HeRe_Lab – Heritage Research

HeRe_Lab – Heritage Research (formerly known as Heritage_CITYlab) is a joint laboratory established between the University of Florence and the Florence World Heritage and UNESCO Office of the Municipality of Florence.

The laboratory was created in 2015 with the aim of carrying out research activities, defining plans and projects for the protection, conservation and enhancement of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site “Historic Centre of Florence” and for the sustainable development of the metropolitan territory. All initiatives are undertaken in accordance with the 1972 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Management Plan for the Historic Centre of Florence, and its Monitoring.

Thanks to its multidisciplinary competences and to a strong team (mainly composed of World Heritage experts, architects, urban planners, art historians, economists, geomaticians and developers), the Lab tackles complex issues in order to analyse the interactions between different fields of study and identify shared solutions for the sustainable management of the tangible and intangible assets of the World Heritage site.

The laboratory’s activities are mainly funded by Law 77/2006 “Special measures for the protection and enjoyment of Italian sites and elements of cultural, landscape and environmental interest, included in the “World Heritage List”, under the protection of UNESCO”.

HeRe_Lab has proved to be of primary importance for the implementation of projects and for the assistance in the drafting of technical documentation, to the point of being recognised as good practice at national and international level. In particular, in 2017 it received the appreciation of the UNESCO/ICOMOS Advisory Mission in Florence, while in 2021 it was included in the platform PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet (jointly coordinated by ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN) as an emblematic example of governance of a World Heritage site.

The organisational structure of the laboratory is headed by a joint scientific co-ordination between the University and the Municipality and by researchers and professors belonging to different University Departments, such as DIDA (Department of Architecture), DISIA (Department of Statistics, information technology, applications), SAGAS (Department of History, Archaeology, Geography, Art and Performing Arts), DAGRI (Department Agricultural, Environmental and Forestry Sciences and Technologiesand) DISEI (Department of Economics and Management).

Fields of work and activities
  • Update and draft of the Management Plan for the World Heritage property ‘Historic Centre of Florence’, as well as its Monitoring
  • Research and studies on the local awareness on the evolution of both the city and the metropolitan area, with a focus on the wall system, forts, gates and towers as elements to connect the historic city and the outskirts
  • Scientific support in the update and draft of the Management Plan for the World Heritage property ‘Historic Centre of San Gimignano’
  • Scientific support in the update and draft of the Management Plan for the World Heritage property ‘Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany’
  • Participation in the III cycle of Periodic Reporting, as requested by the World Heritage Centre
  • Research and awareness-raising on the Historic Urban Landscape approach at a national level
  • Creation of a heritage database for the monitoring of the state of conservation of the World Heritage property ‘Historic Centre of Florence’
  • Participation in programmes, initiatives and events in the framework of World Heritage at an international level (UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOMOS etc.)
  • Development and implementation of the Modello di Indagine Preliminare, based on the ICOMOS methodology of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) on local development projects, with the aim to assess potential impacts and propose mitigation measure
  • Aiello, L., Bini, M., Capitanio, C., Francini, C. (2015). Immagine Urbana. Temi e progetti per lo spazio pubblico nel Centro Storico di Firenze.
  • Aprile, C., Anti, V., Capitanio, C., Francini, C., Romano, I.M. (2016), Spazio pubblico Linee guida per l’immagine urbana del Centro Storico di Firenze
  • Bacci, B., Bocchio, B., Centauro., G., Centauro, I., Chiesi, D., Cinti, D., Cristofaro, M.T., Fastelli, D., Francini, C., Grandin, N.C., Vicini, M., (2017), Progetto HECO (HERITAGE COLORS) Metodologie Analisi Sintesi Apparati Valutazione d’Impatto sul sito UNESCO Centro Storico di Firenze
  • Bini, M., Capitanio, C., Francini, C. (2015). Buffer Zone. L’area di rispetto per il sito UNESCO Centro Storico di Firenze.
  • Bocchio, C., Francini, C., Ippolito, V., Marin, M., (2016), The Management Plan of the Historic Centre of Florence – UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Bocchio, C., Francini, C., (2018), Monitoring of the Management Plan of the Historic Centre of Florence, World Heritage site.
  • Bocchio, C., Ghibaudo, E., Guerriero, P., Santetti, L. (2019), Esperienze di siti Patrimonio Mondiale nella gestione delle criticità legate alla Governance, Popolazione e Turismo – Studio Tematico sulle Sfide Comuni
  • Chiesi, D., Francini, C., Montacchini, A., Porcile, M. (2020), Appunti per un modello di valutazione di impatto sul patrimonio (HIA)
  • Francini, C., Montacchini, A., Scuto, L., Tanturli, C., Vannucci, G. (2021) Conoscere, pianificare e ri-connettere i centri storici con il territorio. L’approccio al Paesaggio Urbano Storico per il Centro Storico di Firenze
  • Liberatore, G., Biagioni, P., Talia, V., Francini, C., (2020), Overtourism nelle città d’arte: un framework per la misurazione della capacità di carico turistica