GIS assessment and planning of conservation priorities of historical centers through quantitative methods of vulnerability analysis : an example from Southern Italy

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This paper aims to propose a new approach to identify, through the GIS, the priorities for action and structural conservation in the historic center through the calculation of the decay index, the quality of the typological and the conservation
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    B. Murgante et al. (Eds.): ICCSA 2014, Part II, LNCS 8580, pp. 677–692, 2014. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014 GIS Assessment and Planning of Conservation Priorities of Historical Centers through Quantitative Methods of Vulnerability Analysis: An Example from Southern Italy Maurizio Lazzari 1,* , Maria Serena Patriziano 1,2 , and Giovanna Alessia Aliano 3 1  CNR-IBAM C/da S. Loja Zona Industriale Tito Scalo (PZ) 85050-I 2  School of Engineering, University of Basilicata via dell’Ateneo Lucano Potenza, 85100-I 3  Istituto Pilota s.r.l., via Sicilia Potenza, 85100-I Abstract.  This paper aims to propose a new approach to identify, through the GIS, the priorities for action and structural conservation in the historic center through the calculation of the decay index, the quality of the typological and the conservation status of each building and these elements were subsequently made in relation to each other for a more accurate analysis of the historical aspects of the urban historical center of Potenza (southern Italy). Keywords: decay index, conservation, vulnerability, GIS, historic heritage, Potenza, Basilicata, southern Italy. 1   Introduction The preservation of Cultural Heritage is very important as it represents the legacy of human beings on the planet as well as evidence of their activities in different living conditions and environments. However, cultural heritage is vanishing at a global scale, especially in developing countries and if this trend continues, many significant cultural features which represent the remaining foundations of humankind's history will be lost forever. According to the Global Heritage Fund (2009), available on, the losses in the past decade include ancient monuments, buildings, archaeological sites, and even entire historic cities and townscapes, all of which survived for hundreds or even thousands of years. The damage to cultural heritage sites appears widespread and accelerating and represents a permanent loss to the planet, comparable to endangered species loss. So, in this paper we propose a method, aimed to identify the priorities for action in a historical centre, that allows to better address economic budgets oriented to interventions of recovery of the ancient buildings, being based either on the data objectively surveyed with a census or on thematic derived cartography, such as the typological quality map, typological emergencies map and state of conservation map, all expressions of the real conditions of degradation and vulnerability of the site. *  Corresponding author.  678 M. Lazzari, M.S. Patriziano, and G.A. Aliano 2   Methods and Case Study In this paper we focus on a new integrated GIS-based approach to evaluate the state of conservation and decay of the architectural heritage of a historical centre. We used two quantitative indexes defined on the basis of the total number of architectural elements and the number of constructive typologies for surface unit. These two parameters, together with Decay Index (DIx) and state of conservation, can represent a useful and objective tool to address economic contribution to recovery historical buildings, above all for those that at present could be not included in a priority list of interventions by the Monuments and Fine Arts Office of Basilicata. Concerning the first point inherent in the state of conservation, at present an objective criteria to assess it does not exist, but in most cases the method consists in a qualitative direct evaluation considering a range value varying from ruin to very good state [1,2,3]. Concerning the DIx, we used the method proposed by Lazzari et al. [4], in which a value range defined on the basis of the load bearing structures deterioration and degradation of facades, has been considered. To apply the above-mentioned criteria in order to assess the  DIx and state of conservation, we have chosen the case study of Potenza hill top town, located in Basilicata region (southern Italy) along the main axial zone of southern Apennines chain. Geographically, the site selected for this study is located in the northern sector of Basilicata region (40°38'43'' N; 15°48'33.84'') at an average altitude of 800 m. a.s.l., on a elongated narrow asymmetrical ridge geologically characterized by outcrops of gray-blue clays (substratum) overlapped by sandy-conglomerate Pliocene deposits, which varies in thickness along both west-east and north-south directions [5]. Fig. 1.  Geographic location of the study area and detailed extension of the urban historical centre of Potenza town   GIS Assessment and Planning of Conservation Priorities of Historical Centers 679 2.1   Architectural Analysis and GIS Applications The work has been focused on the analysis of the historical built heritage of Potenza, which has been carried out in the following steps: i)   census and survey of building elements characterized by significant artistic, historical, constructive values (aged from the 16th to the 19th century); ii)   classification of building elements in building types (such as loggia, balconies, chimneys, cornices, windows, portals, external scales, vaults, arcs and ligneous covers); iii)   Cataloguing and georeferencing of the building types in a geodatabase; iv)   Evolution of the state of conservation (low, medium, high o ruin, bad/mediocre, good/restructured); v)   calculation of quantitative indexes. In particular, we adopted a specific form in which several information have been inserted, such as the age, state of conservation, metric data, materials, formal features, building characteristics. Afterwards, a qualitative and quantitative analysis has been carried out in a GIS, producing, respectively, typological architectural emergencies and architectural typology quality maps. The field work has been based on a preliminary bibliographic analysis of sources [6,7,8,9,10] and the census of the historical-architectural heritage of the Potenza town (total surface of 0.23 km 2 ). For each building (518 buildings numbered progressively) the number of historic architectural elements and the total number of architectural typologies has been calculated. Thirty-one buildings on 518 surveyed are represented by historical-architectural monuments (churches, palaces, gates, towers, theatre, walls), of which only a limited part (7) is subject to the listed ministerial. During the field survey several roman epigraphs, located on churches and traditional historical buildings, have been also signed. The typological emergencies map ( Figs. 2 and 4; Tab. 1) was built using surveyed information on each building of Potenza, considering all the typological elements characterized by constructive and aesthetic historical value. The total number of these elements ( ∑ ntot ) for each building has been divided for the external lateral surface  A (m 2 ). In this way, it has been possible to calculate the number of constructive elements found for surface unit,  Ec : (1)The typological quality map  (Figs. 3 and 4; Tab. 1) was built considering the total number of typologies surveyed ( ∑ n tip ), characterized by constructive and aesthetic historical value, for surface unit  A (m 2 ),  Et (Fig.):  680 M. Lazzari, M.S. Patriziano, and G.A. Aliano (2)Both qualitative and quantitative analyses have been carried out through a survey of the outer architectonical elements, because in many cases it has not been possible to verify directly the conditions inner to historical buildings. Table 1.  The two tables show the percentage and number of buildings for each class used to map the emergency and quality values of the historical centre Fig. 2.  The typological emergencies values compared with the state of conservation of each building EMERGENCY VALUE N° BUILDINGS% 0.01 - 0.04 251 48 0.05 - 0.06 144 28 0.07 - 0.10 98 19 0.11 - 0.25 25 5 TOTAL 518 100 QUALITY VALUE N° BUILDINGS % 0.01 - 0.04 321 62 0.05 - 0.06 109 21 0.07 - 0.10 74 14 0.11 - 0.25 14 3 TOTAL 518 100   GIS Assessment and Planning of Conservation Priorities of Historical Centers 681    F   i  g .   3 .    T   h  e   t  y  p  o   l  o  g   i  c  a   l  q  u  a   l   i   t  y  v  a   l  u  e  s  c  o  m  p  a  r  e   d  w   i   t   h   t   h  e  s   t  a   t  e  o   f  c  o  n  s  e  r  v  a   t   i  o  n  o   f  e  a  c   h   b  u   i   l   d   i  n  g
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