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April 2008

Fondaco was invited to contribute its own experience to the Festival delle Citta Impresa organised by Nordest Europa during its first edition entitled “The landscape of happiness – the transformations of the urban fabric in the passage to post-Fordism” held from April 18th to the 20th in the towns of Rovereto, Conegliano, Schio, Valdagno, Montebelluna, Vittorio Veneto, and Maniago. Seven important industrial areas now undergoing enormous evolution and transformation have decided to face-off with each other to better understand and outline a future in which city-enterprise relations will have to be increasingly reinforced and synergetic.

A Festival della Città Impresa so that the city may once again become an enterprise and the enterprise goes back to being a city. The focus is on seven mid-sized and small urban centres, regional capitals emblematic of the industrial transformation that has occurred over past decades and are today representative models of a system, like this north-eastern one, in constant movement because it is a form of on-site experimentation. This is the sense of this Festival, organised and promoted by Nordesteuropa; to once again reflect on the themes related to the transformation of the economic foundation of these territories and on the revolution of the city-enterprise relationship, two once parallel universes that are now beginning to converge. At the base of this new convergence are new processes of economic dematerialization, the reorganisation and necessary requalification of inhabited areas, and a renewed sense of work, planning, and of life to promote the pursuit of happiness. The first edition of this event saw important cultural, industrial, political, scientific and financial figures involved in an open debate on issues related to the transformation of the urban fabric in relation to the evolution of the economic scenario and its implications on everyday life in the city. This debate even assumed an international perspective by including the participation of leading world experts in the fields of urban and architectural studies backed by first-hand reports from public administrators who had guided the industrial transformation processes of urban centres and businessmen who were pioneers in revolutionizing Italian mid-sized businesses. Fondaco brought their own experience to this stimulating round table in Conegliano (New services) and Rovereto (How do cities communicate?), highlighting that the historical and artistic heritage of Italy is precisely what Italian businessmen should be investing in for the purpose of cultivating new stimuli and ideas for their companies from our Italian roots and culture. This is where the true challenge lies for the global market: the land of our historical heritage that no competitor anywhere can ever take away or imitate. This is where we must invest and bring our companies. If we can succeed in combining the image of Italy with its historic-artistic heritage, it would truly be an unprecedented winning combination, making Made in Italy as strong as it is unique.

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