Research project

REbuilding a sense of PLACE (REPLACE)

Principal Investigator
Paola Giuseppantonio Di Franco
A view of the old town of Senerchia with a film camera in the foreground

The socio-cultural role of 3D technologies in increasing community resilience after natural disasters

REPLACE is a programme of research that aims to increase community resilience after natural disasters by advancing our understanding of the socio-cultural role 3D technologies can play in rebuilding a sense of place, thus enabling communities to prepare for, respond to, recover from, mitigate the effects, and adapt to natural disasters.

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About our research

The main question addressed is, how can we use the socio-cultural role of 3D technologies in sustaining communities and heritage through disasters?

The project is funded by the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Future Leadership Fellowship programme, and builds on the work undertaken by Dr Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco in her award winning project Italia Terremotata.

The proposed programme of research introduces a novel theoretical contribution by conducting the first in-depth longitudinal study on the socio-cultural role of 3D technologies (e.g. photogrammetry, laser scanning, rapid prototyping) for building community resilience and helping communities to respond to, recover from, prepare for, and mitigate the social effects of natural disasters (i.e. the main time phases of the Hazard Management Cycle -HMC). 

Through collaboration with cutting-edge technology companies, REPLACE will enhance the UK's leading role in the transformational use of new technologies to sustain heritage, communities and culture through disasters, in accordance with UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, the Sendai Framework 2015-30 and ICOMOS Common Dignity Initiative, Rights-Based Approach.

The project will inform local and national hazard management policymakers such as Italy’s Regional Cultural Relics Office as well as the international disaster management community through the World Heritage Committee, developing good practice standards for using 3D technologies in post-disaster recovery. 

With the growing impact of the climate crisis becoming increasingly evident in communities around the world, this series of case studies in Italy will inform how societies and communities can mitigate and tackle episodes of destruction, with a series of publications, events and reports documenting the project's findings. 

If you would like to know more about the project, please contact the project team at or follow us on our social media channels.


Recent articles


The climate crisis is producing an important shift in the political agenda, which is moving from a focus on mitigation of impacts to one of resilience and adaptation meaning REPLACE will have increasingly global relevance. Potentially, it could translate to other contexts, such as post-conflict environments.
Dr Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco School of Philosophy and Art History
Dr Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, smiling and looking happy, wearing red glasses
Heritage expert awarded a £1.5m UKRI Future Leadership Fellowship.

Dr Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco has been awarded £1.5m to demonstrate how 3D technologies can help communities rebuild after disaster.

Read the article

Collaborators from the Digital and Creative Industry

Greg Cadge - Autumn by the Lakes
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Dr Paola Giuseppantonio Di Franco Project Lead