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

Rosa Caponetto, Sebastiano D'Urso


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


revitalization strategies; design; technology; space; memory; time.

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X