HECO (HEritage COlours)


HECO is a project born from the UNESCO Office of the Municipality of Florence and the Department of Architecture of the University of Florence which has been realized within the framework of the cojoint permanent workshop “Heritage CityLab”.

HECO – funded by the Italian Ministry of cultural heritage and activities and tourism through the Law 77/2006 “Special measures for protection and
enjoyment of the Italian sites of cultural, landscape and environmental interest inscribed in the World Heritage List and placed under the protection of UNESCO” – is an integrated system of open data of the architecture of the Historic Centre, is based on recognition of the chromatic language of the architecture. It aims to develop guidelines and applications for use in urban prevention and maintenance operations. The project ought to be useful in a number of fields. In the sphere of programmed maintenance and prevention, the monitoring of operations carried out on the architectural heritage makes it possible to plan future controls and operations, setting alerts when the maximum time between one monitoring and the following one has expired. In the framework of management of the art city it is possible to know the economic requirements for the actions of maintenance and renovation of the facades of the buildings. In the area of planning, it is possible to know and visualise the priorities of action for a conscientious programming of the maintenance actions. In the sphere of urban decor, the survey of the colours of the grounds, the cornices and the basements enables the definition of appropriate methods for the conservation and enhancement of the building facades, with identification of the chromatic matrices, the colour palettes and the material prototypes.



  • To draft strategic guidelines for the performance of operations of prevention, maintenance and conservation of the architectural features of the historic Florentine building stock and the open spaces which specifically distinguish this particular UNESCO site.
  • To enhance the Heritage Colours, an expression of the architectural and urban identity of the city, through the colours that adorn it and underscore aspects of its decor.
  • To monitor the state of conservation of the public and private buildings, the historic gardens, the pavements of the streets and squares, indicating the aspects of deterioration, the priorities, the criticalities and the methods of execution for a programmed management of the operations.
  • To catalogue the listed buildings in the Historic Centre (pursuant to Law 1089/39) using an Open Data system on a geo-referenced GIS base.