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DIDA Dipartimento di Architettura

Ilenia Maria Romano - XXIX cycle


Ilenia Maria Romano, architect and PhD candidate in Technologies of Architecture, graduated with honours at the University of Florence in 2010 with the thesis “Architecture of earth and shadow – Museum in Marrakech” (“Architettura di terra e ombra - Museo a Marrakech”). She obtained her license as 'Technical expert in data collection for documenting the architectural and environmental heritage'. She obtain a level II Master's degree on “Sustainable Territory and Architecture” at the Milan Polytechnic, developing part of the project at the DRL of the Architectural Association. In 2011 she was a trainee at BuroHappold Engineers Limited in London, in the areas regarding 'facades' and 'sustainability'. She has obtained qualification A/RSPP module C and CSP/CSE.

Since 2013 she collaborates in research projects with the Historic Centre of Florence Bureau of UNESCO World Heritage (Ufficio Centro Storico di Firenze Patrimonio UNESCO).


Scientific interests:

Cultural Heritage Enhancing, Tourism flows, Tourism Pressure, Technology Architecture, Integrated Spatial Organisation and Social Experience.


Title of the thesis:

“The flow of tourism as a factor of pressure on Cultural Heritage. The case stydy of the UNESCO site of the Historic Centre of Florence” (“Flussi turistici fattore di pressione sul Patrimonio Culturale. Il caso studio del sito UNESCO Centro Storico del Comune di Firenze”)


The Italian Cultural Heritage is a good example of the multiple aspects of diversity, this makes it especially difficult to manage, and thus it requires appropriate integrated management tools.

This research aims to contribute towards a better management of the Cultural Heritage by investigating into the effects of the phenomenon of tourism, which today represents a well-known modality of the transformation of the territory. To consider the flow of tourism as a short-term source of income has as a consequence the alteration of natural ecosystems, as well as cultural and environmental values, and puts at risk important resources and local identities. From a  scientific point of view the question requires a knowledge of the peculiarities of the site; for this reason the research focuses on a study case such as that of the Historic Centre of Florence, which was included in the World Heritage List in 1982.

The Management Plan for the Historic Centre of Florence is currently in a  process of updating, with reference to the five main risks to its integrity as identified by the ICOMOS and IUCN advisory boards during the last Periodical Report on the state of conservation and management of the site (February 2014). Amongst the risks are the critical state generated by the impact of “mass tourism” which creates the need to respond by favouring the development of a sustainable tourism through actions that allow the identification of risk factors related to usage in connection to the pressure exerted by tourism, with the purpose of preserving the qualities of the site.

The research, using methods for the analysis of both the potentialities and the level of crisis of public spaces, in connection to social and individual behaviours related to tourism, has the purpose of devising a sustainable governance model which includes monitoring and attenuation solutions that prove useful for the Management Plan.
last update: 22-Mar-2016
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