Neapolitan complexity: the everyday life of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dal 29/05/2023 ore 13.00 al 03/06/2023 ore 18.00

Cnr-Iriss, Via Guglielmo Sanfelice 8, Napoli
DiARC, Via Forno Vecchio 36, Napoli

mobile workshops
mobile workshops

Aachen meets Naples and its complexity: the excursion in Naples of the RWTH Aachen University's UNESCO Chair for Cultural Heritage and Urbanism at the National Research Council of Italy (Cnr-Iriss) and the Department of Architecture of the University Federico II of Naples (DiARC). 

The working group made up of professors and students from RWTH Aachen University, together with researchers from Cnr-Iriss, professors from DiARC, the Municipality of Naples and some representatives of local communities, will make 4 mobile workshops in the area of the UNESCO perimeter and will share moments of lectures, mobile workshops and teaching exchanges. On 29th and 30th May, the activities will take place at the CNR-IRISS, and on 31st May and 1st June at the DiARC. On 2nd and 3rd June there will be free cultural activities and fieldwork. These activities were organised in the framework of the two-year cooperation Memorandum of Understanding between CNR-IRISS and RWTH.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The city of Naples boasts one of the largest historical city centres in Italy and Europe. Its exceptional culture, monuments and heritage have earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status, recognising the site’s outstanding universal value and the interwoven nature of Mediterranean and European cultures throughout history. The Chair of Urban Planning and Design and the Institute of Urban Planning and European Urban Studies have been granted the prestigious UNESCO Chair recognition for Cultural Heritage and Urbanism, with a specific emphasis on safeguarding both the intangible and tangible heritage of the built environment. As such, Naples offers an exceptional case study that provides both theoretical and practical inspiration.

Urban complexity

The city of Naples is distinguished by a remarkable abundance of historical and cultural elements, as well as a morphological and social complexity that is scarcely paralleled elsewhere. This intricacy is marked by a multitude of contradictions, including a vibrant social and cultural vitality juxtaposed with persistent social issues such as poverty, inadequate building maintenance, and suboptimal waste management practices.

The proposed excursion is an integral component of the elective seminar titled “Unfolding City Complexity” under the guidance of Stefano Cozzolino. By leveraging the insights of Jane Jacobs, students will develop their analytical abilities to explore the interplay between the physical (tangible) and social (intangible) environments, and the ways in which they intersect. The seminar will explore the spontaneous order concept, that is, the emergence of social and spatial patterns (e.g. local culture, habits, social norms, etc.) that influence city dynamics and people behaviours/interactions. The peculiarities of these patterns is that 1) they are not the result of planning but emerge and stratify over time from a multiplicity of uncoordinated actions, and 2) are dynamic and open to changes. Given its multifaceted socio-spatial complexity, Naples provides a prime and fitting case study for achieving the seminar’s objectives.

 Guiding Questions

  • What are the implications of being recognised as a UNESCO site, and how does this recognition impact the daily life of a complex and vibrant city such as Naples?
  • What types of heritage characterise the city, such as its morphological, social, and cultural aspects, and how do local residents perceive and attribute value to these different elements?

  • How do the tangible and intangible cultural aspects of the city interact and influence each other? How can we better understand these relationships to promote and valorise cultural heritage?

Scientific Committe: Gabriella Esposito De Vita, Massimo Clemente, Stefania Ragozino, Luisa Fatigati, Stefania Oppido (Cnr-Iriss), Christa Reicher, Stefano Cozzolino, Ceren Sezer, Fabio Bayro Kayser, Liliana Luga (RWTH), Laura Lieto (DiARC, City Council of Naples), Michelangelo Russo, Enrico Formato, Salvatore Di Liello, Bianca Gioia Marino, Mario Losasso, Andrea Pane, Renata Picone, Ferruccio Izzo, Giovanni Laino, Angela D’Agostino (DiARC)

Technical and Organizing Committee: Stefania Ragozino, Gabriella Esposito De Vita, Luisa Fatigati, Stefania Oppido, Rosa Maria Giusto (Cnr-Iriss), Giuseppe Pace (Cnr-Ismed), Alberto Calderoni, Luigiemanuele Amabile, Salvatore Suarato, Mario Trifuoggi (DiARC), Fabio Landolfo, Luca D’Angelo, Nicola Masella (City Council of Naples), Gaetano Mollura (URBACT expert), Davide Carnevale (Third Paradise), Parco Quartieri Spagnoli Community

Technical Secretariat: Angela Petrillo, Federica Morra, Marta Moracci (Cnr-Iriss)

Responsible for the communication: Valeria Catanese (Cnr-Iriss)

Organizzato da:
RWTH Aachen University
DiARC, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

Referente organizzativo:
Stefania Ragozino
CNR - Istituto di Ricerca su Innovazione e Servizi per lo Sviluppo
Via Guglielmo Sanfelice 8, Napoli

Modalità di accesso: registrazione / accredito
Partecipazione su invito

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