This critical analysis compares the reconstruction in progress in Abruzzo (after the earthquakes of 2009 and 2016-17) with other experiences carried out in Italy concerning various seismic events over a period of fifty years (Belice 1968, Friuli 1976, Irpinia 1980, Umbria and Marche 1997). Such reconstructions –some of them now considered as ‘models’– are particularly significant in the attempt to understand different approaches to the preservation of historical architecture. During the actual emergency phases, the approaches to secure damaged areas and building heritage varied; even today many constructions are demolished for security reasons (see the recent demolitions at Amatrice and other villages damaged by the earthquake of 2016-2017). From a comparison of different situations, it seems that damage and loss of historical architecture are very often caused by post-seismic demolitions rather than by earthquakes. This loss, which affects subsequent reconstruction methods, derives from different circumstances. They include unawareness of the values of the structures, as well as a forced choice between the will to reinstate, exemplified by the slogan "where it was and how it was" and development expectations, understood only as total renewal. Only when a prior recognition of place values has occurred does reconstruction safeguard historical and cultural identity, without jeopardising the authenticity, rebirth and development of damaged places. The seismic history and the historical-architectural heritage of Italian cities and landscapes require multidisciplinary considerations in identifying the values to be safeguarded. Sometimes the vulnerability evaluation of historical heritage is subjected to prejudice against conservation.

Historica Town Centres and Post-seismic Reconstructions: Between Functional Recovery and Heritage Value Awareness

bartolomucci c
2021

Abstract

This critical analysis compares the reconstruction in progress in Abruzzo (after the earthquakes of 2009 and 2016-17) with other experiences carried out in Italy concerning various seismic events over a period of fifty years (Belice 1968, Friuli 1976, Irpinia 1980, Umbria and Marche 1997). Such reconstructions –some of them now considered as ‘models’– are particularly significant in the attempt to understand different approaches to the preservation of historical architecture. During the actual emergency phases, the approaches to secure damaged areas and building heritage varied; even today many constructions are demolished for security reasons (see the recent demolitions at Amatrice and other villages damaged by the earthquake of 2016-2017). From a comparison of different situations, it seems that damage and loss of historical architecture are very often caused by post-seismic demolitions rather than by earthquakes. This loss, which affects subsequent reconstruction methods, derives from different circumstances. They include unawareness of the values of the structures, as well as a forced choice between the will to reinstate, exemplified by the slogan "where it was and how it was" and development expectations, understood only as total renewal. Only when a prior recognition of place values has occurred does reconstruction safeguard historical and cultural identity, without jeopardising the authenticity, rebirth and development of damaged places. The seismic history and the historical-architectural heritage of Italian cities and landscapes require multidisciplinary considerations in identifying the values to be safeguarded. Sometimes the vulnerability evaluation of historical heritage is subjected to prejudice against conservation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/158427
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