The provincial government of Trentino Alto Adige has forbidden the establishment of new sales areas of more than 10,000 square meters, and therefore the establishment of new shopping malls in the area. Among the reasons given are the need to defend and strengthen the presence of businesses in the mountainous towns and areas, and the aim of continually increasing protection of the land.
It should be noted that in Trentino 87% of the land is made up of rocks, forests or pastures, and only the remaining 13% is potentially available for settlements and agriculture. Land is therefore a very limited resource, which needs to be preserved by minimising consumption and limiting the possibility for new expansions. Among the other objectives was the containment of road traffic and its effects in terms of atmospheric and noise pollution.
In Trentino, from 1960 to 2004, urbanised areas grew by 190% against a population growth of 20%, and 24% of the territory intended for large commercial areas has not yet been used. “The decision taken by Trentino Alto Adige,” underlined by Alessandro Olivi, the vice-president of the town council, “is in favour of a reform, the first of its kind in Italy, which aims to renew the method of planning commercial settlements in the region, promoting the value of our alpine vocations.”
It should be emphasised that the decision consolidates the tendency to limit land consumption in Italy. According to the latest ISPRA surveys (Environment Secretary), in June 2016 denaturalised land exceeded 23,000km2, 7.64% of the peninsula’s surface area (compared to 2.7% in the 1950s). In 2016, 15 regions exceeded 5% land consumption, with the highest percentages in Lombardy and Veneto (over 12%) and Campania (over 10%). Following are Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Puglia and Liguria, with values between 8 and 10%. The Aosta Valley is the only region remaining below the 3% threshold. Today, the average rate of land consumption in Europe is 4.6%.