Academic Year 2020/2021 - 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 offers students an urban planning experience in the field, in partnership with a local community, based on action-learning approach (learning during the action). The second semester module is complementary with the first semester module, which offers students advanced tools for spatial planning. The second semester module is concerned with procedural aspects of planning (role of the technician and of local community members, characters of the interaction between technicians and non-technicians, etc.).

  • 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 to be used to support planning and design solutions.

Course Structure

  • Urban design
    1. Fundamentals of advanced planning theory
    2. Fundamentals of theory for community-based planning
    3. Technics and tools for collaborative design
    4. Theories and methods of action research for urban planning
    5. Strategical planning
    6. Ecological and circular planning
    7. Landscape, heritage and local development
  • 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

    The course is inspired by the pedagogical approach of action learning (learning in the course of action), according to which the student is called to reflect critically, through continuous in-depth theoretical studies, on an experience of real community planning. The course is divided into two types of different but intertwined and complementary activities:

    Theoretical and research study activities - through lectures, reading seminars, research and study activities, students will acquire background knowledge, theoretical and technical knowledge in preparation for the project as premises and bases for the design activities (see next point). These activities may include web-seminars with teachers and students of international university partners (in the past, the course has been developed in partnership with the University of Memphis and UMASS Boston) for joint training activities on the procedural aspects of urban planning and local development.

    Design Activities – for the practical and design part of the course, students will have the opportunity to be involved in an intensive and highly collaborative field design experience, in partnership with one or more territorial organizations interested in collaborating with the University on a strategic plan and / or local development project based on principles of social solidarity and environmental sustainability. Students will be involved in theoretical reflection activities on the themes of the project, methodological lessons, data collection and analysis and in collaborative design events. Student will elaborate data-books, maps, strategic plans and integrated projects focused on reactivating heritage (in its natural, historical and cultural component) considering ecological cycles (specifically, the hydrological one), circular economy and sustainable mobility

  • 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 new forms of urban and peri-urban agriculture
    • 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. Albrechts, L. (2013). Reframing strategic spatial planning by using a coproduction perspective. Planning theory, 12(1), 46-63
    2. Saija, L. (2017). La ricerca-azione in pianificazione territoriale e urbanistica. Franco Angeli
    3. Sandercock, L. (2004). Towards a planning imagination for the 21st century. Journal of the American Planning Association, 70(2), 133-141.
    4. Savini F. & Bertolini L. (2019) Urban experimentation as a politics of niches. Environement and Planning A 51(4) 831-848.
    5. Sclavi, M., Susskind, L. (2017). Confronto creativo. Come funzionano la co-progettazione creativa e la democrazia deliberativa. Perché ne abbiamo bisogno, IPOC
    6. De Varine, H. (1978). L’Ecomuseo. Jalla, D. (2005, a cura di). Le radici del futuro. Il patrimonio culturale al servizio dello sviluppo locale, Clueb, Bologna, pp.241-273
  • 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.