The re-use and the domestication of nature in abandoned areas is becoming a theme of increasing relevance in European (and Italian) public debate. This article uses Gilles Clément's concept of 'third landscape' to understand the transformation of an urban salt works into a public park. Salt production in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) was suspended in 1984 because of pollution from urban sewage. Some years after abandonment, the state salt works eventually became a public park. People frequented the area before its establishment and eventually the salt works became a place for running, canoeing, walking, biking, birdwatching and other outdoor activities. The article shows how this abandoned area became a park and heritage site, though stakeholder support. It analyzes the local discourse that continues to represent and protect the area as 'green,' where nature can be enjoyed, despite its industrial heritage.
Keywords: salt works, wetlands, coastal parks, European coastal cities, Sardinia
How to Cite:
Lai, F., (2013) “Nature and the city: the salt-works park in the urban area of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy)”, Journal of Political Ecology 20(1), p.329-341. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/v20i1.21771