Schools back 2 normal. Post-seismic reconstruction



One of the finalists in the international NextLandmark 2014 contest promoted by Floornature.

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Schools back 2 normal. Post-seismic reconstruction One of the finalists in the international NextLandmark 2014 contest promoted by Floornature.com was “Schools back 2 normal” by Passaggidigitali. A research project that addresses the reconstruction of schools affected by the 2012 earthquake in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.

Passaggidigitali is formed of Michela Carlini, Communication Designer and Visual Communication researcher, and Diana Tanase, Web Scientist, proposed their research work on the reconstruction of some 223 school buildings that were damaged by the earthquake in Emilia-Romagna in May 2012.

Aware of the fact that an economic contribution on its own would not be enough, the first thing they did was to assess the effect of so many schools being completely or partly inaccessible in a relatively small zone. They did some onsite field studies and gathered information from the affected schools, which showed a clear gap between the official information and what was really happening. They used the storytelling technique to collect everything in an open source database, where everything could be linked, shared and used to set up participatory reconstruction.

Unfortunately, Italy often has to respond to natural disasters, and the government collects new data every time; with this constantly evolving database that anyone can access, that data is constantly updated and turns into a real territorial monitoring tool.

Another fundamental point of the research is the often forgotten fact that disaster recovery shouldn’t be limited to just infrastructural and architectural reconstruction – it must reconstruct the identity of a territory. The transparency of the open source data makes it possible to monitor the correspondence of the resources invested in reconstruction and the ROI, so it can be used to set up both a proactive relationship between government and citizens and to improve democracy itself. 
Get in touch with Passaggidigitaki if you share our vision and would like to move things forward.

Project: Passaggidigitali
2012 – in progress
Images: Courtesy of passaggi digitali