International Conference on “Adaptive reuse and integrated management of dismissed religious cultural heritage”

Thursday, November 7 the Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development of the National Research Council of Italy will host the International Conference on “Adaptive reuse and integrated management of dismissed religious cultural heritage”.

The religious cultural heritage is the most frequent category of UNESCO sites. It is configured as a sign that strongly characterizes the urban and extra-urban landscape: if abandoned it degrades, causing damage on multiple levels (due to maintenance and management costs increasingly higher, less attractiveness to the localization of activities and people, and other negative impacts in multiple dimensions).

The conference aims to analyse the tangible and intangible values of the religious cultural heritage, as well as the characteristics of the impacts coming from the proposals of functional reuse of the individual types of disused assets (for example churches, monasteries, abbeys). In the meantime, the use values that are more consistent with the “intrinsic value” of the heritage are identified (i.e. spiritual, religious and symbolic values), involving as much as possible the local community (like civil society associations, Ecclesial Associations and Movements, Voluntary Groups).

The focus shifts from the planning phase to the management phase, this being the condition of the success, over time, of adaptive reuse. This adaptive reuse, if included in the perspective of the Circular Economy model, requires a systemic and co-evolutionary approach, in which the heritage “exchanges” with the context in which cultural, social and symbolic values/impacts are inserted, transforming the differences in new opportunities and complementarities.

However, how can we identify the use values that are the most consistent with the original intrinsic value? How to promote micro-communities “around” the experience of functional reuse, that regenerate authentic vitality? How to find the necessary financial resources, avoiding in any case improper uses resulting from the particular position of this heritage in the urban and extra-urban context? How to transform this knowledge into an innovative educational offer and in professional skills?

The International Conference on “Adaptive reuse and integrated management of religious cultural heritage” aims to analyse and give an answer to these research questions, providing a concrete contribution to the formation of new professional skills through the activation of a specialization course aimed at professionals and operators in the field of adaptive reuse of disused religious cultural heritage

The International Conference will launch the professional Specialization Course on “Adaptive reuse and integrated management of dismissed religious cultural heritage” organized by the University of Naples Federico II, with the Theological Faculty, Economics and Management Department, Architecture Department, Interdepartmental Research Centre in Urban Planning “Alberto Calza Bini” and CNR IRISS.