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Project description

New life to age-old paper reuse method

The practice of writing over papyrus by scraping existing text, re-smoothing the surface and writing the new text is reminiscent of the vision of landscape as a living heritage shaped and re-shaped by the interactions of human beings with their territories. The EU-funded PALIMPSEST project will work on those interactions in three European sites, Milano, Jerez de la Frontera and Łódź, three landscapes called to face significant environmental challenges. PALIMPSEST will trigger co-creation processes to imagine new scenarios and experiment with innovative initiatives combining human actions, creative practices, heritage landscape and sustainability goals. PALIMPSEST is coordinated by the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of Politecnico di Milano.


PALIMPSEST takes inspiration from the original meaning of the Greek word παλίμψηστος (palimpsestos, ‘again’ + ‘scrape’), which describes the process of the writing practices over papyrus: existing text was scraped and washed off, the surface re-smoothed, and the new literary material written on the saved material. PALIMPSEST adopts this re-writing perspective and grounds it on a living heritage approach. PALIMPSEST envisages regenerating the lost “sustainability wisdom” underlying the production of heritage landscapes through the activation of co-creation processes involving creative actors, technical stakeholders and civic society. Here architecture, design and art practices will dialogue with place-specific needs and broad systemic challenges to imagine new scenarios and experiment with innovative practices connecting human actions, landscape heritage and sustainability objectives. Such experiments will envision novel Landscape Scenarios aiming at producing dedicated Landscape Services, inspired by the generation of beneficial outcomes on ecosystem functions, which the creative contribution of CCIs will empower. Human practices will arise as relevant agents of a new sustainable palimpsest process. PALIMPSEST will integrate the aforementioned Landscape Services in environmental-sensitive solutions with sustainable finance infrastructures to support the sharing and circulating of positive externalities at different levels among the landscape service actors and communities. PALIMPSEST revolves around three pilots with strong cultural identities and relevant environmental problems: Lodz (PL), a UNESCO city of films fighting the highest air pollution levels in Europe; Milan fringes (IT), traditional agricultural landscapes struggling with unsustainable water use; Jerez de la Frontera (ES), an Andalusian wine landscape and vernacular site challenged by renewable energy production facilities.


Net EU contribution
€ 482 500,00
Piazza leonardo da vinci 32
20133 Milano

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (15)

Partners (8)