Meetings and conferences

Silk Cities International Conference 2019: Reconstruction, Recovery and Resilience of Historic Cities and Societies

Organizer(s) University College London University of L'Aquila
In person
Aula Magna Alessandro Clementi, University of L’Aquila

Beyond the repair of monuments, the dynamic layers of urban heritage greatly complicate the already complex matter of urban reconstruction and retrofit, and impact on initial expectations as well as envisioned improvements from reconstruction activities and the way they are managed. 

This conference aims to offer new perspectives and strategies on linking urban processes, reconstruction approaches and heritage issues and to push the traditional theoretical and practical boundaries in order to improve the future of post-crisis reconstruction in historic cities. L’Aquila, the host city will offer a unique opportunity as a living laboratory to bring together theory, policy and practice.The conference is a collaboration between the University of L’Aquila, Silk Cities and University College London.

2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the L’Aquila earthquake which devastated the city and its historic centre and affected around 100,000 people who lived in the city and its surrounding areas. The conference purposefully provides a unique platform to engage not only with international academics and practitioners but also the citizens of L’Aquila, many of whom have been active participants in initiatives aimed at social recovery. The city and its people stand to benefit from the global, dispersed, knowledge on the subject matter that will be gathered in the city during the conference.

The conference programme will comprise a mixture of formal academic presentations, interactive sessions dedicated to the practical issues of L’Aquila, a guided tour of reconstruction in the city, as well as social events and an optional conference dinner.

The programme has been designed to encourage social interaction and informal discussions and to allow exploration of potential synergies. This is the third Silk Cities conference and it will address three interconnected themes of reconstruction, recovery and resilience which are specific to the particular circumstances of the host city but also applicable in other cases of post-crisis reconstruction of historic cities. 

Call for papers and proposals

The organising committee invite the submission of papers for the international conference on the ‘Reconstruction, Recovery and Resilience of Historic Cities and Societies’, to be held at University of L'Aquila, Italy. 

Proposals for 15 minute papers (or other modes of presentation) are invited under the following three themes:

Managing reconstruction, heritage and city planning

  • Public engagement and civic participation in reconstruction
  • Reconstructing cultural heritage and rediscovering civic identity.
  • Reconstruction and retrofit of urban fabric beyond monuments   
  • Defining cultural heritage
  • Heritage-oriented reconstruction vs reconstruction-oriented heritage restoration 
  • Post-crisis master planning
  • Linking urban development processes and reconstruction processes
  • Big data in reconstruction: potential and limitations 
  • Information technology and smarter reconstruction
  • Communicating urban heritage and reconstruction 
  • Transparency and communication in decision making

City recovery: Social, Psychological, Economic and Cultural Heritage

  • Cultural heritage as a stimulus for recovery.
  • Narratives of approach to disaster and recovery
  • Social, psychological and economic recovery.
  • Linkages between reconstruction process and socio-economic recovery
  • Reclaiming cultural heritage.
  • Economic and political stimuli for urban recovery.
  • Information technology and the resurgence of historic cities.
  • The role of information technology in city recovery
  • Social media disaster response policies and practice.
  • Rebuilding confidence in the capacities of the city
  • Who is cultural heritage for?

Linking urban resilience and cultural heritage

  • Knowing the city, owning the city 
  • Engaging the next generation: reconnecting younger citizens with heritage
  • Risk communication and public awareness in in historic cities.
  • Cultural heritage as a mean to building resilience 
  • Smarter cities, data sharing and risk modelling.
  • Information technology and civic resilience 

The organising committee welcomes creative proposals, which have the potential to fully engage with the conference participants and/or local stakeholders.

Abstract submission period: 15 January - 31 March 2019.

For more details about registration, submission of your abstract and other practical information please visit the conference website.


Document links last validated on: 23 December 2019

Explore further

Hazards Earthquake
Country and region Italy Europe
Share this

Also featured on

Is this page useful?

Yes No
Report an issue on this page

Thank you. If you have 2 minutes, we would benefit from additional feedback (link opens in a new window).