The sustainable future of the smaller historical centres, between "modulation of the protection" and new technologies


  • Mario Cerasoli
  • Rolando Mauricio Biere Arenas



The smaller historical centres can play an important role in the rebalancing of the territory, reversing the trends (now also historical) to urban concentration and metropolisation. In an specific time of slowing urban growth, a greater attention to the rehabilitation and expansion of the concept of historicity, also to peripheral areas of the city and at the same time of the rural landscape, always more often the urban policies aim to reconnect the (interrupted) relations between historical city and territory, in order to build new development strategies centred on the complex identity of the historical places. The possibilities and perspectives aimed to increasing the “attractiveness” of the smaller historical centres requires a “healthy combination” of criteria for urban intervention, starting from the “modulation of protection”, building restoration and use of new technologies, at urban level (in the logic of new “mini-Smart cities”) as building level (energy efficiency, etc.) The "modulation of protection" is based on a scrupulous historical-critical reading of the historical centre and has as the main objective to prevent its "freezing". It process consists of a set of rules for "correct behaviour" to provide the maintenance, restoration and conservation of these areas or parts of the historic building heritage, remained essentially unchanged (compared, for example, with the historical land registers) and, at the same time, allows the controlled transformation of the buildings that in the past have been transformed and today retain only the function of “urban footprint”. The new ICT (digitals), the ability to “move” data and information instead of people, more clean energy due renewable sources, constitute a renewed opportunity to enhance and Re-inhabiting the smaller historical centres. While so it is important to protect these realities within the cultural landscape they are inserted, on the other it is possible rethink them in a smart key, identifying possibilities for a sustainable revitalization and regeneration. In this framework, we will present some study experiences conducted under the framework of the research seminar on Recovery of the historical centres of the research Master's degree in Land Management and Valuation of the UPC. In each case we will present methodological and thematic aspects; spatial analysis, strategies and policies for the conservation, maintenance and transformation, determination of assets and their classification, key projects and finally relevant aspects of the proposed Master Plans developed in the minor historical centres studied.