Skip to content Skip to navigation


A.Y. 2019 / 2020

TAF* Credits number Duration (in hours) Period Professors Teaching material
URBAN PLANNING 1 (040AR-1) Programme specific subjects 6 48 Second semester Basso Sara
TECHNIQUES OF URBAN PLANNING 1 (040AR-2) Programme specific subjects 6 48 Second semester Di Biagi Paola
Teaching language 


Learning objectives 

The aim of bringing the student closer to urban planning and its design dimension will be realized through a useful training course. Students will acquire knowledge and tools that will allow them to read-interpret the complexity of urban-peri-urban spaces and to prefigure, through the project , the possible transformations.

Knowledge and ability to understand
• Knowing how to read and investigate the contemporary city at different scales, identifying: - the compositional elements, both of open spaces and built spaces; - the articulation in systems (environmental system, building system, open space system, track system, etc.); - activities and uses of inhabitants.
• Identify and understand the problems and potentialities of the urban part studied and elaborate hypothesis of its transformation.
• To know and use representation techniques necessary to return the reading of urban and peri-urban spaces and to illustrate proposals for their reconfiguration.
• Know the operational and regulatory dimension of urban planning.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the training course the student must:
- know how to apply/translate the theoretical and practical knowledge acquired with the in the reading, interpretation and design exercises about the city;
- know how to translate the results of the readings and project explorations through appropriate scales and representation techniques.

Autonomy of judgment
Measuring with specific and appropriate design choices for the urban part being studied, the student will be able to demonstrate the ability to recognize the problems and potential of the existing city and to prefigure / represent possible future transformations.

Communication skills
Know how to expose and critically discuss, with appropriate technical language, the results of the reading exercises, interpretation and reconfiguration of the investigated contexts, using the tools of representation and learned communication.
Knowing how to give critical readings of the texts and the contents of the lessons.


Students are asked to possess a minimal knowledge of digital cartography (CTR 1:5.000) as a support to reading, interpreting and designing operations within investigation contexts. They should also be capable of critically observing the different types of spaces where their daily lives take place.


The Urban Design Laboratory 1 proposes an approach to urban planning, to its observations and actions on cities, territories and landscapes, and to its know-how and distinctive design tools.
This Laboratory focusses on the drafting of an urban planning project, intended as an open path of learning, prefiguration and modification of the urban and peri-urban space. A project that is capable of tackling social and environmental issues affecting contemporary territories linked to climate change, to inequality reflected in space, to accessibility to spaces and resources extended to all inhabitants.
The design exercise will be specifically oriented to formulate hypotheses of transformation for a part of the city. Students will have to redesign open and constructed spaces, imagining a new ground design and new uses and functions. Special attention will be paid to the redesign of spaces sequences that relate project space with wider urban contexts and the environmental system.
The Laboratory consists of two didactic modules, Urban planning 1 and Urban planning techniques 1. The modules will propose an integrated didactic activity, aimed at delineating the theoretical and operative background of reference with the ex cathedra lessons for the project.
The design exercise will be guided by some images for a 'city to the future', useful for dealing with main issues that are central to urban planning today. The focus of work will be payed to relation between the heterogeneous system of open spaces that characterize contemporary territories: from natural resources to urban open spaces such as squares, gardens, parks, etc. Intent is to understand how these spaces can contribute to the definition of a multifunctional plot. This will help to respond to the pressing environmental problems and the quality demand linked to health, food, the safety of the inhabitants and the comfort of the public spaces, etc.
It is also important to think again about the system of urban public services and facilities, the social housing districts and large equipped open spaces. The goal is to experiment the solutions to make the city more accessible and habitable for the inhabitants.
The proposed questions will be deepened with lectures and seminars and will be taken as a background to read and interpret the city, to identify its criticality and potential and to focus on topics for the urban project.

Teaching format 

The Laboratory is divided into theoretical lessons, in-depth seminars, classroom work, individual and collective reviews, and presentations of the different phases of the project.
The design exercise can be elaborated in groups of two or three people and its progress will be checked and discussed through periodic reviews, presentations in the classroom, workshops. It will be divided into three phases, each of which will end with a public display of the documents requested and will be evaluated. A final intensive seminar will be oriented to bring to the synthesis the project explorations elaborated during the semester.

In particular, the three project phases include:

1. Description and interpretation exercises. In the first phase, will be proposed exercises aimed at recognizing and naming, on different scales, the spaces which make up the cities and the settlement forms of territories through the analysis of the built and open spaces. Investigations and surveys carried out in this phase will be oriented furthermore to read how the inhabitants use different spaces. The results of these readings should lead to the recognition of the potential and criticality of the spaces and to the identification of themes and issues relevant to a specific field of study
2. Transformation hypothesis: strategies and structure. In the second phase of the design exercise, students are asked to deepen the themes and issues identified in the first phase. What emerged will be translated into a project idea to be expressed through the identification of objectives for the redevelopment of the field of study and the clarification of design strategies useful for their achievement. The design of a structure will prefigure the reorganization of the spaces and their mutual relations to give coherence to the hypotheses of transformation outlined through objectives and strategies.
3. Design explorations: a land project. This phase will take place during the week of the final intensive workshop of the laboratory. The project hypothesis developed in phase 2 will be deepened through a 'soil project'. The ‘soil project’ aims to define in a more precise way the spaces sequences, settlement principles, articulation and function of open spaces, of the materials used (eg green materials, surfaces, equipment, etc.).

Extended Programme 

The extended program will be provided to the students in the first lesson.
For students attending the program and materials of the Laboratory will be available, upon registration, on the Moodle platform of the University at

End-of-course test 

To take the final examination of the Urban Planning Design Laboratory students will be required:
- attend classes (at least 70%). If students fail to reach the pre-set number of presences, they are required to agree with the teachers at the first lesson of the Laboratory;
- participate in the various workshop activities (communications, seminars, reviews, ...);
- publicly present their work at the end of each project phase;
- develop the project according to the three phases and return it in the required documents (plans, books, models);
- study at least two books chosen from the reference texts indicated and previously agreed with the teacher.
The exam will consist in the illustration and the discussion of the project developed by the group and in an individual interview on topics according with the lessons, the studied texts and the reference projects.
The evaluation will be unique and will take into consideration: the oral exam; the project path carried out and the results of deliveries; participation in the lessons and the different activities of the laboratory.

Other information 

Information and other materials of the Laboratory will be made available to students via email and the Moodle web page at


The study of the text: Gabellini P., Tecniche urbanistiche, Carocci, Roma 2001, is compulsory for all student.

Furthermore, for the exam the students will have to choose a second text among those indicated below:
Basso S., Di Biagi P. (a cura di), Una nuova abitabilità per Monfalcone e il suo territorio. Esperienze progettuali per la città contemporanea, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste 2016.
Benevolo L., Le origini dell'urbanistica moderna, Laterza, Bari 1963.
De Carlo G., Questioni di architettura e di urbanistica, Politecnica Maggioli, Rimini 2007 (ed. or. Argalia, Urbino, 1964).
Di Biagi P. (a cura di), I classici dell'urbanistica moderna, Donzelli, Roma 2002-2009.
Donadieu P., Campagne urbane. Una nuova proposta di paesaggio della città, edizione italiana a cura di M.V. Mininni, Donzelli, Roma 2006.
Gaeta L., Janin Rivolin U., Mazza L., Governo del territorio e pianificazione spaziale, De Agostini, Novara 2018.
LaboratorioCittàPubblica, Città pubbliche. Linee guida per la riqualificazione urbana, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2009.
Mattogno C., Ventuno parole per l’urbanistica, Aracne, Roma 2014.
Secchi B., La città del ventesimo secolo, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2005.
Tosi M. C., a cura di, Di cosa parliamo quando parliamo di urbanistica?, Meltemi, Roma 2006.

Further and more precise bibliographic references will be provided in class and made available on the Moodle University platform.