Academic Year 2021/2022 - 4° Year
Teaching Staff Credit Value: 12
Scientific field: ICAR/20 - Urban and regional planning
Taught classes: 50 hours
Exercise: 40 hours
Laboratories: 50 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques SEMINAR

    This class is an introduction to the main theories, technical tools and methods as well as process-based strategies aimed at managing and designing urban transformations. The program covers the fundamentals of urban analysis and design and all the relevant related themes, including the quality of the urban fabric, the relationship between the public and the private interests in traditional and contemporary planning processes, historic preservation at the urban scale, urban ecology and resilience in the face of climate change, and strategic urban planning through the lens of the contemporary urban regeneration debate.

  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques STUDIO

    This class allows the practical application, with a critical self-reflective approach, of the theories covered by the ‘Urban Planning and Design Techniques’ seminar and follows its thematic steps. Its goal is two-fold, i. e. making students: (1) able to read and comply with land-use regulations and urban plans in their future profession as architects or building engineers; (2) developing enough practical confidence in the actual practice of urban planning and design that might encourage them to seek for further training and professional experience.

Course Structure

  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques SEMINAR

    The class follow a theory-based seminar format, that uses both frontal lectures and interactive-participatory approaches (e. g. students-led presentations and debates). Attending classes is mandatory and requires students to read the assigned materials before class every week. Through this combination of assigned readings and in-class activities, students will learn what has characterized Italian urban planning and design since the birth of this field as a profession in the aftermath of the IIWW, as well as the main innovations the field has experienced overtime in terms of principles, theories, norms, methods, and practical outcomes.

  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques STUDIO

    The class consists in the practical application and the critical reflection over the theories and notions covered during the ‘urban planning and design techniques’ seminars. It is based on the assumption that ‘professional methods, techniques, and tools’ are learned only through their practical application in practice and systematic critical self-reflection on such application. The class is organized in four learning steps that imply one assignment every two weeks. The completion of the bi-weekly assignment by the established deadlines is mandatory and allow students to carry out the work while sharing and collecting crucial feedback from colleagues and teachers. All assignments are developed so that they converge into a final ‘Neighborhood Urban Plan and Design’, to be delivered and discussed during the final exam. The assignments expose students to the main methods to analyze a neighborhood and plan for its future transformations according, in the face of increasing ecological and socio-cultural challenges faced by our cities.

    Every weekly assignment is developed through: i) a lecture associated with an handout; ii) a preliminary desk-review with draft versions of the produced materials; iii) a second desk-reversion of the ‘close-to-final’ version of the assignment.

    The work will be carried out in a sample of representative neighborhood of the city of Catania and is meant to be conceived as a collective collaborative endeavor by the whole class. Every student might be asked to work individually and/or in team, both at home and in class, and should be ready to share its own work with colleagues, instructors, and community members at any time, with the purpose of collecting feedback.

    Should teaching be carried out remotely or in a blended mode, what stated in the above paragraph might be slightly modified with the aim of maximizing students’ ability to carry out all the planned activities.

Detailed Course Content

  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques SEMINAR

    The different urban planning and design methods and techniques are presented within the theoretical frameworks they originated from, with a special focus on their historical contingencies from which they derived, according to the following thematic units:

    1. Urban planning and design for the quality of urban growth – the historic origins of the Italian planning profession and the main urban transformations after the IIWW / urban ‘reconstruction’ and real estate speculazione (the hands over the city) / the “bridge law” and the DM 1444/68 / the birth of Italian land-use control / main urban planning indicators / the urban ‘standards’ / how standards aim at contrasting urban speculation / the ‘standards’ debate after 50 years of planning practice
    2. Urban planning and design for the preservation of the historic city – real estate interests, the Italian ‘urban renewal’ experience and the birth of the urban historic preservation movement in the 60s / the “gubbio Chart” and its legal applications (LN 457/78 and LRS 13/15) / what is an ‘urban tissue’ and how the concept is used in planning / anlysis and normative tools for urban historic preservation (urban typology Vs urban morphology)
    3. Urban planning and design, an ecological perspective – the insurgence of the “environemental crisis” in the 70s and impacts on the planning field / from environmental to ecological planning and design / The debate on urban resilience in the face of climate change / urban planning strategies to deal with water, vegetation, energy and microclimate in the city (introduction);
    4. Urban planning and design for urban regeneration – deregulation in planning in the 80s / the process Vs. product debate / ordinary Vs. strategic planning / differences between negotiation, participation, and co-production in planning
  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques STUDIO

    The practical application of the various methods covered by the seminars, connected to the different issues that have characterized Italian cities from the 50s up until today, proceeds through the following steps:

    • Assignment_1 Analysis of urban quality, estimating pre-existing requirements of urban services and design implications (connected to thematic unit n°1 “Urban planning and design for the quality of urban growth”)
    • Assignment_2 Typological and morphological urban analysis of historic cities and design implications (connected to thematic unit n° 2 “Urban planning and design for the preservation of the historic city”)
    • Assignment_3 Ecological urban analysis and design implications (connected to thematic unit n° 3 “Urban planning and design, an ecological perspective”)
    • Assignment_4 Indagini qualitative, analisi SWOT e implicazioni progettuali (connected to thematic unit n° 4 “Urban planning and design for urban regeneration”)

Textbook Information

  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques SEMINAR
    1. Bettini V. (2004) Paradigmi e Teorie. In Bettini V. (2004) Ecologia Urbana. L’uomo e la città. Torino: UTET; pp. 55-80
    2. Campos Venuti G. (1993) ‘Cinquant’anni: tre generazioni urbanistiche’. In Campos Venuti G. e Oliva F. (a cura di) Cinquant’anni di urbanistica in Italia 1942-1992. Bari: Laterza;
    3. Caudo G. (2021) ‘Riabitare, il mondo di città’ in Caudo G., Pietropaoli M. (a cura di), Riabitare il mondo Quolibet studio, pp. 11-18.
    4. Città Metropolitana di Genova Piano Strategico (pp. 6-10 del piano – scaricabile su https://pianostrategico.cittametropolitana.genova.it/sites/default/files/psm2017/All.1_PSM%20aprile%202017.pdf );
    5. Collettivo per l'Economia Fondamentale (2019). Economia fondamentale: l'infrastruttura della vita quotidiana. Einaudi (estratti).
    6. Laboratorio standard (2021), ‘Introduzione. Tornare a riflettere sugli standard, oggi’, AA. VV. Diritti in città. Gli standard urbanistici in Italia dal 1968 a oggi. Donzelli editore, pp. 3-18;
    7. Rees W. E. (1997) Urban Ecosystems: the human dimension. - trad. it in Bettini V. (2004) Ecologia Urbana. L’uomo e la città. Torino: UTET; pp. 89-100.
    8. Salzano E. (2005) Fondamenti di urbanistica. Bari: Laterza
  • Urban Planning and Design Techniques STUDIO
    1. Bobbio L. (a cura di, 2004) A più voci. Amministrazioni pubbliche, imprese, associazioni e cittadini nei processi decisionali inclusivi, Edizione scientifiche italiane, pp. 1, 2, e 9-53 (disponibile on-line all’indirizzo: http://partecipazione.formez.it/sites/all/files/A%20più%20voci.pdf
    2. Busacca, P., & Gravagno, F. (2003). L'occhio di Arlecchino: schizzi per il quartiere San Berillo a Catania. Gangemi.
    3. Gabellini P. (2001). Tecniche Urbanistiche. Roma: Carocci;
    4. Noti V. (2014) GIS Open Source per geologia e ambiente. Analisi e gestione di dati territoriali e ambientali con QGIS (II ed.). Dario Flaccovio Editore.