1st Edition

Water in the Making of a Socio-Natural Landscape Rome and Its Surroundings, 1870–1922

By Salvatore Valenti Copyright 2023
    216 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How would the history of an urban area look if water were at the center of analysis? Water in the Making of a Socio-Natural Landscape explores the transition from early modern to modern water management in late nineteenth-century Rome. It merges local water management with national water policies aimed at promoting irrigated agriculture, industrial processes, and public health. It investigates perceptions and conceptualisations of water, changes in the water law, engineering projects, medical knowledge and practices, value of water in different productions, and needs and uses of local stakeholders. From which derives that water infrastructures are the complex outcome of the clash between different users and uses of water as well as the dynamic interaction between different levels of power. In this book, it builds upon Maria Kaika’s Cities of flows and Erik Swyngedouw’s Liquid power to introduce a new dimension to the analysis of urban water: the interaction among the three main uses of water: drinking, agriculture, and industry.

    Water in the Making of a Socio-Natural Landscape is written for a specialist readership with an interest in environmental and urban history and science and technology studies, but it can also be used by graduate and PhD students.


    Chapter 1, Water, experts, and modernity

    Chapter 2, Mapping, engineering, law, and the struggle for water control in the Roman area

    Chapter 3, Water, health, and disease

    Chapter 4, The value of water

    Chapter 5, Water uses and the making of a new socio-natural landscape: the growth of Southeast Rome

    Chapter 6, Euro-Mediterranean socio-natural trajectories



    Salvatore Valenti is a post-doctoral research fellow in History at the Department of Humanities at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. As an urban historian, I am particularly interested in the relationship between water and society. My current project is on the impact of Asiatic Cholera on water infrastructures in Italian cities during the 19th century (part of the ERC Advanced Grant "The Water Cultures of Italy, 1500-1900").