Riconversione del suolo, una via per tutelare il territorio

di Michele Costanzo 44

Un nuovo studio dell'Agenzia Europea dell’Ambiente ha analizzato la riconversione del suolo come attività per recuperare i siti abbandonati. Una attività in crescita ma ancora poco valorizzata.

riconversione del suolo
Il suolo è per sua stessa natura una risorsa limitata su cui devono coesistere attività differenti. Urbanizzazione, infrastrutture, agricoltura, boschi e foreste si ripartiscono lo spazio disponibile secondo equilibri molto complessi che variano da zona a zona. Tuttavia ciascuna di queste realtà svolge un suo ruolo ben preciso e può essere compressa solo entro certi limiti. Nelle nostre aree urbane sono sempre più numerosi i siti abbandonati o in disuso che in passato hanno ospitato attività economiche o industriali e che ora potrebbero seguire un percorso positivo di riconversione del suolo. Questo tema è trattato in un nuovo rapporto dell’Agenzia Europea dell’Ambiente (AEA) denominato ‘Land recycling in Europe‘ che fa il punto su dimensione e impatto del fenomeno.

Cos’è la riconversione del suolo

In molti paesi europei esiste un serio problema di consumo del suolo inteso come porzione del territorio modificato dall’azione dell’uomo. In Italia il fenomeno è stato ben fotografato dall’ISPRA che in un documento del 2015 ha mostrato come il suolo consumato in Italia sia passato dal 2,7% degli anni ’50 al 7% del 2014. Al tempo stesso però è cresciuta anche l’estensione della aree in disuso che contribuiscono a mantenere elevati gli indici di uso del suolo ma al tempo stesso non portano più alcuna utilità ed alcun beneficio alla collettività.

Quando si parla di riconversione del suolo (o recupero del suolo o ancora land recycling in inglese) si intende quel complesso di operazioni che permettono di recuperare un sito dismesso o abbandonato attribuendogli una nuova funzione nel tessuto urbano. Rientrano quindi nella riconversione sia le operazioni bonifica e ripristino dello stato naturale dei terreni sia anche il riutilizzo del suolo a scopo edificatorio.

In questo senso il rapporto AEA distingue tra:

  • Grey land recycling inteso come riutilizzo dell’area secondo la sua destinazione d’uso esistente o secondo una nuova destinazione d’uso.
  • Green land recycling inteso come recupero del suolo per la creazione di un’area verde o di un’area urbana aperta.

Sono soprattutto gli interventi di green land recycling ad apportare benefici alla qualità della vita nell’ambito urbano. Anche gli interventi di grey land recycling possono però contribuire a migliorare la salubrità dell’ambiente e la vivibilità del territorio.

I dati sulla riconversione del suolo

Il rapporto dell’Agenzia Europea dell’Ambiente è basato sulle rilevazioni dei satelliti europei Copernico e mostra come la riconversione del suolo sia in aumento in Europa anche se rimane su valori complessivamente limitati. Tra il 1990 ed il 2000 la riconversione del suolo ha rappresentato il 2,23% del consumo totale di terreno nei paesi esaminati. Tale quota è scesa al 2,10% tra il 2000 ed il 2006 per poi risalire al 2,93% tra il 2006 ed il 2012.

A fronte di questi dati generali si registrano però andamenti molto differenti a seconda del paese considerato. Tra il 2006 ed il 2012 ad esempio, il più ampio tasso di ricorso alla riconversione del suolo si è registrato in Montenegro ed è stato pari al 15,64%. A doppia cifra anche il Lussemburgo con un tasso dell’11,91%. All’opposto Malta ed Albania che nello stesso periodo hanno registrato un ricorso alla riconversione nullo.

In tutti e tre gli intervalli temporali presi in considerazione l’Italia si è mossa al di sotto della media europea. Nel nostro paese la riconversione del suolo in rapporto al consumo di suolo ha rappresentato:

  • lo 0,19% tra il 1990 ed il 2000
  • l’1,03% tra il 2000 ed il 2006
  • l’1,54% tra il 2006 ed il 2012

Il trend generale dell’Italia è comunque in crescita, segno di una maggiore attenzione generale all’uso della risorsa ‘terra’. Un approccio che si ritrova anche in sede legislativa con la discussione della nuova legge sull’uso del suolo di cui abbiamo parlato qualche tempo fa nell’articolo ‘Consumo del suolo zero nel 2050, primo si alla Camera‘.

Tra i principi definiti in quella norma sono incluse anche alcune misure che vanno nella direzione di incentivare la riconversione del suolo. Ne sono un esempio le nuove regole per la riqualificazione delle aree già edificate ma anche i limiti più stringenti sul cambio di destinazione d’uso per i terreni agricoli.

I benefici della riconversione del suolo

Secondo i calcoli dell’AEA dal 2016 al 2012 più di mille chilometri quadrati ogni anno di suolo sono stati utilizzati in Europa per lo sviluppo delle attività umane. Il fenomeno non riguarda solo la sottrazione di superficie a boschi, pascoli e foreste ma va inquadrato anche in funzione del suo impatto complessivo. Il consumo di suolo ad esempio avviene spesso con modifiche alla destinazione d’uso dei terreni agricoli creando in questo modo una serie di problemi produttivi per l’agricoltura.

L’uso del suolo inoltre si accompagna generalmente ad impermeabilizzazione dei terreni che perdono in questo modo la capacità di trattenere e moderare le acque meteoriche. Da questa condizione emerge un aumento del rischio idrogeologico che mette a rischio milioni di persone. Sempre l’ISPRA nell’ultimo rapporto sul rischio idrogeologico ha stimato che solo in Italia fino a 9 milioni di persone sono a rischio per pericolosità idraulica. In molti di questi casi il grado di rischio è strettamente associato alle modalità con cui è stata gestita nel tempo l’urbanizzazione del territorio e l’uso del suolo.

La riconversione del suolo del suolo in questo senso può essere una occasione anche per intervenire sui fattori di rischio idrogeologico migliorando la sicurezza del territorio.

Photo Credits | OpenClipArt

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