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The earthquakes of May 20th and 29th, 2012 A provisional report of a dramatic experience The earthquake in Emilia has left profound scars, caused suffering and added further difficulty to what was already a complex economic situation. There has, however, been an extraordinary response to this disaster.
The reaction to the devastating “earth breath” Courage and solidarity Several months have passed since the profound and lethal "earth breath" of May 20th which made us discover how fragile we are. If it is when faced with difficulties that we see how a community reacts, then Ferrara has shown extraordinary strength.
Doing business in an earthquake zone Will, pragmatism and creativity The earthquakes of May 2012 extensively and violently damaged the most productive district of our province - the upper Ferrara area which houses most of the industrial activity of the area.
“We’re still here, we haven’t left” Small businesses and craftsmen Eight months after the earthquake it is possible to take stock of the situation, analyzing what has been done. I can testify that, after the initial pain and discomfort, my colleagues and craftsmen reacted by rolling up their sleeves and removing the rubble from homes and businesses.
Tha agricultural sector and the earthquake Facts and considerations Old rural culture has always been cautiously afraid of leap years. In the 2012 leap year we witnessed a catastrophic earthquake and a devastating drought that
extensively damaged not only agricultural buildings but also the farm revenue for a large part of the upper Ferrara area.

The earthquake and the Univers ity

Written by  Paquale Nappi

Consequences and opportunities

09-01The University of Ferrara has many large and important properties at its disposal. The oldest buildings were those that suffered most damage from the earthquake and subsequent surveys have affirmed that four of them are unfit for use. The Renata di Francia, Strozzi, Tassoni and Gulinelli palaces are all totally or partially unusable. The earthquake has taught us an important lesson in relation to the recovery and renovation work that we are about to start. Historical buildings that have been the subject of restoration work in recent years have not suffered major damage, and this demonstrates that anti-seismic operations can be effectively carried out even on old buildings. An example of this is the former convent of Santa Lucia, dating back to 1537, which had just been completed as a student residence, and now te09-02mporarily houses the headquarters of the Chancellorship and a substantial number of the central administration offices. Despite having suffered serious damage our University has never closed and all members of our community have engaged in passionate and intense work to ensure the continuation of many of our activities. To date, we can perform all our duties in safety and, for the oncoming academic year, we are able to offer the same courses that we offered last year. What has driven us is the need to recover quickly in order to continue to be an efficient and organized unit at the service of the whole community. Additionally, our university has made available our expertise and equipment for the use of the whole territory in order to deal with emergency situations, safety, reconstruction and restoration. With regard to the issue of resources, thanks to the fundamental financial support from the Ministry and the liquidation of insurance claims, we have obtained the financial resources and can now start planning the necessary recovery and restoration interventions.
Our c09-03ommitment is to turn a crisis into an opportunity for growth, dedicating certain lines of research work to reconstruction. We need to involve researchers on specific topics, whilst also providing scholarships, fellowships and grants. Important results can be achieved through agreements with external bodies, both public and private, to develop the field of urban planning and design, protection of the city and landscape, as well as the preservation and restoration of the architectural
heritage. Higher education is an investment for the future and not just a cost, and it is even more important in the period of severe economic and social hardship that our country is currently experiencing.