Kristen Sloan University of Wollongong
The increasing number and visibility of abandoned places throughout the world, coupled with a significant change in the way space is perceived in contemporary societies, has sparked a growing global conversation about re-using abandoned elements of the built environment. In the past ten years thousands of projects have emerged around the world that involve mapping and ‘re-purposing’ abandoned places, notably the ‘re-awakening’ of entirely deserted villages. Italy is of particular interest here. It has at least 5838 historically valuable ‘ghost towns’ of which 2831 are either completely abandoned or at serious risk of extinction. The loss for the former inhabitants and for the collective memory embodied in the lost communities is severe. Their requalification for contemporary use has become an urgent task.