Flipping Book | Africa's Giants | Salini Impregilo Library

Geddes wished for a biological use of energy and for electric power, that was first transmitted over long distances thanks to the inventions of Marcel Deprez and Werner Simens (the inventor of the dynamo), and later publicized in the world exhibitions. Geddes also wished for an increasing hydroelectric production, indicated by Clausius as a possible solution to environmental problems. Geddes also considered Norway as a good example of hydroelectric policy, related as it was to the planning of new settlements. The use of hydropower - houille blanche - was extolled by bio-regionalist political intervention, resulting in the architectural features of the water-power regions . In Italy Giuseppe Colombo was one of the first hydropower supporters. The first dam in Liguria was built as early as 1883, while the first European thermoelectric power station was built in Milan; in 1898 the Bertini hydroelectric plant at Paderno d’Adda, the largest in Europe, came into operation. Large scale energy projects marked the development of entire nations, and were crucial to the 1920 Goelro Plan, as expressed by Lenin’s motto: “Communism is Soviet power plus electrification of the whole country.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed a New Deal to get out of the Great Depression and in 1933 established the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the symbol and myth of an active public role in the national economy. The purpose of TVA was an integrated management of natural resources: “To improve the navigability and flood control of the Tennessee River, as well as reforestation and a correct use of marginal lands of the Tennessee Valley, while promoting local agricultural and industrial development.” TVA was a task force for development and a partial realization of the regionalist policy. TVA has also improved the navigation of rivers, as dams were built to control flooding and produce electricity by exploiting “white coal”. The Authority also developed the production of fertilizers and taught farmers how to improve their crops, helping replant forests and monitor fires, while improving wildlife and fish production. The example of the TVA was transferred to other continents at all latitudes: in Africa, with the Volta River Project and the Akosombo Dam, in India in the Domodar Valley. In China the South-North Water Transfer Project to bring water from the rainy southern regions to the north and to Beijing is currently under construction. In Australia (New South Wales) the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme is in progress. These examples may help us understand chances, risks and problems, as well as the fact that a conscious and thrifty use water is crucial for the future, as expressed by Constantinos Doxiadis: “In the future we will have built the universal big city and men’s garden with water running in his arteries, bringing life and ensuring his inner balance and peace.” •

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