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Image of Earthquake damage to church roof
Earthquake damage to San Francesco church, Amandola

Earthquakes: rebuilding communities and heritage

The city of Amandola, in the Marche region of Italy, suffered a series of earthquakes in 2016. They were of unusual length, and affected an extensive area, resulting in the loss of a significant amount of cultural heritage. A multidisciplinary conference at Jesus College on 24 and 25 October will focus on the town and its future.

The issues thrown up by earthquakes illustrate the way both aspects of architecture are embraced in the many questions that have to be addressed in reconstruction. The aim of the conference – promoted by Jesus College and Università Politecnica delle Marche - is to establish a larger scale strategy for the prevention of damage in the future, that ensures the sustainable rebuilding of communities, and the recording and analysis of cultural heritage.

It represents a unique and time-specific opportunity to work with a particular community in the key post-catastrophe phase of reconstruction. While Amandola is a small town, it could carry a much larger significance as a case study. Sensitivity to historical fabric and patterns of community is a pressing issue, after the experience of the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009 in the neighbouring Abruzzo region, and in Emilia in 2012. There is considerable interest in Italy, and internationally, in studying how effective strategies can be devised in an alliance between academic research and practical execution.

The Intellectual Forum at Jesus College, the Comune of Amandola, the Cambridge Italian Research Network, and the British-Italian Society are delighted to support this conference, which brings together international experts ranging from the disciplines of engineering, earth sciences, sociology, architecture, history and the history of art, to holistically address an issue that is frequently only looked at with a narrow focus. It will introduce a number of longer-term research and education programmes, to be based in the town of Amandola itself and the Marche region.

Tickets are available for one or both days of the conference. 

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