For a Human-Centered AI

European funding of over one million euros for the “pure” humanities studies project in which fbk participates

December 18, 2018

The research dedicated to rediscovering public spaces will be launched in 2019 and will be conducted in partnership with a consortium of European companies. The creation of theme-based routes apps to discover the signs of the past in contemporary cities is also planned

Fondazione Bruno Kessler‘s Italian-German Historical Institute (FBK-ISIG), together with a European consortium of which it is a partner, was the winner of a HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) grant worth a total of 1.2 million Euros. Thanks to this European fund dedicated to the humanities, the PURE (PUblic REnaissance) project, conceived and coordinated for the part concerning Italy by FBK-ISIG researcher Massimo Rospocher, will be completed in the next three years.

The research program will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Exeter (UK), the University of Erlangen (Germany), the University of Valencia (Spain) and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) and aims to analyze and rediscover the role of public spaces from the modern age to the present day.

“The idea of the project”, Rospocher explained, “stems from an urgency of the present. Today it seems that all the public debate takes place in virtual and ephemeral places, but at the same time the power of squares is being rediscovered, as we have recently seen with the Occupy Wall Street or the Indignados protests up to the current “Yellow vest” rallies. In the project, we will study the role of public spaces, such as streets, markets, taverns and squares, in the period of the Renaissance and see how their functions have changed and what the links with the contemporary are”.

The project is expected to yield, in addition to international academic publications, a series of smartphone apps dedicated to some European cities, including Trento, offering theme-based routes through which users can find signs from the past that are still visible today. “For example”, Rospocher explained, “in Via Suffragio in Trento you can still see traces of the presence of sixteenth-century taverns that had a role in public city life. Thanks to the app, citizens will be able to identify them and follow the historical narration. For the development of the technological aspect, we will also rely on our FBK ICT researchers”.

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