Call for Papers and proposals| Silk Cities International Conference 2019


Silk Cities International Conference 2019

Reconstruction, Recovery and Resilience of Historic Cities and Societies

University of L’Aquila, Italy

10th-12th July, 2019


Call for Papers and proposals

The organising committee invite the submission of papers for the international conference on the ‘Reconstruction, Recovery and Resilience of Historic Cities and Societies’, to be held at University of L’Aquila, Italy. The conference is a collaboration between the University of L’Aquila, Silk Cities and University College London.

Beyond the repair of monuments, the dynamic layers of urban heritage greatly complicate the already complex matter of urban reconstruction and retrofit, and impact on initial expectations as well as envisioned improvements from reconstruction activities and the way they are managed. The conference aims to offer new perspectives and strategies on linking urban processes, reconstruction approaches and heritage issues and to push the traditional theoretical and practical boundaries in order to improve the future of post-crisis reconstruction in historic cities.

L’Aquila, the host city will offer a unique opportunity as a living laboratory to bring together theory, policy and practice. 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the L’Aquila earthquake which devastated the city and its historic centre and affected around 100,000 people who lived in the city and its surrounding areas. The conference purposefully provides a unique platform to engage not only with international academics and practitioners but also the citizens of L’Aquila, many of whom have been active participants in initiatives aimed at social recovery. The city and its people stand to benefit from the global, dispersed, knowledge on the subject matter that will be gathered in the city during the conference.

The conference programme will comprise a mixture of formal academic presentations, interactive sessions dedicated to the practical issues of L’Aquila, a guided tour of reconstruction in the city, as well as social events and an optional conference dinner. The programme has been designed to encourage social interaction and informal discussions and to allow exploration of potential synergies. This is the third Silk Cities conference and it will address three interconnected themes of reconstruction, recovery and resilience which are specific to the particular circumstances of the host city but also applicable in other cases of post-crisis reconstruction of historic cities.

Proposals for 15 minute papers (or other modes of presentation) are invited under the following three themes:

Managing reconstruction, heritage and city planning

Public engagement and civic participation in reconstruction

Reconstructing cultural heritage and rediscovering civic identity

Reconstruction and retrofit of urban fabric beyond monuments

Defining cultural heritage

Heritage-oriented reconstruction vs reconstruction-oriented heritage restoration

Post-crisis masterplanning

Linking urban development processes and reconstruction processes

Big data in reconstruction: potential and limitations

Information technology and smarter reconstruction

Communicating urban heritage and reconstruction

Transparency and communication in decision making


City recovery : Social, Psychological, Economic and Cultural Heritage


Cultural heritage as a stimulus for recovery

Narratives of approach to disaster and recovery

Social, psychological and economic recovery

Linkages between reconstruction process and socio-economic recovery

Reclaiming cultural heritage

Economic and political stimuli for urban recovery

Information technology and the resurgence of historic cities

The role of information technology in city recovery

Social media disaster response policies and practice

Rebuilding confidence in the capacities of the city

Who is cultural heritage for?


Linking urban resilience and cultural heritage


Knowing the city, owning the city

Engaging the next generation: reconnecting younger citizens with heritage

Risk communication and public awareness in in historic cities.

Cultural heritage as a mean to building resilience

Smarter cities, data sharing and risk modelling.

Information technology and civic resilience

The organising committee welcomes creative proposals, which have the potential to fully engage with the conference participants and/or local stakeholders.

Abstract submission period: 15 January – 31 March 2019.

Please circulate this announcement among your networks who might be interested in the subject matter. For more details about registration, submission of your abstract and other practical information please visit the conference website at For all enquiries please contact Conference Communication at



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