Ecotourism and Architecture: the Intertwining of Ecology, Culture, and Economy

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Sciolli-Claverie, Vittorio Stefano
Eisenbach, Ronit
The town of Orbetello, located near the ancient port of Cosa in Tuscany, has, for many years, benefited from the seasonal influx of domestic tourism. However, uneven expansion in the town’s industrial sector, as well as seasonal overuse of the land’s natural resources, has negatively impacted the lagoon and its delicate ecosystem. Most recently, in the summer of 2015, over two hundred tons of fish were lost overnight due to increasing temperatures, lack of oxygen, and most likely, poor water-interchange between the lagoon and the Tyrrhenian . The continuous loss of this precious ecological and economic asset is, of course, devastating for an economy so reliant on its harvest. With these extremely delicate natural, economic, and historical conditions, the need for responsive design becomes increasingly important. The focus of this thesis will be on the urban and architectural design interventions that could aid the Orbetello region, through the reclaiming of local ecology, reuse of historic structures, and linking of urban zones in the downtown area. This document will serve as a study on how the models of pescatourism and ecotourism can be applied to the fishing industry, both as a regenerative tools, and as an economic devices.