Ancient Poggioreale: an opportunity for reflection on the topic of post-earthquake territory abandonment

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Rosa Caponetto
Sebastiano D'Urso


50 years after the ruinous earthquake that hit the Belìce valley, many post-earthquake problems are still unresolved. One of the major problems is the abandonment of the territory. This phenomenon had already started before the earthquake, after which it accelerated. Today, the territory abandonment, also due to a combination of other factors affects several other areas of Italy. This phenomenon is the focus of the present study. Territory abandonment can be interpreted as both a warning and a way to stimulate research to find solutions in order to avoid that this phenomenon keeps repeating. The analysis of the history and the assessment of the current economic and social situation of the Belìce valley, provide a comprehensive picture of the events and their consequences which constitute the basis for the development of effective strategies. The case study chosen for the present paper is the ancient village of Poggioreale, today a picturesque ghost town. The multidisciplinary strategy we propose, drawing on the knowledge, experience and skills of different disciplines, has the ambition to address the problem from three points of view: memory, dwelling, and production. One of the main problems before and after many earthquakes is poor or no communication between the various institutional actors involved in dealing with both seismic prevention policies and related emergencies. Hence, the strategy recommended highlights the importance of taking into account all the different processes involved, to offer more than one solution for the same problem.

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How to Cite
Caponetto, R. and D’Urso, S. (2020) “Ancient Poggioreale: an opportunity for reflection on the topic of post-earthquake territory abandonment”, Annals of Geophysics, 63(1), p. SE109. doi: 10.4401/ag-8280.
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