Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Insegnamento 096354 - ENERGY AND URBAN PLANNING
Docente Morello Eugenio , Pareglio Stefano
Cfu 12.00 Tipo insegnamento Laboratorio

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Nome Sezione Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The studio provides basic knowledge on sustainability and resilience applied to urban planning, policies and design, and explores possible future scenarios for implementing sustainability in place through a practical application.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Students attending the studio will:

- acquire theoretical knowledge on major concepts explored during the offered lectures and seminar: urban energy transition, sustainable development, urban resilience, mitigation and adaptaiton to climate change; relevant policies and networks at the international, european, national and local level concerning climate change planning and urban sustainability.

- develop critical awereness on the multiple co-benefits expected by the implementation of several solutions for a sustainable urban regeneration; understanding the importance of citizens' engagement and empowerment through multi-stakeholders' co-creation paths;

- acquire technical knowledge for the implementation of technical solutions to respond to urgent environmental and societal challenges: renewable energy measures, nature-based solutions (NBS), green and blue solutions for adaptation and mitigation in the urban context;

- acquire technical and practical skills for addressing:

- mitigation of climate change at the urban scale through urban energy planning solutions, in particular the identification and estimation of energy savings and generation potentials;

- adaptation of climate change through climate planning solutions, in particular implenting vulnerability maps in relation to increased climate change stresses in cities; simulating solutions to reduce critical urban areas; establish cooling and greening strategies. 

Argomenti trattati

The objective of the studio is twofold: firstly, to provide basic knowledge on the topic of sustainability and resilience applied to urban planning, policies and design, and secondly, to explore possible future scenarios for implementing sustainability in place, through a practical application and a design project that intentionally takes into account the implications of the different urban forms for the construction of specific environment and energy-oriented urban strategies. Both objectives will guide the structure of the course and the calendar of the lectures.

Research questions 

The workshop poses the question on how should we act as planners to achieve more sustainable and climate change adaptive urban environments. We will explore two main ways to approach this question: one is related to the policies that cities can adopt in order to promote more environmental-friendly practices; the second one is related to the physical design of the urban environment and how this can impact on sustainability and resilience.

In particular, the main research question will be: How can Nature-based Solutions (NbS) become a design element and part of the toolbox of urban designers? How can we envision original and innovative ways to integrate nature in cities, taking into account available and future technologies and at the same time including all, citizens and stakeholders, to co-create shared solutions? We argue that urban nature offers a terrific field of application for experimenting inclusive design approaches towards a truly environmental, social and economic sustainable growth.



This year the studio will investigate the topic of diffusing and integrating Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in urban regeneration processes in the Milan area, in particular focusing the attention on Municipio 6 and the neighboring municipalities of the first ring as a case–study application.


Context: space for action

Core principles and inspiration for the design brief assigned this year will be the crossing of urban sustainability and smartness principles, based on the recent theoretical and policy frameworks as follows:

  1. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations in 2015, aiming at paving the path towards the Agenda 2030 (http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html) represents the holistic framework for action. In particular the course deals with topics concerning the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11); related goals which are relevant for our work are also SDG12, SDG13 and SDG7. We will address if and how SDGs and specific targets can be effectively be applied at the urban scale.
  2. How cities can address Urban Resilience, Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change is a second mayor concern for our design activities. Can cities play a major role and promote sound energy transition solutions, reduce risk and vulnerability and increase human well-being and environmental quality of our environment? The European strategies for mitigation and adaptation will represent a starting point for including resiliency into design concept and provide tangible solutions. Recent experiences of European cities with Sustainable Energy Action Plans and Climate Action Plans will be investigated having in mind the local context of the Metropolitan City of Milan (its background, experience and challenges).
  3. The investigation and implementation of Nature-Based Solutions at the urban scale through greening and cooling strategies will be addressed as well, through a link to the 'Clever Cities' project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Programme.

Specific context: Work teams will refer to plans and projects active in the Milanese context, in particular the Urban Resilience Strategy, the CLEVER Cities project, the Climate Change and Territory project and the Metropolitan City of Milan funded by Fondazione Cariplo and the recent Milan Urban Forestation program named ForestaMI.


Structure of the studio

The studio is composed by different packages. The most important one is the studio, i.e. the implementation of a design project. This should carry all the theoretical content offered by the lectures given by the main instructors, which are the second most relevant package. For instance, the lectures are integrated by complementary activities, like readings and short reports assigned to the students, in order to enrich the theoretical framework. Moreover, a number of seminars with invited guests organized along the semester will be the occasion to hear about on-going programs and projects implemented at different levels and by several municipalities.

A short explanation of the packages follows.


Studio activities

The goal of the studio is to develop a design project that envisions possible sustainable future scenarios for a number of different cityscapes within the proposed urban transect. Students are asked to work in groups of three people; each team should be composed by students with different backgrounds, in order to better integrate their skills.

The studio will focus on a sample transect of the Metropolitan City of Milan as case-study area application, by considering different urban textures that describe that region: for instance, if we trace a transect through the territory, we will encounter very different conditions: the compact and dense urban fabric originated from the traditional layout based on the urban block; the urban edge, i.e. the periphery where modern urban planning has produced a landscape of infrastructures and a mosaic of specialized ensembles that completely lost the human and the urban scale; the sprawl, i.e. the low-density landscape characterized by single-family houses and introvert and anti-urban lifestyles. This categorisation is reductive, of course, and a more complex hybridisation of morphologies is evident: therefore, students will be asked to give back a more comprehensive picture of the areas of interest.

Milan has recently launched a series of relevant urban strategies that strongly relate to our studio, in particular: the urban resilence and forestation strategies, the sustainable energy action plan (SEAP) and the committment to the its evolution that integrates climate adaptation (SECAP), the launch of the new update of the city plan and the vision for Milano 2030. In addition, two EU funded research projects that involve the City of Milan are particularly relevant for our studio, i.e. Sharing Cities,  and Clever Cities as already introduced above.

The design project will be developed according to the following main phases:

  1. the development of the concept plan based on the mapping of the current landscape conditions (mainly socio-demographic. Energy, environment and mobility); the review of current policies and strategies related to urban resilience and energy transition;
  2. Mapping Climate Change related hazards and vulnerability assessment
  3. Mapping urban greening and adaptation action potential 
  4. Climate planning - adaptation strategy
  5. The design assessment through the calculation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before and after intervention, in order to assess the progress obtained through the suggested design scheme;
  6. and finally the design of focus design schemes; meta-design projects where adaptation and greening actions are applied to the physical space, with specific attention to work spaces (industry and retail) and living spaces (residential areas, especially in historical and peripheral areas).

The instructors will constantly assist the design process at the class, by offering revisions and suggesting the most suitable tools to implement the design schemes.

Beside the reference to the SDGs, four themes will direct our observations on site: energy (energy efficiency and renewable energies), environment (environmental quality and comfort), accessibility (sustainable mobility, smart linkage of places, way-finding), people (intended as the social aspects). The proposed themes are deliberately broad to encourage an interdisciplinary approach, are interrelated, may overlap and be understood as an opportunity to focus on specific actions that will inform the following design phases.

The concept plan: The four themes will also help students in structuring possible strategies and finalized actions to define design solutions. The concept plan is a preliminary design phase that includes observations at a higher level in order to understand the role of the urban district inside a larger context (hierarchies among districts, specific characteristics).

The masterplan: The final step will be the masterplan, which in this case gives back a vision of a possible future for each specific case-study area. In this last insight, the actions related to the four themes (energy, environment, people, accessibility) will be made visible, and some clues that an answer to more sustainable urban futures is possible will emerge. The vision will be supported by the theories and readings, and by the previous phases of the design.



The lectures aim at covering the two main topics offered at this studio and presented above. The lectures are organized in order to cover main topics addressed by an energy-conscious urban planning. These topics are mainly the following: Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals, Energy considerations and sources at the urban scale, climate change and local action to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, adaptation and mitigation towards carbon neutral cities, policies (mitigation and adaptation) and analyses issues related to energy sources and the market to figure out possible scenarios, urban form and energy mapping. In particular, we will tackle how urban designers and planners can work on the physical layout of the urban form in order to improve the overall sustainability of cities and reduce the environmental footprint of ecological cycles, by improving the efficiency of mobility and energy management (savings and production based on a short energy chain).

The content has the goal to introduce the students to the topic of sustainable development applied to the urban planning discipline. Most of the lectures are given during the first half of the semester.


Complementary activities

A series of complementary activities are finalized to give students a better insight and deeper understanding of the knowledge presented through lectures. Students are asked to actively deal with the presented theoretical framework through a series of tasks: these can be readings, assigned to complete the content presented at the lectures, or a short written assignment (the glossary of terms, short reporting on case-study applications), with the aim of building common resources to be shared among the class and finalized to feed the design project. Moreover, a series of targeted tools and models will be presented to increase the practical toolkit of students.



A number of seminars with invited guests will be organized during the semester. This activity will be promoted in order to inform the design project. Getting informed about the experience of local stakeholders and best practices will be a great opportunity to improve the feasibility and efficacy of the design objectives.



Specific references (articles, scientific papers and book contributions) on the topic energy and the city will be assigned during the class (please, refer to the package ‘Complementary activities’).


For more information

Please, visit our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/energyandurbanplanning/

and the Urban Simulation Laboratory website, where the main research projects conducted by the main instructor are listed: http://www.labsimurb.polimi.it/ 


Prerequisites for the class are the following:

- urban design and masterplanning skills, including technical drawings;

- general skills in policy design.


Optional prerequisites for attending this class are as follows:

- basic knowldege of GIS is welcome;

- basic knowledge of building physics is a plus, even if all the basic concepts of energy estimation will be introduced during the class;

- environmental modeling and simulation is a plus.

Modalità di valutazione

At the end of the class, students are required to present and discuss a design project. Two deliveries during the class (two intermediate and a final submission) will be the prerequisite to access the final exam. The final presentation and the evaluation of the design projects will happen during the final review, i.d. an open day that we call the ‘final workshop’. The main instructors and invited guests will attend the final workshop.

During the final review and the exam, not only the design project will be evaluated, but also how the project itself exploits the contents offered at the lectures and through the suggested bibliography. This should be the occasion to show the acquired critical attitude towards the topics of sustainability and resilience at the urban scale.

Detailed instructions about the final delivery and the documents required to complete the studio will be given at the very beginning of the semester.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of the team work for the design project and a number of single person tasks assigned to each student during the class. This modality will enable the instructors to evaluate the commitment of the single student together with his/her ability to work in a team.

- The design work is the result of a team work. Usually, each team is composed by three students. The design scheme will be evaluated during the class through reviews, deliveries and the final output to be presented at the exam.

- The evaluation of the single student will be based on a short research task assigned during the studio and the consultation of a specific bibliography to be verified by the instructors at the end of the class.

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaAromar Revi et al, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Chapter 8 Urban Areas , Editore: Cambridge University Press, Anno edizione: 2014 https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WGIIAR5-Chap8_FINAL.pdf
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaAmir Bazaz et al, Summary for Urban Policymakers - What the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C Means for Cities, Editore: IPCC http://iihs.co.in/knowledge-gateway/summary-for-urban-policymakers-what-the-ipcc-special-report-on-1-5c-means-for-cities-2/
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaForman, R. T., Urban Ecology: Science of Cities, Editore: Cambridge University Press, Anno edizione: 2014, ISBN: 9780521188241
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaDuany, A., Speck, J., & Lydon, M., The Smarth Growth Manual, Editore: McGrow-Hill, Anno edizione: 2010, ISBN: 9780071433440
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaMcGarigal, K., & Marks, B. J., FRAGSTATS: spatial pattern analysis program for quantifying landscape structure. , Editore: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Anno edizione: 1995

presentation (pdf): http://jamba.provost.ads.umass.edu/web/mcgarigal/fragstats/IALE_2017_part1.pdf --- Fragstat software help 4.2: https://www.umass.edu/landeco/research/fragstats/documents/fragstats.help.4.2.pdf

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 144:00 156:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese

Note Docente
schedaincarico v. 1.6.5 / 1.6.5
Area Servizi ICT