An in-depth knowledge of the historical buildings allows us to predict the damage mechanisms that can be generated by an earthquake on a built fabric, thanks to the study of historical documents and to surveys carried out on site. An expeditious assessment procedure based on indicators related to the masonry behaviour of building aggregates has been developed. The method has a preventive purpose, as it allows to classify the building aggregates of a historical center before a seismic event occurs. The paper illustrates the protocol for the expeditous evaluation of seismic vulnerability of building aggregates in Italian historical centres, which is based on the determination of synthetic indicators to provide a preliminary assessment of their potential damage under the earthquake. The 2012 earthquake in Emilia-Romagna allowed to test the effectiveness of this method. Its application to the building aggregates of the historic center of Mirandola (MO) allowed to verify how it would have been possible to identify in advance the damage scenario recorded after the earthquakes.
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