This contribution deals with the evolution of urban structure in the alpine area from the early modern period onwards. In particular, it underlines the relevant changes produced by the industrial revolution on mountain urban system, with special regard to the new era began with the second industrial revolution which dramatically affected the alpine world. The starting point of the analysis are the three centuries of the early modern period when the urban system of the alpine area included only a few small towns, but growing faster than those of the surroundings prealps and plains. This impressive growth has many different possible explanations: the presence of important road networks towards to the main alpine passes, the presence of mining activities or manufacturing activities, the role played by political reasons. After examining the nature and the consequences of the strong relationship between alpine area and its towns and the surrounding plains the contributions deals with the great transformations produced by the industrial revolutions that affected deeply the economy of the alpine area. The industrialization process has broken these fragile equilibria for sure and that happened particularly from the 1850s when the diffusion of some relevant technological innovations progressively eliminated all the reasons for the success of many manufactures located in the Alpine valleys. Especially from the second industrial revolution onwards new technologies dramatically transformed industries and lowered transport costs erasing the comparative advantages of the Alpine area. In this new world the cities inside the Alps finally filled the gap with those located in the «foot» of the mountains thanks to an actual demographic boom. However, this impressive growth of alpine cities came together with a paradoxical result since an homogenization of the urban centres happened. In fact in the twentieth century, and mostly in its second part, both the Alpine cities and the cities in the Po Plain deindustrialized, rapidly becoming cities of the tertiary sector. Then this extraordinary growth of the alpine cities due to exogenous factors, the innovations of the second industrial revolution, had as a result the loss of every alpine specificity.

Mocarelli, L. (2022). The towns in the Alps: a missed protagonist. In Oeconomia Alpium II: Economic history of the Alps in preindustrial time (pp. 159-169). Berlin : De Gruyter [10.1515/9783110522259-009].

The towns in the Alps: a missed protagonist

mocarelli luca
2022

Abstract

This contribution deals with the evolution of urban structure in the alpine area from the early modern period onwards. In particular, it underlines the relevant changes produced by the industrial revolution on mountain urban system, with special regard to the new era began with the second industrial revolution which dramatically affected the alpine world. The starting point of the analysis are the three centuries of the early modern period when the urban system of the alpine area included only a few small towns, but growing faster than those of the surroundings prealps and plains. This impressive growth has many different possible explanations: the presence of important road networks towards to the main alpine passes, the presence of mining activities or manufacturing activities, the role played by political reasons. After examining the nature and the consequences of the strong relationship between alpine area and its towns and the surrounding plains the contributions deals with the great transformations produced by the industrial revolutions that affected deeply the economy of the alpine area. The industrialization process has broken these fragile equilibria for sure and that happened particularly from the 1850s when the diffusion of some relevant technological innovations progressively eliminated all the reasons for the success of many manufactures located in the Alpine valleys. Especially from the second industrial revolution onwards new technologies dramatically transformed industries and lowered transport costs erasing the comparative advantages of the Alpine area. In this new world the cities inside the Alps finally filled the gap with those located in the «foot» of the mountains thanks to an actual demographic boom. However, this impressive growth of alpine cities came together with a paradoxical result since an homogenization of the urban centres happened. In fact in the twentieth century, and mostly in its second part, both the Alpine cities and the cities in the Po Plain deindustrialized, rapidly becoming cities of the tertiary sector. Then this extraordinary growth of the alpine cities due to exogenous factors, the innovations of the second industrial revolution, had as a result the loss of every alpine specificity.
Capitolo o saggio
towns, Alps, early modern period;
English
Oeconomia Alpium II: Economic history of the Alps in preindustrial time
978-3-11-051923-5
altro ISBN 978-311052225-9
Mocarelli, L. (2022). The towns in the Alps: a missed protagonist. In Oeconomia Alpium II: Economic history of the Alps in preindustrial time (pp. 159-169). Berlin : De Gruyter [10.1515/9783110522259-009].
Mocarelli, L
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/353122
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