Managing the crowd at large events in public spaces is a difficult task.
Prescriptive approaches are not suitable while partial performance and risk-based regulations (at a national and local level) revealed to be ineffective. Tragic recent events have demonstrated this (e.g. the Piazza San Carlo crowd incident in 2017, Turin – Italy). The reason of their ineffectiveness relies on the peculiarities of both each large event (a football match, a concert, a festival) and the space in which they are organized (a specific stadium, an old town center, a public park), that may nullify the benefits of a rigid approach using check-lists. Even if yet performance-based.
Public events and security: integrating art, culture and regulatory constraints
Taking inspiration from the safety needs of the events for Matera 2019 (European Capital of Culture for the year 2019, see Figure 1), Fabio Dattilo (Head of Italian National Fire Corp), Salvatore Tafaro (Matera Provincial Fire Brigade Commander) and Luca Fiorentini (Executive Director of TECSA S.r.l. and SFPE Italy Vice President) discussed the necessity to integrate art and safety when managing large events in public spaces, during a dedicated conference held in Matera last November 30th 2018. To satisfy this necessity means to make the artistic and cultural heritage, exhibited to large crowds during public events, safely accessible and exploitable, protecting both the people and itself from the risks of being hurt (the former) or damaged (the latter) in case of a loss of control on the crowd management.