Geographia Polonica (2020) vol. 93, iss. 4

The conservation of traumatic ruins: A sensitive issue to improve urban resilience

Antoine Le Blanc

Geographia Polonica (2020) vol. 93, iss. 4, pp. 539-552 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0186

Preserved urban ruins convey a social and political message, sometimes with great impact. Whereas stakeholders often tend to cancel the traces of disaster, the conservation of ruins has been the consequence of much disputed decisions. Such decisions can be explained by the will to use the conservation of ruins as a preventive tool. Indeed, the conservation of a disaster’s traumatic marks can be a tool to perform urban resilience, sincethe urban system integrates the trauma, in an open purpose of risk mitigation. However, this instrument of risk management entails major urban planning issues. Many municipalities in various countries have decidedto preserve ruins after tragic events. They set up specific restoration and management standards, variousaesthetic and technical choices, access and presentation criteria, but they also indicate a political exploitationof the disaster.

Keywords: risks, catastrophe, ruins, conservation, resilience

Antoine Le Blanc [antoine.le-blanc@univ-littoral.fr], Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale F-59140 Dunkerque: France; TVES – Territoires Villes Environnement & Société Université de Lille Lille: France