Geothermal Larderello: Tuscany, Italy
"Geothermal Larderello investigates contemporary urbanism by looking at the evolution of human settlement patterns in relation to geothermal energy in Larderello, Italy. Larderello is "off the map," and virtually unknown to Tuscan residents and tourists, but is one of the world's centers of geothermal power research. Alternative futures for this industrial town, which was planned by Giovanni Michelucci in the 1950s, are discussed within the context of sustainability, economics, programming, and environment.
In ancient times, the Valley de Cecina was home to a spa and renowned for its healing thermal waters, while in the modern era, this steam was harnessed to generate electricity for district heating and for other uses. Larderello, with its unique landscape of agricultural fields, olive trees, cooling towers, and miles of above-ground steam pipes, is a case study for the possible confluence of geothermal power and urban design issues.