The loss of identity for places and landscapes represents an important cultural component of environmental hazards. Experiences such as the recent post-earthquake reconstruction in Irpinia show how the damage to the identity of places, far from being repaired, can actually be worsened if the reconstruction processes are not based on a solid architectonic and environmental culture and a well established repertoire of intervention methodologies and know-how. Observation of the current reality, both locally and globally, shows that landscape identity is at risk from two types of agent: a) chronic: processes of cultural homologation. The progressive disappearance of traditional construction cultures, on one hand, and the lack of a comprehensive awareness of modernity, on the other, play no little part in environmental hazards, in both material and immaterial terms; b) sporadic: natural and/or artificial catastrophes. Just as catastrophic events may impart a strong impulse for architectural renovation in cities and landscapes, so they may also provide an alibi for allowing processes of cultural degradation to set in. Particularly during the emergency situation immediately following a catastrophe, the processes of homologation can be drastically accelerated. The method adopted to research phenomena of post-earthquake reconstruction in Irpinia was to compare experiences of reconstruction in Italy, paying particular attention to the safeguarding of the urban and landscape identity, which were analogous for the period of the event and the typology of damage caused. The means adopted was the setting up of a data bank containing information on the earthquake events and the subsequent reconstructions as criteria for comparison. The project was carried out in three phases. In the first phase we collected data on earthquakes and reconstructions in Italy and selected the benchmark events. In the second phase we drew up systematic records of the benchmark reconstructions to insert in the data bank. In the third phase we proceeded to elaborate the data and produce the first results. The dual objective of the research was to establish the strong and weak elements in such reconstructions and match these against the reconstruction carried out in Irpinia and other reconstructions chosen as benchmark experiences. The first results show the peculiar features of the post-earthquake reconstructions of 1968 in Belice, 1976 in Friuli, 1980 in Irpinia, and 1997 in Umbria. In Irpinia, in particular, the earthquake caused extensive damage to urban and landscape identity, with the obliteration of almost all the characteristic “crib villages”, replaced by new urban developments which are still alien to the local population. The consensus of opinion is that although the reconstruction has favoured the building of infrastructures needed to link the various localities in Irpinia, it was nonetheless a missed opportunity for the area’s development. Aim of the research is to quantify “loss of identity” (urban and landscape) as a factor in the calculation of the level of risk for a certain area, so as to facilitate: a) the comprehensibility and transmitability of the humanistic “values” of identity in a technical and scientific context; and hence b) an elaboration largely endorsed by the whole scientific community of a suitable interdisciplinary approach to the safeguarding of identity in the event of an earthquake.

SAFEGUARDING OF URBAN AND LANDSCAPE IDENTITY IN POST-EARTHQUAKE RECONSTRUCTIONS IN ITALY. METHODOLOGY FOR THE ANALYSIS AND FIRST RESULTS.

MAZZOLENI, DONATELLA;
2004

Abstract

The loss of identity for places and landscapes represents an important cultural component of environmental hazards. Experiences such as the recent post-earthquake reconstruction in Irpinia show how the damage to the identity of places, far from being repaired, can actually be worsened if the reconstruction processes are not based on a solid architectonic and environmental culture and a well established repertoire of intervention methodologies and know-how. Observation of the current reality, both locally and globally, shows that landscape identity is at risk from two types of agent: a) chronic: processes of cultural homologation. The progressive disappearance of traditional construction cultures, on one hand, and the lack of a comprehensive awareness of modernity, on the other, play no little part in environmental hazards, in both material and immaterial terms; b) sporadic: natural and/or artificial catastrophes. Just as catastrophic events may impart a strong impulse for architectural renovation in cities and landscapes, so they may also provide an alibi for allowing processes of cultural degradation to set in. Particularly during the emergency situation immediately following a catastrophe, the processes of homologation can be drastically accelerated. The method adopted to research phenomena of post-earthquake reconstruction in Irpinia was to compare experiences of reconstruction in Italy, paying particular attention to the safeguarding of the urban and landscape identity, which were analogous for the period of the event and the typology of damage caused. The means adopted was the setting up of a data bank containing information on the earthquake events and the subsequent reconstructions as criteria for comparison. The project was carried out in three phases. In the first phase we collected data on earthquakes and reconstructions in Italy and selected the benchmark events. In the second phase we drew up systematic records of the benchmark reconstructions to insert in the data bank. In the third phase we proceeded to elaborate the data and produce the first results. The dual objective of the research was to establish the strong and weak elements in such reconstructions and match these against the reconstruction carried out in Irpinia and other reconstructions chosen as benchmark experiences. The first results show the peculiar features of the post-earthquake reconstructions of 1968 in Belice, 1976 in Friuli, 1980 in Irpinia, and 1997 in Umbria. In Irpinia, in particular, the earthquake caused extensive damage to urban and landscape identity, with the obliteration of almost all the characteristic “crib villages”, replaced by new urban developments which are still alien to the local population. The consensus of opinion is that although the reconstruction has favoured the building of infrastructures needed to link the various localities in Irpinia, it was nonetheless a missed opportunity for the area’s development. Aim of the research is to quantify “loss of identity” (urban and landscape) as a factor in the calculation of the level of risk for a certain area, so as to facilitate: a) the comprehensibility and transmitability of the humanistic “values” of identity in a technical and scientific context; and hence b) an elaboration largely endorsed by the whole scientific community of a suitable interdisciplinary approach to the safeguarding of identity in the event of an earthquake.
10 8889972009
9788889972007
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/8310
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