Civita Preservation Alternatives - Micaela Skoknic

Micaela Skoknic

Civita: Preservation Alternatives

Micaela Skoknic, Civita Institute Northeast Chapter Fellow, 2018

Micaela Skoknic Dockendorff (b. Santiago de Chile, 1989) is an environmental and public law attorney, M.S Historic Preservation (Pratt Institute), business consultant and DJ who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

The priorities of my project quickly evolved as I confirmed several critical perspectives that warned me about the impact of the heavy tourism economy upon Civita’s remarkable landscape. Drawing upon my own professional experience in the fields of historic preservation, community planning and development, I approached my one-month fellowship as a consultancy, with a focus on Civita’s social and cultural sustainability.

At the time of my visit, the Bagnoregio authorities were preparing Civita’s nomination dossier for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Conducting oral histories, interviews with authorities, and community stakeholders, I researched and documented the town’s struggle with unchecked tourism, erasure of traditions and lack of political and economic sovereignty vis-a-vis the town of Bagnoregio.

Inspired by Astra Zarina's joint pedagogy and caretaking of the town, I crafted a pop-up citizen plebiscite and museum at the Piazza. Early student work from the Hilltown Program archives was brought out from Lo Studio, back to the public realm and onto its protagonists: the Civitonici. Residents were surveyed and asked to map Civita’s current challenges and opportunities. From bridge to tunnel, from the Calanchi Valley to the Lazio Region, the community was invited to carve a common space for remembering their history and imagining Civita’s future.

My presentation at the gala will go over this experience of civic engagement and will share the most relevant findings from my research on why and how the tourism paradigm must be altered for a more economic, cultural and social future for Civita.