In the city of Lecce in the heel of the Italian boot, several layers of history were uncovered when one man tried to do his plumbing. The job that was meant to take a week, turned into years, resulting in a museum. Archaeology has increasingly frustrated Italian urban planners, even preventing from the Rome subway from being expanded.
As with all land use conflicts, a consensus must be built in order for the different stake holders to appropriate the land fairly. At what point do archaeology expeditions impede the quality of life of property owners. Which ancient relics are worth preventing development?
Severo Martini, a member of the City Council, said archaeological relics turn up on a regular basis — and can present a headache for urban planning. A project to build a shopping mall had to be redesigned after the discovery of an ancient Roman temple beneath the site of a planned parking lot.
Establishing principles of conflict resolution among the several parties is essential to creating a deal that will work. Local conflicts, and their negotiated peace, are a microcosm of what it means to achieve diplomacy. The fields of Urban Planning and Diplomacy would do well to learn from one another.
If you’re interested in the overlap of Archaeology and Urban Planning, consider reading this well written article.