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Porto Marghera and the Industrial Ecology Challenge: Why it did not become an Eco-Industrial Park

Mannino, Ilda and Ninka, Eniel and Turvani, Margherita (2014): Porto Marghera and the Industrial Ecology Challenge: Why it did not become an Eco-Industrial Park.

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A set of factors facilitate the role of Eco-Industrial Parks in addressing the many environmental challenges arising with economic development: among such factors the local context in which the EIP is embedded, i.e. the cohesion of the community, the cooperation among actors, the proximity and the adaptability, as well as the global context and economic phase play a major role. EIPs’ evolution process is path-dependent, hence also history and choices made in the past as well as the context of the industrial sector are very important in determining their success. We study the industrial area of Venice, namely Porto Marghera, as a showcase, in order to understand how history can twist the evolution of an industrial area and determine its destiny. The analysis covers Industrial Symbiosis leverage factors, as well as the local, national and international context drivers that, over time, promoted or hindered the development and evolution of the area. We show how, due to the action of such multiple factors, such large and major Italian industrial area presenting just few years ago characteristics that could have favoured its development as an EIP, resulted eventually in a failure and the closing down of the most relevant economic activities supporting the functioning of the EIP itself. Context factors and single specific shocks, related to local issues as well as to the global, regional, and national scale, shifted the evolutionary path of a well-integrated EIP, even though the technical and internal characteristics of the industrial area were in place.

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