Some disasters are sudden, striking, noisy and spectacular; like earthquakes, landslides, floods, volcanic eruptions. Other disasters are durable, common, silent and invisible: they are the slow decomposition of urban structures, houses, society, and the feelings of belonging. Small urban centres dotting the Italian countryside are on the brink of a silent disaster: for centuries they have kept the construction techniques, the styles and decorations that identify them as belonging to a specific geographical and cultural context unchanged; and now they risk being overwhelmed by abandonment and neglect. The progressive depletion of these centres, the abandonment, and the vicious circle that is established is putting at risk a much broader heritage than those which were hit by sudden and startling disasters. Istat data of BES 2016 (the Equable and Sustainable Welfare in Italy) show two problems related to the architectural and landscape heritage of the south: on the one hand the lack of available resources, the negative balance of migration resulting in depopulation of the small centres; and on the other hand the lack of perception and awareness about problem by the inhabitants.
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