1° Congresso Internacional "As cidades na història - População" abstract Do migrations have an urban vocation yet?

New trends in Italian urban settlements by Gennaro Avallone (University of Salerno) and Salvo Torre (University of Catania) Italian statisticians and demographers observed in XXth century that generally the trend to settle in the largest urban areas is leaded by individuals seeking to enhance their quality of life. Franco Alasia and Danilo Montaldi introduced in 1960 one of the first researches on italian internal migrations recognizing that «migrations have an urban vocation». This analysis has been verified in some Italian urban studies by Giorgio Mortara. Researches made in other national contexts obtained the same conclusions, above all the researches of Kingsley Davis and the Chicago School in the USA. It is possible to conclude that migrations have an urban vocation in an increasing intensification period of industrialization. Industrial crisis that started in the second half of the 70's and the following changes of labour market have made less secure the correspondence between city and immigration. Since the 80's the trends of the territorial settlements started to change; while Italy was becoming an immigration country – moving from being a sender country into a host country –, the settlement processes become less predictable and counter-urbanization and urban diffusion phenomena began. The immigrant settlement processes met the more general processes of economic restructuration and territorial transformation, above all the dynamics of urban diffusion and the reduction of population in the largest Italian municipalities. In this deeply change, it is useful to highlight the new spatial distribution of immigrant population and which territorial areas have been most affected by their presence. Over the last two decades, between 1991 and 2010, this question has become particularly important in Italian case. We can assume that vocation of migration is still urban, but it is associated to the new socioterritorial configurations, as, for example, the periurban or neo-rural configurations. The research tries to answer to this question. The analisys consists of two parts, the first aims to verify the main immigrant settlement trends from 1991 to 2010 in Italy. It is funded on the study of a series of demographic and mobility data about immigration in the Italian society. The data presentation is reinforced by an interpretation of the observed trends. The second part presents some case studies like a comparison between two Northern regional areas (Lombardia and Piemonte) and two Southern areas (Campania and Sicilia). The second part focuses on distribution of immigrant populations in metropolitan and rural areas to verify if settlement processes produce conditions of sociospatial segregation based on the national membership.