Risorse bibliografiche
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Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2016/2017
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Docente Boeri Stefano , Muzzonigro Azzurra
Cfu 14.00 Tipo insegnamento Laboratorio

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Nome Sezione Insegnamento
Arc - Urb - Cost (Mag.)(ord. 270) - MI (1136) ARCHITETTURAE12AZZZZA093380 - TOWN PLANNING DESIGN WORKSHOP

Programma dettagliato e risultati di apprendimento attesi

Towards Urbania 2030:

A vision for Milan’s railway yards

If one considers that the earth is 4.6 billion years old, and scales it to our time units, 46 years, our species has been on this planet for only 4 hours, and has seen the industrial revolution begin only 1 min ago: in this tiny time fraction more than 50% of the world’s forests have been destroyed.

Again, if one studies the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere throughout the eras, to find an equal concentration to the current one (400ppm), he needs to look back at least 3 million years, when the temperature of the Earth was 3°C warmer and the sea levels were 10 meters higher.

Mankind as a species now knows for the first time the fix trend of change that will modify its environment in a considerably small amount of time, if cities and nations do not make a change. As a matter of fact estimates suggest that cities are responsible for the emission of 75% of the global CO2, and consequently the rising of the sea levels that will eventually submerge them.

Cities like Venice, New York, Shanghai or entire countries like Maldives, would completely be submerged if the global temperature raises with its current fix trend.

All this information may appear fatalistic or somehow science-fictional; but sadly the truth is much more violent than any novel or dystopia one can read. If a ship is sinking in the middle of the ocean, during a night thunderstorm, it would appear quite absurd to see the captain closed in it’s small cabin making plans on how to trade more goods at the next harbor. How does an urban planner, a city historian, an anthropologist and ethologist react to such scenarios? Until what extend should a thinker and planner imagine future situations for a global city? Considering such and other data makes it very difficult to imagine the city in the traditional ways with today’s tools. 

The course will be structured upon two main epistemological pillars and a third site specific thematic: Future City, Anthropocene, and the Milan dismissed railway system. All three will be brought forward and studied together, leading the students to develop an urban project and vision for the chosen site in the urban context.

In the first and most delicate phase of the course, several science experts will be invited along with artists and architects, to illustrate through seminars and lectures accompanied by spatial projects and visions the consequences of the Anthropocene and the climate change on city behaviors. Eras geologist, experts in future trends and probability, philosophers and historians will confront on major questions such as: how will cities relate to their “natural” surroundings, so radically different from today? How will cities relate to forests (the natural environment with lowest gradient of human intervention)? How will mankind place itself in the current geological era?

Students will be asked in the first place to envision the city of Milan in 100 years from today -2117-. No urban limits and no fix paradigms will be set, considering that in such scenario the city will respond to totally different rules and exchanges. This exercise should give them great freedom and starting impulse for the coming assignments.

Further on, after these great temporary leaps, they will be asked to work on a closer future -2030-. Where the scale of intervention will become more site specific, and will deal with today’s urban paradigms in order to envision possible changes in a the city we all know.

Students will be asked to rethink the spaces of the Milan railway system that is nowadays being dismissed. It is constituted of 7 railway yards which, if considered as a urban system rather than as isolated spatial episodes, represent an extraordinary opportunity to transform and regenerate the city within its boundaries.

The course will elaborate spatial visions around a possible new balance between the natural, the rural and urban sphere.

The course is named after a famous Italian book series started in the 50s called Urania – being first in its science-fiction genre, this played a great role in creating new visions for different future scenarios; with utopian cities and fantastic worlds, it so elegantly brought the wide public’s attention on key topics that are now more than ever prevailing. During the years, Urania imagined and wrote about several new planets and worlds, where entire populations fled to. On the contrary students of the course will be asked to propose real solutions for THIS planet and THIS city.


Towards Urbania:

Structure of the course

Urbania is a clear play on words that aspires to bring together the romantic utopian visions of cities such as La città del Sole, Atlantide, La Repubblica, with lucid town planning and scientific-based decisions.

Students will individually work for the first two weeks of the course on a visionary scenario for the 2117 Milano. They will be asked to push further the current rules and limits and imagine the extreme consequences of today’s decisions, on all levels: mobility, dwelling, relationship with nature and food, medias and technology.


After the first submission, they will join in groups of 4/5 and will work for one month (until beginning of December) on the site specific scale of the Milan dismissed railway yards. They should consider its potential as a urban system, and its relation with all portions of the surrounding city (countryside, dense city center, dismissed peripheries), not for today’s city but for a closer future Milano 2030. This number will allow them to maintain a fresh and visionary attitude on the slow current debate, while using all the urban strategies and tools for real transformation of town planning.

With the beginning of December, the same groups will be asked to start a more detailed project on one assigned railway yard among the seven. They will develop a town planning masterplan for a 200.000 sqm area average (when dealing with the smaller areas of the system, they will work on TWO areas), and a zoomed detail of section of the connecting railway line. The project time will continue being 2030 and will follow the previously proposed urban system. Students will also be asked to prepare maquettes of their proposals.



On a parallel level, during the months of October and November, students will be invited to participate actively in a cineforum that will happen weekly. Movies will be a helpful tool to understand the chosen themes from different angles. Futuristic utopias, from Metropolis to Blade Runner; return to the forests, from Into the wild to The Jungle Book; antropocene spotlights, like Salt of the Earth.







Alberti L.B., De Re Aedificatoria, Edizioni Il Polifilo, Milano, 1966

Amin A., Thrift N., Cities. Reimagining the urban, Polity, Oxford, 2002

Aymonino A., Il significato delle città, La terza, Bari, 1996

Boeri S., L’Anticittà, Laterza, Bari, 2011

Choay F., La Régle et le Modéle: sur la théorie de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1980

De Carlo G., Gli spiriti dell’architettura, Editori Riuniti, Roma, 1992

Gregotti V., Il territorio dell’architettura, Feltrinelli, Milano, 1996

Hannerz U., Exploring the City. Inquiries Towards an Urban Anthropology, Columbia Univ. Press, New York, 1961

Healey P., Urban Complexity and Spatial Strategies. Towards a relational planning for our times, Routledge,  London - New York, 2007

Jacobs J., The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Random House, New York, 1961

Koolhaas R., S,M,L,XL , The Monacelli Press, New York, 1995

Lynch K., A theory of good city form, MIT, Cambridge, 1981

Ludlow P., Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates and Pirate Utopias, The MIT Press, Cambrige, 2001

More T., Utopia, Guida, Napoli, 2000

Reed J., Ten Days that Shook the World, Boni & Liveright, New York, 1919

Rossi A., L’architettura della città, Marsilio, Padova, 1996

Ryszard Z., Imperium, Knopf, New York, 1994

Sassen S., The global city, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1991

Secchi B., Il racconto urbanistico, Einaudi, Torino, 1983

Secchi B., LA citta’ dei richci e

Taylor P.J., World City Network: A Global Urban Analysis, Routledge,  London, 2003












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AUTODESK AutoCAD NO SI Boeri Stefano
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Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
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Note Docente
schedaincarico v. 1.7.2 / 1.7.2
Area Servizi ICT