Unlike what happened in the Biella area, in the rest of the world industrialisation took urbanisation to the extreme, depopulating the countryside. People who were once farmers were canned in industrial metropolises just as the food industry canned agricultural products from the countryside to feed the inhabitants of the cities themselves in an increasingly artificial manner. Cans that today are concrete dormitories in which tons of packaging and waste degrade the landscape.
The pandemic has shown how the overpopulation of the metropolitan concentration is a factor aggravating the risks of survival, as well as, and this is already evident, worsening the quality of individual and social life. Many of those who experienced the pandemic outside the city are now considering moving to the countryside, also thanks to digital technologies for communication and commercial use. Today, it is possible to carry out a territorial development project that, inspired by the historical characteristics of the Biella area, declines the relationship between urban and rural in ways capable of generating sustainable prosperity.
It is no longer a question of thinking in concentric circles, with the city at the centre and the countryside around it, but in terms of archipelagos, in which the countryside unites the inhabited centres, engaging them in a production system where nature and technology can coexist in sustainable balance. For some years now, through the project Terre AbbanDonate and its land and farmers’ registries, Cittadellarte, together with a group of local organisations, has been reclaiming lands left uncultivated among the factories, contributing to a contemporary renewal of the territory's vocation as a green archipelago city.
The green sea of the Biellese territory unites the urban centres as the blue sea unites the islands of an archipelago. A new concept has emerged from the Biella area, the one of a city no longer imprisoned within walls and submerged in a sea of pollution, but widespread and distributed across the green sea of nature of its countryside and mountains. The green archipelago is a project of territorial urban planning that extends the capital's vocation to combine industry and nature to the whole province. This union is sanctioned by the UNESCO designation with the symbol of the Third Paradise, which represents the creative and harmonious conjunction of the opposite kingdoms of nature and artifice.