THE CONTRIBUTION OF EARTH OBSERVATION TECHNOLOGIES TO MONITORING STRATEGIES OF CULTURAL LANDSCAPES AND SITES
- Dept. of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Via Ponzio 31, 20133 Milan, Italy
Keywords: Cultural landscapes, Earth Observation, satellite remote sensing, GIS, Cultural Heritage policy, geo-hazards
Abstract. Coupling of Climate change effects with management and protection of cultural and natural heritage has been brought to the attention of policy makers since several years. On the worldwide level, UNESCO has identified several phenomena as the major geo-hazards possibly induced by climate change and their possible hazardous impact to natural and cultural heritage: Hurricane, storms; Sea-level rise; Erosion; Flooding; Rainfall increase; Drought; Desertification and Rise in temperature. The same document further referrers to satellite Remote Sensing (EO) as one of the valuable tools, useful for development of “professional monitoring strategies”. More recently, other studies have highlighted on the impact of climate change effects on tourism, an economic sector related to build environment and traditionally linked to heritage. The results suggest that, in case of emergency the concrete threat could be given by the hazardous event itself; in case of ordinary administration, however, the threat seems to be a “hazardous attitude” towards cultural assets that could lead to inadequate maintenance and thus to a risk of an improper management of cultural heritage sites. This paper aims to illustrate potential benefits that advancements of Earth Observation technologies can bring to the domain of monitoring landscape heritage and to the management strategies, including practices of preventive maintenance. The attempt here is to raise awareness on the importance of integrating satellite remote sensing imagery and the deriving products with other geospatial information (even geo-referenced historic maps) for a more complete insight on the environmental dynamics of landscapes.