Taranto (Italy) is an heavily industrialized Mediterranean city, branded by a degraded environment and landscape. As Factory City, its environmental records set it apart from the rest of the Western Europe (dioxin and benzopyrene emissions in particular). The old denationalized Ilva steel plant is still the largest in Europe, as well as directly employing the highest number of people in Italy (12.000 individuals), a signi cant consideration during the current economic crisis. In 2012, the Judicial Inquiry «sold out environment» ordered the steel plant seizure alongside the application of the best available techniques (see Industrial Emissions Directive – 2010/75/Eu). Environmentalists and Ngos hope to close the factory and deindustrialize the area. This is strongly opposed by the central and local government and by Trade Unions, but with different and frequently divergent paths. A recent local consultative referendum showed in 2013 that deindustrialization is not even a goal for the majority of Taranto citizens, who face the excruciating dilemma: health vs. jobs. How can we offer the community a future where ecology and economy are able to co-exist? International case studies show how to responsibly both avoid deindustrialization and defend employment in Europe. This can be achieved through the implementation of green technology in the industrial process. The authors underline the importance of diversifying the local economy by creating also employment outside of the steel plant. This could be achieved through the launch of a renewal program in Taranto, with the vision to recover the local environment and landscape and to increase urban quality.
Keywords: Factory city; Environmental crisis; Integrated urban planning; Landscape recovery.