WORKSHOP by: Università di Genova. Published: April 17, 2024.

CONSERVATION / CREATION, 10.-13.09.2024, Genova

The contribution of Conservation to urban futures

EAAE Conservation Network Workshop
10-13 September 2024
Architecture and Design Department DAD – University of Genova


In 2024 seventeen years will have passed since the 1st Workshop of the EAAE-Conservation
Network, held in Genoa (2007) on the subject: ‘Teaching Conservation/Restoration of the
Architectural Heritage: Goals, Contents and Methods’. It is time to go back to the origins and look to
the future.
In the context of a fast-changing world, affected by natural and human hazards and by social and
economic transformations, the workshop intends to discuss the role that Conservation can play as
a positive source of energy, ideas, and tools in supporting the quality lives of places. We have chosen
the city of Genova and its historic centre as a place to ground our work. Genova is a medium sized
city (about 600.000 inhabitants) with one of the larger and more ancient historic centres in Europe,
characterized by layered traces of urban and architectural history and by a very complex social and
economic situation. It can thus be an interesting vantage point for reflection about the future of
urban settlements around Europe, which face deep phenomena of change, such as gentrification,
loss of population and of economic activities, immigration and increasing cultural mixite.
From this perspective, the management of change often seems to set in opposition the needs for
conserving the physical inheritance, with all the values embedded in its buildings and spaces, against
those of novelty and of new solutions. Conservation is seen as a reactive response, at the opposite
pole to creative action. It is not. Even if we looked only to the conservation of material aspects, it
implies change, innovation, and some degree of transformation. If we go beyond this level, we can
easily see that the restoration project brings something new into being, renovating our living
environments while respecting their histories and values. The workshop intends to move beyond
polarization. Conservation is not simply the opposite of creation.
The term “creation” designates “the act or process of making, producing, or building something”
(Cambridge Dictionary).
It is a fact of life that contemporary additions are sometimes necessary to give a useful life to
historical spaces, buildings, and settlements, and thus involving creation as part of a conservation
process. At the same time, an appropriate new use assigned to a redundant old building, as well as
the regeneration of urban settlements, are conservation acts involving creativity, leading to the
creation of a new life for heritage resources. And finally, conservation results in the creation of new
social and economic values.
The workshop will put before the participants different situations and problems existing or emerging
within the historic centre of Genova as a means of generating dialogue and debate on the following
1. Conservation as a medium for creation (or an expression of creation)
2. Physical conservation as a condition for social and cultural vitality
3. Old and new as dimensions of the future: the embrace of hybridity

Find more information on the call and registrations in the document hereunder:



2024-05-31  |  Abstract submissions
2024-06-30  |  Acceptance of registration and abstracts
2024-07-25  |  Contribution payment


September 10, 2024


Architecture and Design Department DAD - University of Genova