e-rph 20, jun. 17 | ISSN 1988-7213 | revista semestral
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e-rph nº 20, junio 2017
Intervención | Experiencias
Terremotos y reconstrucción. Proyectos y experiencias de Italia | Lucia Serafini


One of the strengths of the Plans was the assessment of the degree of vulnerability of the centres that were analysed; it was an essential premise for planning project actions seeking to guarantee security and resilience, both at the level of the organism as a whole and in its constituent parts (Vale, 2005). One response along these lines was provided by the identification of so-called “minimum urban structures” (SUM) (Fabietti, 2011; Id. 2012; ID., 2013; Fabietti-Spacone-Staniscia, 2017), understood as sets of strategic buildings, routes or spaces that are essential to guarantee the survival of the cities struck by the earthquake or another disaster; in other words, areas needed to guarantee vital functions and that resemble protected islands within the surrounding context. This is why special care was reserved for the buildings listed in the SUM, in order to guarantee the working of infrastructures, the practicability of escape routes and the general state of buildings: this is no easy task in villages with an extremely compact fabric of buildings, built on mountainsides and often terraced and covered by street arches.

Ilustración 07. Figura 7. Ofena, Reconstruction Plan. Project of the SUM (L. Serafini).

During inspections, the conservation aim meant gradually moving from an urban scale to a building scale, all the way to the details of traditional techniques. This is indispensable to maintain as many pre-existing material and formal elements as possible, and to limit any additional demolitions than have already been done following other events, whether disasters or not. New technical standards were drafted with a view to reconstruction that complements rather than replaces existing structures. They were designed as veritable handbooks, sorts of instruction manuals suggesting a range of possibilities, rather than establishing a list of prohibitions (Varagnoli-Verazzo, 2012: 94-99).

The aim was to create synthetic standards allowing the use of local materials for rebuilding, but encouraging, in specific charts, the construction logic underpinning historic buildings and their stratification. The standards basically exclude demolitions and guarantee the preservation of ruins of buildings that cannot be rebuilt—especially from previous earthquakes—and their use in new design contexts, like parks and urban gardens. The same applies for construction elements like scarped walls and street arches that not only deserve to be reinforced statically through effective shoring along their street facades, but also valued as precious elements of urban and material culture. Obviously, the tradition focus does not rule out the use of innovative technologies, provided they are compatible with existing structures, from a static and structural viewpoint, and a formal and aesthetic one.

Ilustración 08. Figura 8. Castelvecchio Subequo, Reconstruction Plan, 2013. Aggregate 19. Synthesis of interventions (© C. Varagnoli).

The reconstruction of homes in the historic centres would be senseless unless it included a strengthening of the network of relationships between population centres and their territories. It is obvious that rebuilding villages must also have a functional purpose, or it would be reduced to a simple question of surface area. While technically shrewd, it would be impractical in the current period of economic crisis. This is why the Plans also examined innovation and development systems to be established through large-scale hospitality and tourism projects. Another of the Plans’ strengths is the suggestion to transform abandoned or underused homes, both inside and outside the historic centres into “scattered” hotels (called “alberghi diffusi”), in a relationship of mutual complementarity with the strengthening of local agricultural systems, the redevelopment and promotion of exceptional landscapes, and the restoration of historic and cultural sites capable of establishing new connections and generating new resources.

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Universidad de Granada
Departamento de Historia del Arte
Observatorio del Patrimonio Histórico Español
Proyecto de Investigación de Excelencia HUM 620
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