Digital innovation for the post-earthquake “second emergency phase” (SEP). Research experience in Central Italy

Roberto Ruggiero, Hiroto Kobayashi, Roberto Cognoli, Sora Kaito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The housing emergency that follows natural disasters is generally dealt with “temporary” prefabricated housing, usually designed for short and medium-term life cycle and often arranged in dormitory suburbs, mostly devoid of any basic facility. When the rebuilding processes takes time, as usually happens, those settlements end up causing a “second emergency”, with dramatic repercussions on people's health and communities' cohesion. Facing this problem, some international experiences match digital technologies with lightweight building systems and local unskilled labor to produce innovative and temporary shelters. Among these studies, the works of Hiroto Kobayashi in the Far East and his “veneer building system” are particularly significant. Italy is a seismic land where “reconstruction” has always been a disputed process that forces people to live a long time in those kinds of settlements. A recent example is the 2016/17 Central-Italy earthquake. After four years, less than 5% of the 80 thousand uninhabitable houses have been rebuilt or recovered. People are worried about an uncertain future. This paper presents the outcome of a design experience carried out, in partnership, with the Italian University of Camerino and the Japanese Keio University. Two innovative “mobile” pavilions (for cultural activities) were built in Amandola, one of the Italian villages heavily damaged by the 2016/17 earthquake. The local student community was engaged; digital technologies were applied; the veneer system was experienced. This work represents an unusual application of digital technologies in the Central-Italy disaster area as well as an original implementation of the veneer system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102293
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul


  • Digital innovation
  • Experimentation
  • Process
  • Second emergency
  • Temporariness
  • Veneer system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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