the project


Hello and welcome to this website! My name is Giacomo Parrinello and this is the site of my ongoing project entitled “Entangled Flows”. This project, funded by a Marie Curie IO Fellowship of the European Union, aims at retracing the epoch-making transformation of water uses and circulation in the Po River valley over the last 150 years. During this period, the region crossed by the Po River has undergone a fundamental transition toward industrial modes of production, high-tech urban systems, and new forms of social life. This transformation corresponded to a vertiginous increase in water uses and to massive social and ecological rearrangements of water circulation. Nowadays, the melting snow of the Alps powers the light switch of a living room in Genoa, the water of the Como Lake runs through the sewage pipes of a high-rise condominium in Milan, and the Po River flows through the fields of Romagna. This new watery landscape confronts us with new problems and new challenges. Are we capable to deal with the new and overlapping scales of water circulation? How can we balance collective well-being and limits to abundance? How can we ensure democratic decisions on water resources and a just distribution of burdens and benefits?

By retracing the path that brought us up to this point, I wish to add spatial and temporal depth to current debates on water in one of the most important and populated urban-industrial regions of Europe. Yet the same questions and issues are common to many other parts of the world, where humans have been reshaping air, water, and land to an extent and on a scale never before seen, while reshaping themselves and their civilization. The history of humans and water in the Po Valley, in other words, is also a history of the Anthropocene, the age when humans have become makers of the Earth, without being its masters. Through the lens of the Po Valley, thus, I wish to look at the Anthropocene on a different scale and, I hope, gain new insights into the problems and challenges of our common future.

This website presents some of the data I have produced during the research in the form of interactive maps. The maps are grouped in sections: agriculture, energy, and urbanization. An additional section provides information on sources and credits for this project. But first of all, a map of the watershed and its hundreds of water bodies.

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