Valleriana, Italy

Raising awareness through Participatory 3D Modelling with children in Valleriana, Pescia, Pistoia, Italy


This 10,000 scale 3D model of Valleriana, the Ten Castles Valley, Province of Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy was completed in 2008. The map legend was elaborated via interactive games and further discussed with representatives from the local community. Drawings made by children were miniaturized as post-stamps and used as icons. The model covering a total area of 15,000 ha or 150 sq. km was assembled by children.

The model includes the Middle-age villages called the Ten Castles, surrounded by chestnuts forests. The forests are famous for the quality of their mushrooms, and are characterized by abandoned terraced farmland, a number of abandoned paper mills which were active in the XX century. These are located along the river Pescia.

pic_410_vallerianapic_415_vallerianaVillages previously inhabited by shepherds, hunters and lumberjacks are now semi-abandoned with the exception of summer weekends when people come back from the city.

Many former inhabitants of the valley have moved to other countries. Foreigners are now buying houses in the villages, especially wealthy tourists from Northern Europe, who are charmed by the landscape. Migrants from Eastern Europe are also moving into the villages to work as lumberjacks. Agriculture is now performed as a hobby, for agro-tourism, or for the production of selected typical local products, like the rare Sorana beans, which are sold at ten times the price of normal beans.

Informants included old shepherds, hunters and woodcutters. Information and narrations were recollected by children and represented on the model.
the exercise has been facilitated by Andrea Giraldi. PhD Sudent Università degli Studi di Firenze Facoltà di Architettura Dipartimento di Urbanistica e Pianificazione del Territorio and Giovanni Ferrari, Università di Firenze. The exercise was promoted by the local association “Nuova Proloco Valleriana”.

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