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A.Y. 2019 / 2020

First semester
Type of Learning Activity 
Related/additional subjects
Study Path 
[PDS0-2015 - Ord. 2015] common
Teaching language 

The course will be held in Italian.

Learning objectives 

The course aims to lead the student to learn and practice theoretical and operational tools useful for the study and design of the city, observed in particular through its open spaces. Placed in the training course between two urban planning laboratories (second and fourth year), the course offers the student the opportunity to deepen some specific theoretical and design approaches to urban space as a public space and as an inhabited and transformed environment.

Knowledge and ability to understand
The proposed activities will be oriented to know:
- the depth of urban planning knowledge and research in the field of open and public spaces of the environment;
- the crucial role of the 'voids' not only in the articulation of urban morphologies but in generating urbanity;
- the importance of the uses and practices of the inhabitants in the common areas;
- design principles and strategies aimed at quality-inclusiveness-accessibility of urban space

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
Develop the ability to apply the theoretical and technical knowledge acquired to reading and designing the urban space, paying particular attention to its socio-spatial dimension, in terms of inhabited place, and to its environmental dimension, as a space for new ecologies for the city.

Autonomy of judgment
Develop the ability to recognize and interpret the urban space as a plot and outcome of different dimensions: physical, environmental, social, of use, ...
Develop the ability to read and critically interpret some theoretical and / or project approaches exposed in fundamental texts for the topics covered.

Communication skills
Know how to illustrate with critical abilities the approaches to the study / project to urban space deepened in the readings carried out, also using different supports, such as photographic images, video, power point, ..
Show participation in the moments of collective discussion in the classroom through relevant and critical actions.


Having followed the Urban Planning I Laboratory of the second year, and therefore having acquired some basic knowledge regarding urban planning, reading and the city project, will allow the student to have the theoretical and operative tools useful for carrying out critical analyzes. thematic and methodological on the contemporary city.


The elaboration of the contemporary urban project involves a rethinking of living spaces, their different forms, staircases, uses. Not exhausting in housing, our daily lives are composed of a multiplicity of activities and practices that lead us to experience different experiences of crossing and use of the city and to confront us day by day with the difficulties that derive from urban spaces often of poor quality. Today, urban planning is faced with the task of improving these spaces to make them more accessible and inclusive, adapting them to different forms and practices of use, carried out by an increasingly heterogeneous population, in the belief that open space plays a decisive fundamental role in generating new relationships : between the built, among the inhabitants, between people and their living environments, between the public and the private, between domestic and common, between the city and its urban margins, between the urban and the surrounding environment.
The course proposes a dual approach to the study of urban space.
On the one hand it will be proposed as a common environment where the inhabitants play part of their daily life and with which they weave significant relationships that suggest the designer to pay attention to the people and the different ways they use the space, just to prefigure a city more habitable and inclusive, able to respond to the changing and diversified needs expressed by the settled communities.
On the other hand, urban space will be read as a strategic area to tackle environmental issues and to develop projects that aim at a healthier, safer and more resilient city.

Teaching format 

The course is divided into ex-cathedra lessons and in some thematic seminars.
There are also some moments of work in the classroom (reading seminar) that will see the critical restitution by small groups of students of a significant text from the point of view of the topics covered (and to choose from those suggested in the specific bibliography of the Seminar that will be provided at the start of the course along with some suggestions for the construction of 'rereading' the text) and a collective discussion.

Extended Programme 

A wider version of the program and other materials (such as the thematic bibliography related to the Reading Seminar) will be made available at the start of the course, also on the Moodle University platform.

End-of-course test 

To take the exam you will need:
- attend classes
- participate in thematic in-depth seminars
- actively follow the reading seminar
- - critically return the reading of two texts (in addition to the one presented at the reading Seminar), to be agreed with the teacher.
The exam will consist of an interview on the topics covered in class and on the readings (the books will not be returned through a simple 'summary' of its content, but through a critical path that precisely through the reading Seminar will try to make learning and to practise).
The final evaluation will take into account the student's active participation in the course and seminars, the overall work done, the quality of the results of the Reading Seminar, the level of preparation on the texts brought to the exam.


Below are some initial bibliographical indications. For each lesson, further references and wider reading and research paths will be suggested to the students; additional bibliographies and other materials will be made available on the Moodle University platform. See also the specific bibliography provided by the reading Seminar.
Amin A., Thrift N., 2005, Città. Ripensare la dimensione urbana, Il Mulino, Bologna
S. Basso (a cura di), In comune. Percorsi di ricerca per un nuovo progetto di prossimità nella città pubblica, in «Territorio» n. 72, 2015
S. Basso, P. Di Biagi (a cura di), Gli "spazi del cibo" per nuove abitabilità delle periferie urbane, in «Territorio» n. 79, 2016
A. Coppola, Apocalypse Town. Cronache dalla fine della civiltà urbana, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2012
G. Clement, Manifesto del terzo paesaggio, Quodlibet, Macerata 2005
G. Cullen, ll paesaggio urbano. Morfologia e progettazione Calderini Editore, Bologna, 1976
P. Di Biagi (a cura di), La Carta d’Atene. Manifesto e frammento dell’urbanistica moderna, Officina, Roma 1998
P. Di Biagi, Rileggere gli spazi del moderno, in Spazi, a cura di V. Fasoli, F. Angeli, Milano 2004
P. Di Biagi, La città pubblica. Edilizia sociale e riqualificazione urbana a Torino, Allemandi, Torino 2008
A. Di Giovanni, Spazi comuni. Progetto urbanistico e vita in pubblico nella città contemporanea, Carocci, Roma 2010
P. Donadieu, Campagne urbane. Una nuova proposta di paesaggio della città, edizione italiana a cura di M.V. Mininni, Donzelli, Roma, 2006
J. Gehl, Vita in città. Spazio urbano e relazioni sociali, Maggioli, Rimini 1991 (1980)
J. Jacobs, Vita e morte delle grandi città: saggio sulle metropoli americane, Einaudi, Torino 1969 (1961)
LaboratorioCittàPubblica, Città pubbliche. Linee guida per la riqualificazione urbana, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2009
K. Lynch, L’immagine della città, Marsilio, Venezia 2006 (1960)
I.L. McHarg, Progettare con la Natura, Franco Muzzio Editore, Milano 2007 (Ed. originale Design with Nature,
G. Pasqui, La città, i saperi, le pratiche, Donzelli, Roma 2018
R. Pavia, Tra suolo e clima. La terra come infrastruttura ambientale, Donzelli, Roma 2019
G. Pettenati, A. Toldo, Il cibo tra azione locale e sistemi globali. Spunti per una geografia dello sviluppo, F. Angeli, Milano 2018
S. Porta, Dancing Streets. Scena pubblica urbana e vita sociale, Unicopli, Milano 2002
B. Secchi, Il futuro si costruisce giorno per giorno. Riflessioni su spazio, società e progetto, a cura di G. Fini, Roma, Donzelli 2015.
F. Tonucci, La città dei bambini, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1996

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