Suspended territories and windows of opportunity after the 2016 earthquake in Central Italy

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While globalization is promoting strong economic concentrations in a few urban centres, peripheral regions are negatively affected by decreasing population and increasing impoverishment, due to the lack of policies and the failure to develop and maintain rural economies. Although natural disasters accelerate these trends, the shock created by unexpected events may generate a window of opportunity, linked both to risk-reduction processes and to transition paths towards more desirable futures. This review aims to discuss tendencies in post-disaster management in the central Apennines after the 2016 earthquake, since this shrinking rural region is slowly concluding the emergency phase and starting to plan reconstruction in the medium-long term. According to the UNISDR Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the reconstruction phase is a critical opportunity for Building Back Better. In order to achieve this primary objective, this paper suggests new scenarios based on a multi-scalar approach and on rural-urban interactions. This is a new opportunity for the rural areas in question to re-evaluate the role of the landscape and the environment and act accordingly. The creation of clusters of highly efficient multifunctional agricultural and infrastructure projects is seen here as an opportunity to create future ecosystems and new approaches to land and landscape management.
Earthquake, Landscape, Valley Section, Urban Bioregion