Image of Vesuvius overlooking the 
Bay of Naples

The Problem

Right You Are if You Think You Are. Luigi Pirandello
Abusive urbanization and many weakly credible public officials responsible for looking after the longterm interests of the Vesuvius area population have been contributing to an increasing risk of living and working in the area. An explosive eruption of Vesuvius will surely come and may produce an unprecedented loss of life and socio-economic and cultural impact on the territory. Today there are about 1,000,000 people exposed to this risk without accounting for the neighboring city of Naples, and tomorrow there may be several million people unless concrete steps are taken today to significantly reduce the risk caused by future eruptions of the volcano. In this endeavor the Vesuvius area population must play a central role.

The Issues

The seen is the changing. The unseen is the unchanging. Plato
How many of those living in the Vesuvius area can now move away from high risk areas and be assured of a better future, and if the volcano shows signs of unrest will they be alerted on time and assured of their safety? And where can they be moved to and who will shelter them when the neighboring communities and Naples are already too crowded and fiercely competing for the land? Are the Vesuvius area transportation systems capable of absorbing the flood of humanity, and will the police be able to deal with the evacuation on short notice? Are they fully aware of all their options so that they may choose their destiny and the destiny of their loved ones, or are they confused by press releases and behavior of public officials whose short term life is inconsistent with the Vesuvius problem? Is this problem really solvable or an eruption necessary to wipe out abusive urbanization, poor and rich neighborhoods, selfinterests, indifference, crime?

For many living and working in the area, Vesuvius is a symbol and unseparable companion in life and feel compelled to confront its mighty fury; they are prepared to wait for a spectacle which they can only imagine by looking at paintings and postcards sold to wandering tourists who from time to time are asking if anybody cares for tomorrow.

If you are concerned and disturbed by the above then you should help make VESUVIUS 2000 a reality, be its co-author, and insure a tomorrow for future generations of the Vesuvius area.


If you ain't part of the solution then you are part of the problem. American saying
VESUVIUS 2000 is an initiative launched by GVES and its collaborators concerned with the preservation of the socio-economic and cultural heritage in the Vesuvius area, and for making the territory more prosperous beyond the year 2000. Its aim is to develop volcanic risk reduction guidelines based on interdisciplinary scientific approaches which also include the population as the co-author. These guidelines will represent a prefeasibility for intervention and creation of economic incentives on the territory which can be produced beyond 2000. VESUVIUS 2000 is unique in its realism, interdisciplinarity, and durable development of its results.

The existence of Vesuvius requires reasoning in terms of the adoption of man and preservation of socio-economic and cultural values in the presence of natural forces.

The volcanic risk cannot be reduced to zero, but a better clarification of the relations between the inhabitants of the Vesuvius area and their environment can be developed. It is therefore necessary to establish how the spatial information is perceived, acquired, and utilized, and how this environment is today represented and can be made more comprehensible.

In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down, so far as it is possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience. Niels Bohr
The interdisciplinary approach involving geologists, geophysicists, physical and computer scientists, urban systems planners, sociologists, economists, historians, educators, civil service protection volunteers, and Vesuvius area population accounts for the diversity of approaches required to tackle the appropriation of the territory. VESUVIUS 2000 also accounts for the diversity of interests which led to the expansion of population on the flanks of the volcano, which may be political, historical, cultural, and economical.

Achievement of durable results by VESUVIUS 2000 will require the definition of priorities. Analyses of post eruption reconstructions and behavior of populations following these eruptions, and simulations of different eruption, socio-economic, land-use and urban systems scenarios will permit production of these priorities which are vital for establishing intervention on the territory and economic investments in the area.

Man is a being of history, of rupture, and of continuity. A. Compte
VESUVIUS 2000 has a strong socio-economic point of view because poor communication and negative stereotypes have been impending the development of common goals. The development of a volcanic risk culture is essential to be able to cope with the future.

The buyer needs a hundred eyes, the seller but one. Italian Proverb
VESUVIUS 2000 will also confront the problem of risk security. Who are its offerers and are they valued for the method or does the offer rests implicit? Who are the buyers of security, how they express this demand, and what are they prepared to pay for obtaining it? The initiative must develop a security contract which bonds the users and offerors, and establish links between the responsibles of information and recipients.


What is the perfect way to happiness? To stay at home. Bhartrihari
VESUVIUS 2000 offers unprecedented benefits:

The Next Step

I love him who desires the impossible. Faust
Act now and become involved in shaping a better future for the Vesuvius area population.

For more information contact:

Global Volcanic and Environmental Systems Simulation (GVES), P.zza Matteotti, CP418, 80133, Napoli, Italy.

Image as described below

       		Vent                                              7km Tyrrhenian sea                  
330 seconds after the collapse of a volcanic column at Vesuvius following a large-scale eruption similar to that of Pompei in AD 79. Computer simulation Courtesy of GVES. Inset: urbanized Vesuvius area is shown in red.

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