Central Italy is regularly shaken by strong earthquakes. The "School of Reconstruction" coordinated by Danube University Krems is being set up in the severely affected town of Accumoli. Here, the activities for reconstruction are scientifically accompanied. At a ceremony on 12 November, Rector Faulhammer will sign a Memorandum of Understanding. Insights into the reconstruction will also be given.

After the earthquake in central Italy on 24 August 2016, almost 300 people lost their lives in the communities of Accumoli, Amatrice and Arquata del Tronto. The pictures of the destroyed villages went around the world. Until 2017, the region was hit by several severe earthquakes. Since then, several universities and research institutions have been dealing with reconstruction issues in teaching and research. The scientific partners include the University of La Sapienza Rome, the University of Camerino, the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo, the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Masaryk University Brno, the Slovak University of Technology Bratislava (STU) and the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. In order to bundle the many activities in a targeted manner, the "School of Reconstruction" or "Scuola di Ricostruzione" was founded in the city of Accumoli. It is run by the partner institutions, the responsible political and official authorities, local planners and the affected population.

Ceremony for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding

Within the framework of the establishment of the "School of Reconstruction", Mag. Friedrich Faulhammer, Rector of Danube University Krems, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the management of the "School of Reconstruction" with the Mayor of Accumoli, Franca D'Angeli, and the other scientific partner institutions.

On a hill above the destroyed old town, the Comune di Accumoli is providing the premises of the "Scuola di Ricostruzione" in a newly built, earthquake-proof wooden structure. These will be officially handed over for use on 12 November 2019. In addition to the use for teaching and research purposes of the partner institutions, tourist activities are also planned here. Accommodation is also to be built in the immediate vicinity of the school, which will support the reconstruction school in its overall functionality.

Experience in complex reconstruction scenarios

Earthquake damage affects more than just the obvious destruction of the building fabric. Economic and ecological cycles of action as well as social, cultural and religious structures are also massively affected. For an effective and sustainable reconstruction of earthquake-damaged places, these far-reaching interrelationships must be considered in the overall context. Due to its transdisciplinary research approach, which combines disciplines, basic research, application and society, Danube University Krems is well prepared for its tasks as coordinator of the "School of Reconstruction". Moreover, Danube University Krems has valuable experience in reconstruction. Already in 2009, it supported the city of L'Aquila after an earthquake. At the beginning of 2017, experts from the "Reconstruction and Revitalisation" course, led by Professor Christian Hanus, Head of the Department of Construction and Environment at Danube University Krems, the architect Roberto Pirzio-Biroli and with the support of the previous mayor Stefano Petrucci, took a look at the situation in Accumoli. A first concept for reconstruction was developed and the idea of a permanent, institutionalised cooperation in the form of the "School of Reconstruction" was born. On the initiative of Pirzio-Biroli, who led the reconstruction of the Friulian town of Venzone after the 1976 earthquake, a sponsorship between the two towns is currently being prepared.

Building town and expertise

The Comune di Accumoli is being supported at various levels. Through an inter- and transdisciplinary transfer of experience and knowledge, a research and teaching need is being developed to enable a holistic reconstruction of earthquake-damaged cities including their cultural landscape. This research and teaching need will be met through concrete research and teaching activities. Danube University Krems supports the development, conception and implementation of these activities. Since a comprehensive reconstruction is a long-term project, it is necessary to establish sustainable structures between political and official responsible persons, the population, planning and implementing bodies as well as teaching and research institutions. For Danube University Krems, the work in Accumoli is not only about reconstruction, but also about generating, processing and communicating knowledge beyond the event. This knowledge is to be made available to those responsible, the population and students.


School of Reconstruction

Date: 12 November 2019

Start: 12.00 h

Location: Accumoli, Italy

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