The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


The DPU funds six students from the Global South to attend the 2019 Silk Cities Conference

8 May 2019

Six student travel bursaries have been awarded by the DPU to allow scholars from the Global South to attend the 2019 Silk Cities Conference

silk cities

From the 10th - 12th July the University of L’Aquila will host the 2019 Silk Cities Conference on the interconnected subjects of reconstruction, recovery and resilience in historic cities.  In the tenth anniversary year of the L’Aquila earthquake, this conference provides an opportunity to assess what has been achieved and what could have been done differently as well as to look at what needs to be pushed forward to stimulate social and economic recovery. The conference will bring together experts and academics from all over the world to discuss issues unique to the host city as well as themes that are common to all historic cities including the protection, reinstatement of built and historic urban fabric as well as the broader but related issues of social cohesion, intangible cultural heritage and psychological wellbeing. Sessions will investigate the role of information technology, communication and social media in building resilience and as tools for public engagement and participation.

A round table discussion is planned in relation to the critical importance of schools, the need for safe buildings for pupils and the role that education buildings have to play in stimulating recovery and reengaging children with their home town.

The conference has been organised by Dr Lucia Patrizio Gunning of University College London together with Dr Farnaz Arefian of Silk Cities at the University of Newcastle, Singapore and Professor Paola Rizzi of Università degli Studi di L’Aquila with the support of UCL City Partnership Programme, the UCL Development Planning Unit, UCL History Department and the Univaq Provost Office, as well as the Departments of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (DICEEA) and Human Sciences of the University of L’Aquila.

Over 130 abstracts have been received with participants hailing from Japan, New Zealand, South America, the United States, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, India, Libya, Syria, Australia, as well as numerous European and Italian academics.

Six student travel bursaries have been awarded by the DPU to allow students from underprivileged countries to attend the conference.

The 2019 Silk Cities conference aims to bring together global knowledge and 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. 

The city of L’Aquila and its people also stand to benefit from the global, dispersed, knowledge on the subject matter that will be gathered, in L'Aquila, during the conference.