EAUH Conference 2018


Session SS12. Vulnerability and Resilience in the City Landscape: Domes, Bell Towers and 'Emerging' Architecture as Visual Poles and Signs of Urban Memory from 15th to 19th Century

Coordinators: Alfredo Buccaro (, Valentina Russo (

The session aims at bringing to the attention of scholars on those issues concerning the vulnerability - aesthetic, functional and structural - of the 'emerging' elements of the historical buildings, as tangible signs of urban identity and of landscape of European historic centers expecially since Modern Age.
As some recent Italian earthquakes have evidenced (L’Aquila, 2009; Emilia Romagna, 2012; Abruzzo and Umbria, 2016-2017), many historical buildings or parts of them, although having a significant role in the formation and expression of urban image, are highly vulnerable, posing risks not only to physical safety but also to collective memory. In fact around such visual poles, as authentic topoi of the city skyline, social values, shared by centuries, aggregate themselves and they are translated into landscape signs from different cultures during the community history: these are important key-elements in the urban formation process, a long life collective project in which - as pointed out by Michael Jakob – “citizens perpetually redefine their relationship with nature and territory”.
By the response these symbols of urban history are able to offer to seismic or hydrological events it largely depends the preservation of urban landscape image in the context of identity and community cultural values.
The proposed session wants to encourage the widest possible debate on sources and on methodologies of historiographical and iconographic analysis, of traditional building techniques, of restoration over the centuries useful to pursue the most appropriate contemporary strategies to preserve and to enhance these signs of urban memory.
Among the main topics that can be addressed in the papers, we identify the following ones:
- Historiographic and iconographic sources for identification and study of urban aggregation poles;
- Design and structure of the 'emerging architectures' in the formation of the historic urban landscape;
- Historical methodologies for domes’ building;
- The meaning of the spiers and of bell towers in the urban image;
- Theoretical and technical contributions for conservation and protection of the 'invariant' signs of urban identity.

Keywords: 'emerging' architecture; urban landscape; collective memory; vulnerability