The Ecomuseum Casilino: the heritage for a sustainable development

An Ecomuseum is a dynamic way in which communities preserve, interpret, and manage their heritage for a sustainable development. An Ecomuseum is based on a community agreement. Introduced by the French museologist Hugues de Varine in 1971, the word ecomuseum has often been misused and the definition of an ecomuseum is still a controversial matter for contemporary museology.Many museologists sought to define the distinctive features of ecomuseums, listing their characteristics.Following a complexity approach, in recent definitions, ecomuseums are more properly defined by what they do rather than by what they are.[1]

The ecomuseum phenomenon has grown dramatically over the years, with no one ecomuseum model but rather an entire philosophy that has been adapted and molded for use in a variety of situations. As many more ecomuseums are established across the world the idea has been growing and the changes in the approach towards the philosophy are reflected in the reactions of the communities involved. In recent time particular significance is the rise in ecomuseology in India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, with significant increase in Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey.Ecomuseums are an important medium through which a community can take control of its heritage and enable new approaches to make meaning out of conserving its local distinctiveness.

The Urban Ecomuseum Casilino “Ad duas Lauros” is located inside the Centocelle park, on via Casilina. In this urban reality, in the east of Rome and within G.R.A., there are various types of landscapes:

  • The archaeological landscape that goes from the Mausoleo di Sant’Elena to the Catacombe di SS. Marcellino e Pietro, from Villa Imperiale di Centocelle inside the Parco Archeologico, to Villa Gordiani, through the Acquedotto Alessandrino and the Terme di Largo Irpinia.
  • The landscape of spirituality ,this heritage is in fact part of the historic path of the Via Francigena that crossed Europe to reach the main cultural centers of Christianity
  • The agricultural landscape of the Roman countryside with houses, towers, fields and pastoral areas.
  • The natural landscape created by the presence of green areas

The Ecomuseum is an intangible infrastructure that brings together these landscapes, bridging them through extraordinary walking and cycling paths, which link together realities anciently connected by these modern views, in order to attract tourists to that area from all over the world.

For decades, urban planning in Rome does not take into account the needs of residents, but only those of profit and speculation, the Ecomuseum is now a new model of “development”. A new way to see the city.It promotes urban planning that incorporates the particularities with territorial wealth to use them to the fullest way, an urbanism that has as its main topic of community health. An easy and effective city, a citizen-friendly neighborhood where livabilityis the central theme.