Mariotto would then become the physical places where these regenerative processes would take place on a human scale.

An important geological characteristic of the area is presence of the “Lame": long and shallow karst furrows that cross the plain of Bari from the Murgia hills to the coastline. The “Lame” constitutes a major exception in the agricultural landscape of the Apulian plateau, which is normally dominated by olive and wine cultivation, representing natural ecologic corridors for the wild species of the area.

In the management of the transformation of the territory Bitonto presents three different grounds of change:

•City (urban scope): the space of the consolidated city of Bitonto and the two outposts of Palomabio and Mariotto;
•Lama (naturalistic scope): the space of major naturalis tic quality and biodiversity;
•Ruralscape (agricultural scope): the ordinated space of the olive plateau and its  places of production.

Lama Balice is a puzzle of diverse and various biotopes, especially if compared to the surrounding agricultural land. Along its path, Lama Balice varies in width and depth, as well as in the presence of water and land usage. The result of this fragmentation is a richness in biodiversity and landscapes that gave to the lama an exceptionality that still needs to be valorized in a proper way.

The implementation of virtuous exchanges between the three scopes generates dynamics that can be condensed in local interventions. The theme “reinforce biodiversity” to transform Bitonto is interpreted through the analysis of the mechanisms that regulate e the territory, developing processes between the  places of changes, and their reference contexts. The loss of biodiversity of the Antropocene transformation is evident in the disfunction of the ecosystems, in the loss of those ecological services and goods that are no more  furnished by the land, and in the loss of complexity of genetic diversity.


The system of the squares of Bitonto can be seen as an urban breach in the compact urban fabric of the city. The open space of the squares follows an inclined plane that slowly descends from piazza Aldo Moro to piazza Castello, facing onto Lama Balice.

The project  intends  to revitalize  the pulsing heart  of  the city  facing  the actual problems while preserving the identity and the genius loci of Bitonto center. The approach of the project is the preserving of the main spatial features of the place but with a new approach to the theme of the biodiversity and quality of urban life.

Palombaio, Mariotto.

The hamlets of Bitonto are situated in the vast olive plain surrounding  the  city, born and de veloped  as rural outposts for the city . The main squares of the hamlets are located alongside this road, as are the main civic and religious building of the towns.

The promotion of itineraries to visit the agricultural areas and the inland  area of  Bitonto can generate a virtuous  development of  the  economy of  the  hamlets. Particularly,  the Via Cela bike lane  that connects Bitonto with Alta Murgia National  Park crosses  the north area of  the  two hamlets: the  goal is  to intercept the  fluxes  of people  visiting  the countryside  by  proposing them as  intermediate  stops in  the discovery of the territory, and to establish contacts between local product companies and outside visitors. This process can be fixed in the squares of the hamlets, regenerating them and the activities surrounding it.

© LLUMAA 2024
Milano - Gallarate (IT)