Academic Year 2021/2022 - 4° Year
Teaching Staff Credit Value: 12
Scientific field: ICAR/20 - Urban and regional planning
Taught classes: 60 hours
Exercise: 60 hours
Term / Semester: 1° and 2°

Learning Objectives

  • Urban design

    This class is concerned with urban design. It is complementary to first semester module, which exposes students to an advanced experience of territorial physical-spatial planning.

    The urban design module combines the aspects of spatial planning at the urban scale, with the procedural aspects of policy making (role of technicians, social actors, time-dependent and scale-related factors, use of resources, etc.).

    The goal is to allow students to acquire cognitive-creative and reflective skills that are required for professionals involved in the complex management and design processes of the contemporary city. The learning process will be based on the elaboration of critical reflections related to a design experience.

  • Territorial planning and design

    The course is offered to 4th / 5th year students and aims at delivering a project proposal to respond to some specific needs of transformation on an urban scale.
    The teaching offer is based on the knowledge acquired by students during the previous course of Urban and Regional Planning and relative Studios.
    The didactic activities guide students along a process of low-scale analysis of the landscape, and provide them with the essential elements for understanding the methods of construction of a project based on the integration of the plurality of components that characterize urban contexts.
    Particular importance will be given to innovative approaches to urban and landscape planning and design, such as the use of the concept of Ecosystem Services and Nature-based Solutions to support planning and design solutions.

Course Structure

  • Urban design

    The Urban Design module is divided into three sub-modules:

    M1. Theory and case study of urban regeneration (weeks 2-6) - Literature review on the theme of urban regeneration and elaboration of significant case studies, selected by the teachers. Students are asked to deepen and elaborate their own critical reflection. These activities are aimed at gaining awareness of the crucial questions that the planner should explore in the context of a design process aimed at urban regeneration.

    M2. Analysis of the study area (weeks 2-6) - Preparation of maps, collection and analysis of data on the urban context. The study area will be divided into sub-areas on which students will work in groups. This will be combined with the listening to social actors able to share relevant information for design activities (see next point).

    M3. Elaboration of project proposals (weeks 7-13) - each group will use the knowledge gained in sub-modules 1 and 2 to elaborate a hypothesis of regeneration of its sub-field. Project proposals will include indications relating to spatial transformation and the re-functionalization of disused or underused spaces, as well as potential socio-economic innovation processes associated with this transformation.

  • Territorial planning and design

    The Studio foresees an individual work by the students. In the classroom, students proceed with the development of the project on an area that will be assigned to them at the beginning of the course, with the aim of minimizing the work to be done outside the STUDIO hours. The STUDIO DOES NOT FORESEE intermediate deadlines within its lifetime: The Studio will be organized so that students are able to finish the activities within the laboratory hours

Detailed Course Content

  • Urban design

    Week 1- Introduction

    - Presentations (teachers and students)

    - Learning objectives and introduction to the aim of the project

    - Learning approach and articulation of the course (activities)

    - Methods (working groups, site inspections) and evaluation criteria

    Weeks 2-6

    M1 - Introduction to the topic of urban regeneration

    - Literature review - Assignments

    - Group presentation of the assigned readings based on templates

    M2- Presentation of the study area and data

    - Assignment of sub-areas

    - Existing datasets (main source: the Municipality of Catania) to be used to identify building units, classify building types and categories of intervention

    M1 - Case studies - assignments (template)

    - Exemplary cases of urban reuse and regeneration

    - First round of debate

    M2 - Analysis (Land use of built spaces and open spaces)

    - Team work

    - Reviews of assigned work

    M1- International cases of urban regeneration

    - Presentation of case studies

    - Discussion about elements, principles and values that emerged from the case studies, as a base for the projects

    M2 - Analysis (Uses on the ground floors of buildings and conditions of use)

    - Reviews of work assigned the previous weeks

    - Analysis (Structural invariants)

    Sept. 7 - 13 - M3 - Project

    - Design activities during class hours with the assistance of teachers

    - Meeting with relevant social actors

  • Territorial planning and design

    The study area covered by Studio will include a portion of a municipal area or with an entire municipality.
    Through the analysis of the planning tools, the understanding of spatial processes of both urban and territorial value, as well as the socio-economic and cultural characteristics of the contexts analyzed, students will elaborate a proposal of a project mainly aimed at improving the overall level of sustainability of the study area.
    The theoretical insights of the Studio will cover the following topics:

    • Ecosystem services and their relevance for spatial planning and design
    • Nature-based solutions and sustainable drainage systems for mitigation and adaptation to climate change
    • The relationship between city and countryside and the planning of new forms of urban and peri-urban agriculture for metropolitan contexts
    • Urban regeneration program

    The project proposals will also be accompanied by general economic studies that quantify the economic resources necessary for their implementation.
    The main, but not the only, papers to be produced within the course include:

    • Land uses
    • Land Cover
    • Ecosystem services assessment
    • Infrastructural assets
    • Evaluations and metaproject
    • Project design

Textbook Information

  • Urban design
    1. Regional Law LRS 19/2020 + Carta M. “Norme per il buon governo del territorio siciliano. Note a margine di una legge”
    2. Oliva F. (1993) Il riuso delle aree Dismesse. In Campos Venuti G. e Oliva F. (a cura di) 50 anni di urbanistica in Italia 1942-1992. Bari: Laterza
    3. Gibelli M. C. (2009). Vivibilità e nuova urbanità nelle politiche e nei progetti di rigenerazione urbana. In Boniburini I., (a cura di) Alla ricerca della città vivibile. Firenze: Alinea, pp. 75-89
    4. Ostanel E. (2017). Spazi Fuori dal comune. Rigenerare, includere, innovare. Milano: Franco Angeli (selection of pages)
    5. Annunziata S., Leeds L. (2020). Staying Put! Un manuale anti-Gentrification per Le Città Dell’Europa del Sud (selection of pages)
  • Territorial planning and design

    References used in the Studio will include a collection of scientific articles and book chapters that will be made available on the dedicated Studium page.