Return to the centre

Urban planning from the second half of the 20th century, thanks to the development of its very own guidelines for interventions, has given us historic cities that are protected and for the most part, recovered. For these cities, one of two problems arises today: one of reactivation, or, in other cases, of withstanding the excesses caused by the “super use” of historic spaces, and not only by tourists.

As a result, historic centres seem to be suspended between the two opposing conditions. On one hand lies the immobility due to the gradual abandonment by the resident population and the businesses that face competition from major distribution and peripheral shopping centres, but also from more suitable locations for work places and services. At the other end of the spectrum are other historic centres immersed in an excess of vitality, with the consequent “consumption” of public spaces that characterises the most dynamic cities from a touristic point of view, but also those that are home to important universities, or in any case, the destination of the daily commute.

At the extremes of the twofold condition are where we find historic centres that have been destroyed or seriously damaged by earthquakes, literally abandoned, and overcrowded and lively historic centres like Bologna. In-depth studies are dedicated to these two realities, and to the completion of the central essay, which is developed through interesting and diversified examples.