Towards New Summers: Past, Present and Future of Holiday Camps for Children in Europe


In Italy alone, dozens of abandoned holiday camps for children are scattered throughout the landscape. The size and diffusion of this heritage calls for a scientific debate on the history and future of these buildings, which are often in a state of serious decay. From Alpine valleys to coastlines, former holiday camps for children tell a long story of educational, architectural, health and social experimentation, which has influenced generations of Europeans in the last 150 years. Holiday camps were hosted in traditional or modern structures, built from long-lasting materials such as reinforced concrete or temporary camping tents. Whatever their nature, holiday camps have left both physical and intangible traces on the European landscape and society.

The purpose of this call for abstracts is to collect and discuss the current research on the history of holiday camps in Europe between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular consideration of the contemporary reuse and restoration strategies of this architectural heritage.

Authors are invited to submit an abstract in Italian or English: accepted abstracts will be discussed at an international conference in Ravenna, September 15th–16th, 2022. A selection of the best proposals will be published in 2023, in a special issue of in_bo, the scientific, open-access, and Scopus-indexed journal published by the Department of Architecture of the University of Bologna.


The two main sessions of the conference will be:

– the architectural, educational and social history of holiday camps for children in Europe between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries;

– contemporary reuse and development strategies of this architectural heritage.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 April 2022. 

More information can be found here.

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