Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2023) | Viewed by 17625

Special Issue Editors


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Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Interests: earthquake engineering; structural analysis and design; structural health monitoring; finite element modeling and analysis; building codes; nonlinear analysis; construction engineering; structural optimization; building materials; construction materials; protection of cultural heritage; structural engineering; seismic design; cultural studies; conservation and restoration of cultural heritage; structural reliability; civil engineering materials adobe; nondestructive testing; sustainable construction; civil engineering technology; construction technology; life-cycle assessment; reinforced concrete buildings; masonry buildings
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Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Interests: masonry; ageing infrastructure; computational mechanics; remote sensing; structural inspection; digital twin; cultural heritage

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Guest Editor
CNR-ISAC (National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate), Area della Ricerca di Tor Vergata, Via Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
Interests: conservation of cultural heritage; non-destructive techniques for diagnostics on cultural heritage; microclimatic monitoring; preventive conservation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit your work to this Special Issue on the topic of the “Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards” at the open access, indexed within Scopus, journal Heritage (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/heritage), published quarterly by MDPI.

Natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, fires, and anthropogenic pollution, but also heavy precipitation, flooding, and drought due to frequent climate change, resulted in significant damage to and even the collapse of our structures of architectural heritage. Wars and conflicts or other extreme events resulting, for example, from industrial accidents may also affect architectural heritage. These phenomena make new challenges necessary to find and implement solutions to deal with such occurrences. Scientific actions are required to respond to these challenges by developing new methodologies and tools for adaptation capacity that truly enable cultural heritage and landscape managers, policymakers, industry representatives, and stakeholders to be able to cope with emergencies promptly and appropriately, basing decisions and actions on the principles of knowledge, assessment, and preparedness.

Sharing knowledge, experience, and recommendations on the multirisk assessment, vulnerability, resilience, and sustainable management of cultural heritage are necessary tools to effectively participate in the policies that will design and implement the new strategies needed to address future challenges.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present the latest developments in this research field. International, regional, and local projects are welcome, as are case studies, the adoption of best practices, and the setup of risk management plans.

We therefore invite contributions on the following but non-exhaustive list of topics:

  • Cultural heritage at risk due to natural and man-made hazards: examples and case studies.
  • Methodologies and tools for the risk analysis and management of cultural heritage.
  • Multihazard and vulnerability assessment of cultural heritage.
  • Preventive actions and adaptation measures for the mitigation of risk factors.
  • Best practices on the preservation and management of cultural heritage.
  • Remote sensing for cultural heritage and landscapes management.
  • Multidisciplinarily approaches for the protection of cultural heritage: exemplary projects.

The Special Issue will be open for submission after 1st September 2020.

Prof. Dr. Humberto Varum
Dr. Vasilis Sarhosis
Dr. Fernanda Prestileo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cultural heritage
  • safeguarding
  • management
  • hazards
  • risks assessment
  • climate change
  • resilience
  • preparedness

Published Papers (10 papers)

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28 pages, 20787 KiB  
Article
Dynamic-Based Limit Analysis for Seismic Assessment of Free-Standing Walls of San Giovanni Church in Castelseprio UNESCO World Heritage Site
by Luca Sbrogiò, Lorenzo Tavano, Ylenia Saretta, Amedeo Caprino, Alejandra Chavarría Arnau, Gian Pietro Brogiolo and Maria Rosa Valluzzi
Heritage 2024, 7(1), 448-475; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7010022 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1380
Abstract
Free-standing archaeological walls are significantly exposed to horizontal actions (e.g., earthquakes) as they lack connections provided by floors or roofs. In such cases, the dynamic response governs the activation of local mechanisms of collapse, determining the shape of the macroblocks and their position. [...] Read more.
Free-standing archaeological walls are significantly exposed to horizontal actions (e.g., earthquakes) as they lack connections provided by floors or roofs. In such cases, the dynamic response governs the activation of local mechanisms of collapse, determining the shape of the macroblocks and their position. Engineering models of archaeological walls are developed according to the results of extensive visual inspections and on-site testing, including modal identification for calibration purposes. A modal response spectrum analysis on the calibrated model identifies the zones where the tensile stress is exceeded, which are more likely to detach as rigid macroblocks and subsequently overturn due to the expected ground spectra. The macroblocks are then assessed according to limit analysis. The case studies are the north and the apse walls of the church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Castelseprio (Varese, Lombardy), a 5th century Longobard fortified settlement, a part of UNESCO World Heritage. The construction quality of the apse was poorer than the north wall, but the masonry of both is very compact thanks to the good mortar. The macroblocks are identified mostly in the upper crests of the walls, and their acceleration of activation is two to six times larger than the demand (considering the dynamic amplification that the structure applies to the ground motion); therefore, no particular intervention is needed. The proposed method will require additional calibration, e.g., through nonlinear dynamic analyses, and a more precise treatment of uncertainties in masonry mechanical properties to determine the shape of the macroblocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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14 pages, 5102 KiB  
Article
Pluvial Flood Risk Assessment in Urban Areas: A Case Study for the Archaeological Site of the Roman Agora, Athens
by Theano Iliopoulou, Panayiotis Dimitriadis and Demetris Koutsoyiannis
Heritage 2023, 6(11), 7230-7243; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6110379 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1196
Abstract
Ancient monuments located in urbanized areas are subject to numerous short- and long-term environmental hazards with flooding being among the most critical ones. Flood hazards in the complex urban environment are subject to large spatial and temporal variability and, thus, require location-specific risk [...] Read more.
Ancient monuments located in urbanized areas are subject to numerous short- and long-term environmental hazards with flooding being among the most critical ones. Flood hazards in the complex urban environment are subject to large spatial and temporal variability and, thus, require location-specific risk assessment and mitigation. We devise a methodological scheme for assessing flood hazard in urban areas, at the monument’s scale, by directly routing rainfall events over a fine-resolution digital terrain model at the region of interest. This is achieved using an open-source 2D hydraulic modelling software under unsteady flow conditions, employing a scheme known as ‘direct rainfall modelling’ or ‘rain-on-grid’. The method allows for the realistic representation of buildings and, thus, is appropriate for detailed storm-induced (pluvial) flood modelling in urbanized regions, within which a major stream is usually not present and conventional hydrological methodologies do not apply. As a case study, we perform a pilot assessment of the flood hazard in the Roman Agora, a major archaeological site of Greece located in the center of Athens. The scheme is incorporated within an intelligent decision-support system for the protection of monumental structures (ARCHYTAS), allowing for a fast and informative assessment of the flood risk within the monument’s region for different scenarios that account for rainfall’s return period and duration as well as uncertainty in antecedent wetness conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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19 pages, 13040 KiB  
Article
Risk Assessment and Vulnerability Analysis of a Coastal Concrete Heritage Structure
by Teresa Cunha Ferreira, Xavier Romão, Pedro Murilo Freitas and Hugo Mendonça
Heritage 2023, 6(9), 6153-6171; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6090323 - 30 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1158
Abstract
This research focuses on the risk management of reinforced concrete heritage constructions in coastal environments, with an emphasis on preserving their cultural significance. It addresses a critical gap in existing risk-related research, since this type of heritage site is often overlooked in heritage [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the risk management of reinforced concrete heritage constructions in coastal environments, with an emphasis on preserving their cultural significance. It addresses a critical gap in existing risk-related research, since this type of heritage site is often overlooked in heritage conservation research. The proposed methodology offers a flexible framework that links natural and human-induced hazards with their impacts on key heritage values, enabling the development of appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies and policies. Climate change-induced threats are also incorporated, allowing for more effective adaptation plans to safeguard concrete coastal heritage for future generations. The Ocean Swimming Pool in Matosinhos, Portugal, designed by the Pritzker Prize winner Álvaro Siza, serves as a pilot study to illustrate the practicality of the risk-based approach, considering its coastal location and exposure to various hazards. By using this case study, the research provides a roadmap for preserving and adapting heritage constructions in similar coastal settings. The integration of cultural values into risk management and conservation policies is a significant contribution of this research. It advocates for a proactive approach that considers the dynamic challenges posed by climate change while preserving the significance of cultural heritage. The adaptable nature of the proposed methodology allows for broader applications, potentially benefiting multiple heritage sites in coastal regions. Ultimately, this research calls for positive changes in risk management practices to ensure the preservation and longevity of culturally significant reinforced concrete heritage sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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16 pages, 12781 KiB  
Article
Artificial Cavities in the Northern Campania Plain: Architectural Variability and Cataloging Challenge
by Marco Vigliotti, Maria Assunta Fabozzi, Carla Buffardi and Daniela Ruberti
Heritage 2023, 6(7), 5500-5515; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6070289 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
In Campania (southern Italy), the widespread presence of anthropogenic cavities in the subsoil of the Neapolitan and Caserta provinces is well known. In these towns, the underground quarrying activities were performed for centuries to extract volcanic tuffs for buildings. The urban developments have [...] Read more.
In Campania (southern Italy), the widespread presence of anthropogenic cavities in the subsoil of the Neapolitan and Caserta provinces is well known. In these towns, the underground quarrying activities were performed for centuries to extract volcanic tuffs for buildings. The urban developments have sealed many signals of the presence of cavities and their real extent is almost unknown, thus representing a geological hazard and contributing to the subsoil instability of many places. This contribution will show the main cavity typologies recognized across an area north of Naples according to the geological characteristics of the subsoil. The main aim of the study is the cataloging of the cavities and the analysis of the city subsoil as their presence may easily trigger the collapse of the shallow or deeper soils. Moreover, the recognition and sustainable reuse of cavities contributes to enhancing the cultural and touristic promotion of a territory. In this study, a database framework was elaborated that includes all the possible architectural, geological and geotechnical elements of the cavities. Data were managed in a GIS environment in order to provide a useful tool for monitoring and managing the cavities for risk mitigation and tourism enhancement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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36 pages, 7314 KiB  
Article
How Could Increasing Temperature Scenarios Alter the Risk of Terrorist Acts in Different Historical Squares? A Simulation-Based Approach in Typological Italian Squares
by Enrico Quagliarini, Gabriele Bernardini and Marco D’Orazio
Heritage 2023, 6(7), 5151-5186; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6070274 - 06 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
Squares in the urban historical built environment are public open spaces prone to the risk of terrorist acts, essentially because they are ideal soft targets and attract significant user densities. Risk assessment methods should consider how users behave in them, both before and [...] Read more.
Squares in the urban historical built environment are public open spaces prone to the risk of terrorist acts, essentially because they are ideal soft targets and attract significant user densities. Risk assessment methods should consider how users behave in them, both before and during an accident (i.e., the evacuation process). In addition to squares’ morphology and layout, and considering that urban areas are more and more prone to the effects of increasing temperatures, outdoor climate conditions can alter the initial scenario. In fact, such conditions can lead users to gather in specific outdoor areas, where they can look for shadows and shelter. This work hence proposes a simulation-based approach to assess how differences in users’ behaviours in response to increasing temperatures and squares’ morphology can alter the risk of terrorist acts in an emergency evacuation. An agent-based model is developed to simulate the interactions between users, hazards and the historical built environment. The work considers four typological squares prone to terrorist acts since they host a special building attracting users in front of it. These squares are derived from the analysis of Italian historical contexts within the BE S2ECURe project. Users are generated in the public open space (thus, before the terrorist act) depending on the intended uses of the square and on the outdoor temperature, which is affected by the square’s morphology. Three different users’ behaviours are modelled to consider (or not) the effects of the outdoor temperature on users’ thermal acceptability levels in an increasing temperature situation. Then, two evacuation scenarios are simulated: (a) a general evacuation process, without attackers, as the baseline for the risk assessment; and (b) an armed assault with cold weapons, to define one of the most probable attack situations in open spaces. Evacuation performance indicators are developed to assess users’ risk. Preliminary verifications demonstrate the capabilities of the approach. The results show that higher differences in evacuation indicators are noticed in large and asymmetric squares, since their conditions highly affect the variability of users’ behaviours in response to increasing temperatures. At the same time, stronger safety behaviours in response to increasing temperatures could reduce emergency issues because they allow users to be more dispersed and initially placed farther from the attack area. Decision-makers could take advantage of the proposed approach and simulation tool, moving towards an effectiveness analysis of solutions to increase the thermal comfort of users in respect of the risk levels during an evacuation. Finally, applications to real-world scenarios are thus encouraged to compare such idealized results with effective conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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19 pages, 11255 KiB  
Article
Gardens as Architectural Heritage of the Bastion Castle Ensemble
by Olha Tikhonova
Heritage 2023, 6(2), 1713-1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6020091 - 05 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Historic gardens are often seen in the context of botanical heritage, which emphasizes their aesthetic and botanical value. Yet, their architectural importance as an integral part of the architectural heritage of the bastion castle ensemble is ignored. Finding the relationship between the castle [...] Read more.
Historic gardens are often seen in the context of botanical heritage, which emphasizes their aesthetic and botanical value. Yet, their architectural importance as an integral part of the architectural heritage of the bastion castle ensemble is ignored. Finding the relationship between the castle and the garden is presently complicated by considerable changes in the townscape since the 17th century and the lack of details on these gardens’ depictions on maps. The paper demonstrates how historical maps, especially military ones combined with modern on-site analyses can reveal the main architectural types of the gardens in the bastion castle ensemble and show their most important architectural features that should be preserved. The results demonstrate three scenarios in the relationship between the garden and the palace component of bastion castle, their main features, and the challenges facing them. This elucidation of the main features can help to conserve and to valorize plans for the gardens in these ensembles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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24 pages, 15060 KiB  
Article
Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of a Medieval Urban Cluster Identified as a Complex Historical Palace: Palagio di Parte Guelfa in Florence
by Anna Caranti, Vieri Cardinali, Anna Livia Ciuffreda, Massimo Coli, Mario De Stefano, Elena Le Pera and Marco Tanganelli
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 4204-4227; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040217 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1940
Abstract
This paper presents the results of the application of a holistic procedure for a seismic vulnerability analysis of complex masonry aggregates which are ascribable as cultural heritage buildings. The methodological framework allowed us to properly identify the structural units comprising a historical palace [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of the application of a holistic procedure for a seismic vulnerability analysis of complex masonry aggregates which are ascribable as cultural heritage buildings. The methodological framework allowed us to properly identify the structural units comprising a historical palace through a hierarchical approach combining integrated geometrical and structural surveys with non-destructive (ND) and minor destructive (MD) techniques. The investigations were conducted on a significant palace located in the historical center of Florence, the Palagio di Parte Guelfa. The building covers an entire urban block, as it is constituted by many structural units developed over the centuries since the Roman period. The palace incorporates pre-existing structures, such as the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Porta and medieval terraced houses. Over the decades, different restorations and renovations have been carried out, including by Filippo Brunelleschi in the XV century and by Vasari in the XVI. Nowadays, the building constitutes an urban cluster. Our seismic vulnerability analysis took advantage of a specific knowledge path which was suitable for the identification of the different structural units of the palace. To this end, the historical evolution of the construction was traced through bibliographic research and ND surveys. We finally assessed the seismic performance of the different units according to different approaches, i.e., a rapid assessment based on simplified computations at the global scale, and a kinematic analysis for local phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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20 pages, 47153 KiB  
Article
Climate Change and Cultural Heritage: From Small- to Large-Scale Effects—The Case Study of Nora (Sardinia, Italy)
by Fabio Sitzia
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 3495-3514; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040181 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2084
Abstract
Rising sea levels are mainly due to increases in environmental temperatures that are causing ice to melt. The weathering of geomaterials is mainly due to the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This research addresses current and future sea [...] Read more.
Rising sea levels are mainly due to increases in environmental temperatures that are causing ice to melt. The weathering of geomaterials is mainly due to the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This research addresses current and future sea level rises and their weathering effects on the building stones in the Phoenician–Punic archaeological area of Nora (Sardinia, Italy). Some forecasting models, selected according to real-world scenarios (shared socioeconomic pathways—SSPs), give a definitive overview of both the rising sea levels and stone weathering conditions in Nora. The year 2100 A.D. was selected as the base of our investigations because the SSPs are scenarios of projected socioeconomic global changes up to 2100 A.D. The data on the expected alteration of geomaterials were reconstructed by considering the temperatures, the rainfall amount, and the atmospheric CO2 of every scenario. This was made possible by knowing the current degree of alteration of the geomaterials and their weathering resistance. The rising sea level models were obtained through the SSPs scenarios data and built using geographic information systems software. The projections show a slowing down of the weathering degrees of the stone materials in Nora. This is due to the increase in the average annual temperature and the decrease in the average annual rainfall. However, it is shown that some other factors, such as the marine spray in the area, could accelerate the decay. Projections of the rising sea levels show how the settlement will be partially submerged, losing between 3.54% and 8.49% of the emerged land. The models provided a maximum ingression of the coastline, ranging from 23.7 m to 29.5 m, based on the severity of the scenarios. Coastline-shifting maps indicate the flooding of some buildings located on the western coast of Nora, the most sensitive part of the territory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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14 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Contested Heritage or Cancel Culture? The Case of Ivan Meštrović’s Public Sculptures in Chicago
by Daniela Angelina Jelinčić and James K. Reap
Heritage 2022, 5(3), 2732-2745; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5030142 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2701
Abstract
Social conflicts and political pressures represent a specific man-made hazard for heritage protection and result in contested heritage. One of the recent cases, Equestrian Indians publicly displayed in Chicago, was the subject of contestation following the Black Lives Matter protests. The aim of [...] Read more.
Social conflicts and political pressures represent a specific man-made hazard for heritage protection and result in contested heritage. One of the recent cases, Equestrian Indians publicly displayed in Chicago, was the subject of contestation following the Black Lives Matter protests. The aim of this paper was to critically assess heritage contestation in this case study, also demonstrating other factors influencing heritage contestation than those so far detected in theory, and to find possible coping strategies. Qualitative mixed methods were applied: desk research, critical instance case study, and unstructured interviews. Analysis was completed in line with four theories (international relations theory, collective memory theory, social movement theory and cancel culture) and the results showed: (a) that the case had no greater effect on international relations of the USA and Croatia; (b) a new type of dissonance: a reversed contestation based on a distorted narrative; (c) illusory resistance in the social movement theory; (d) a new theory termed “cancel heritage”, denoting the cancel culture features a spill-over to a collective memory. Possible coping strategies for heritage protection point to the need for a more nuanced participatory approach while forgetting, but possibly the most effective method leading to a collective psychological liberation is hardly achievable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)

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16 pages, 3056 KiB  
Project Report
The Recognition of Cultural Value as an Element for the Preservation of the 20th-Century Heritage: Application of the ICOMOS Multidisciplinary Approach to the ex S.M.O.M. of Pozzuoli
by Veronica Vitiello, Roberto Castelluccio and Silvia Trampetti
Heritage 2023, 6(1), 284-299; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6010014 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1835
Abstract
The actions for the preservation of cultural heritage must work on the identity and specificity of the places, paying the utmost attention to the context relationships. The analysis of these elements is fundamental to the recognition of the intrinsic “value” of the building, [...] Read more.
The actions for the preservation of cultural heritage must work on the identity and specificity of the places, paying the utmost attention to the context relationships. The analysis of these elements is fundamental to the recognition of the intrinsic “value” of the building, of the cultural, architectural, and landscape type and of the “value relations” that the building holds with the surrounding context of the social and economic but, above all, cultural and identity type. The methodological approaches defined by the ICOMOS Document of Madrid–New Delhi recognize the identification of the cultural value as a fundamental passage for the promotion of the 20th-century heritage. The contribution analyzes the design process developed by applying the ICOMOS methodology for the preservation of the cultural value of a building complex in Pozzuoli dating back to the early 1900s. The evolutionary history of the different volumes and the configuration of the “modern ruins” give rise to prospective relationships with the local reality that today assume a stronger identity value than that connected to the original project. The different construction techniques used and the state of conservation of the buildings lead to the identifying of different elements of value and, consequently, to the elaborating different design choices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Cultural Heritage from Natural and Manmade Hazards)
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