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The sustainable reuse of historical buildings of Villas project

Historical buildings represent a unique and irreproducible resource of a territory. They embody the social, historical, and cultural values of the local communities. If they are abandoned they rapidly collapse and cannot be restored in their initial shape. Contemporarily,
the high costs of their maintenance represent an enormous financial burden to be paid for their preservation, costs which do increase with the stock of heritage. The privatization and the economic reuse of historic buildings has been frequently viewed as one of the possible solutions to this problem, but an economic misuse of these buildings can be as negative as their complete abandonment, as it can radically transform their original historical and artistic characteristics, reducing, if not cancelling, their cultural value.
The first objective of this paper is to describe the maintenance status and the economic reuse of some historic buildings surveyed in the Villas project in three Italian areas: Veneto region, Ferrara province and Umbria region. The attention will be focused on:
– the quality of the context (natural resources, urban context amenities, landscape preservation and beauty);
– the economic development of the area (specifically of the tourist sector, and more in general of the agricultural, industrial and tertiary sectors);
– the accessibility of the buildings from the nearest transport facilities (rail station, highway entrance, harbor, airport);
– the architectural and structural characteristics of the buildings (flexibility of the buildings to host an economic activity).
Furthermore, via some econometric models the main features characterizing each sample will be compared and the main forces driving the reuse decision process within each area will be analyzed. Finally some consideration will be made on the relationship between the economic development of the areas analysed in the project and the economic reuse of the sampled buildings.

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