Territory, a highly complex living system, a neo-ecosystem produced by the uninterrupted interaction of settled communities with their own environment, is seriously ill at the moment: the rise of machinery civilisation and the explosion of urbanisation have broken the coevolutionary processes that have generated and transformed it in the longue durée of history; therefore, spatial planning’s task is to look for territorial rules of transformation pointed at a new balance between human settlement and environment. That is why the territorialist planning assumes the study of territorial history as the base of its own designing method, identifying such rules in the structural invariants which have presided over long-lasting processes and whose regulatory prescriptions become the founding elements of territorial statutes. In such processes, the rules of reproduction/evolution/transformation of territorial, urban, environmental or landscape morphotypes can only be observed and decoded through a dynamic reading of the territorialisation cycles, since it is through this that discontinuities and persistences reveal themselves. In the perspective of the last-generation planning instruments, which adopt these concepts, we can therefore interpret the statutes as corpus of rules for the good governance of transformation of territory as a whole, rather than as simple constraints related to cultural and landscape assets.
territorial neo-ecosystem; coevolution; longue durée; structural invariants; rules for transformation