The seismic events called “Earthquake in Central Italy” in the period August 2016-January 2017 hit the Municipality of Cascia with important damages especially in an area of low urban quality located at the hinge between the historical centre and the hamlets; and more extensively in some hamlets closer to the Municipality of Norcia also involving some buildings of value and value.
The town, which is small in size (3,000 inhabitants), has benefited for a century from mass religious tourism linked to the cult of Saint Rita, which until a few years ago brought 1,000,000 pilgrims a year. The profound disproportion between the size of the municipality and its attractiveness has led to careless urban development and ineffective management of tourism in terms of revenue and stimulation of the local economy.
Intervening in Cascia today cannot take the form of a “where it was, how it was” reconstruction of volumes of little interest, condemning the town to a future finally called into question by the event, but it can offer the possibility of a complete rethink of urban development, building typology and design, safety and risk management, economic positioning and mobility management.
The project, through a participatory design process based on the assessment of perceived and desired urban quality, has led to a redesign of the most affected area. In addition, the project has rethought the area’s agri-food distribution and communication model, favouring tourist models that have less impact and are more attentive to the quality of local produce and the economies of the hamlets.