Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Docente Fontana Giovanna , Motti Matteo
Cfu 10.00 Tipo insegnamento Laboratorio

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

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

Urban and Environmental Design studio focuses on the changing relationship between urban and rural areas, with the aim of defining design proposals able to re-organize the open spaces and enhance spaces of co-habitation between different “urban” and “rural” ways of life.

The Design studio activity takes advantages from the contribution of two disciplines: urban design and  agronomy and food sciences.

According to an interdisciplinary approach, Design Studio proposes a proactive manner to planning peri-urban areas, endorsing the reason of the open and agricultural spaces, taking into account the relevance of the multifunctional agriculture in peri-urban areas, due to the societal and lifestyle transitions in these areas.

Design studio offers also a different view of agricultural landscapes planning. For this, it will be proposed a conceptual model of agricultural landscape dynamics that illustrates the specific contribution of agronomy to landscape planning. This model describes the relationship between three elements: farming practices (food and energy production), landscape patterns (conventional vs agroecological landscape) and natural resources (water, soil and biodiversity). To avoid potential risk of misunderstanding and underestimating the role of farming practices in peri-urban and rural landscapes dynamics, which could lead to ineffective management decisions regarding these landscapes, the Design studio offers an effective interdisciplinary approach that includes agronomic and environmental knowledge and tools.

Grappling with the urban and rural in non-dualistic ways, the Design studio offers analytical and design tools to dealing with hybrid forms of landscapes characterizing the peri-urban fringes, re-defining the peri-urban agriculture and its functions as a producer of goods and services for the citizens.

In this framework and from a project-oriented viewpoint, the Design studio will be finalized to :

  • selecting relevant issues relate to the urban-rural transition;
  • representing landscapes and urban practices where we can read the urban-rural transition;
  • integrate the goals of agricultural production into the multiple objectives of the landscape design and management;
  • testing a research by design approach, using the project as a mean of knowledge and research of urban-rural fringes, rather than a final prefiguration of a probable future

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

The students will acquire:

  • awareness of the multiple dimensions and complexities of contemporary peri-urban areas and the role of the open spaces in these urban setting;
  • awareness of challenges, perspectives and approaches to analyze through a cross-scaling approach the urban-rural transition and the role of the open space in the contemporary literature debate;
  • capacity to manage and discuss issues and key concepts of the debate on the “Urban transition” and regional urbanization processes;
  • awareness of the key role of integrating farming practices in the characterization of contemporary landscape patterns, and in the design of future agricultural landscape scenarios;
  • ability to read the rural and natural landscape to (re)design farming systems to minimize the impacts on natural resources;
  • capability to collect, manage and process data and maps to deal with open spaces and infrastructure design, project of the urban-rural fringes, promotion of peri-urban agriculture;
  • capability to comment them in a critical understanding of their trends and technical forms;

capability to communicate all that in effective products and formats (i.e., a paper, a poster, a presentation, etc.).

Argomenti trattati


The studio focuses on exploratory design proposals aiming at re-interpreting the role of physical networks and infrastructures in the design of the city.
The crisis of old models of capitalist land development and the raise of a strong awareness about the importance of environmental quality and of the preservation of the land as a Commons have made, in recent years, physical networks worth a necessary reconsideration, in their functional, structural and morphological roles in the European urban regions. 

Water system, mobility infrastructures, ecological/environmental corridors, energy productions are crucial systems that need to be shaped and design within the city and territories according to new technologies and best practices. Re-profiling/re-defining/re-imagining infrastructures is today a crucial topic  for urban renewal, especially if we consider the fragility of our environment. Problems such as the management of the water cycle, the enhancement of public transport, the developments of alternative modes of energy production, will be considered as drivers for the design explorations. At the same time, it seems necessary to transcend a merely technical approach that frames networks in specialized disciplines; the studio will rather try to develop design strategies being able to achieve a comprehensive, synthetic perspective on problems, focusing on networks capacity of influencing and transforming the form of the city. 

The Studio will critically reconsider the infrastructural realm of Piacenza and its own territory. According to the future visions elaborated in the Piano Strutturale Comunale of Piacenza municipality the students will explore different scenarios able to bust the potentiality of several key systems: 1. Peri-urban agriculture belt in the south if the city, 2. East - West chain of abandoned military domains 3. East - West inter-municipal road SP10 4. Railway and E70 highway system.


The course is offered at the second semester in the first year of the MSc path and it is conceived to provide analytical, interpretative and design tools on infrastructure and open spaces, integrating two complementary disciplines (urban design and agronomy and food sciences, to complete a more general educational training path. Therefore no specific prerequisites are required.

Modalità di valutazione

The final evaluation will assess all the presentations and works produced by each group of students during the course (firstintermediate and final steps). The evaluation will be completed by an individual discussion about the contents of the course.

The elements for the evaluation of the individual performance are the following: attendance; active participation in the group work and reviews; ability of team work; knowledge of the course contents (lectures and bibliographical references)

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaBanham R., (introduction by Anthony Vidler), Los Angeles. The Architecture of Four Ecologies , Editore: University of California Press, Anno edizione: 2001, ISBN: 0520219244
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaBélanger, Pierre, "Landscape Infrastructure. Urbanism beyond Engineering.", Editore: Wageningen University, Anno edizione: 2013
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaAngela Colucci Marcello Magoni Scira Menoni, Peri-Urban Areas and Food-Energy-Water Nexus_ Sustainability and Resilience Strategies in the Age of Climate Change, Editore: Springer International Publishing Switzerland, Anno edizione: 2017, ISSN: 2366-259X
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaCorboz, André, The land as Palimpsest, Anno edizione: 1983, ISSN: 1467-7695, Fascicolo: In Diogenes, vol.31, issue121
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaDe Solà-Morales, Manuel., A Matter of Things, Editore: Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, Anno edizione: 2008, ISBN: 9789056625207
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaGarofalo, F.; Feslkenian, J; Motti, M, Fellenord, A Global Village in Transition in The City of the Future, Editore: BNA Onderzoez, Anno edizione: 2019, ISBN: 9789492474193
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaMotti, M.; Marin, J., HOUTHALEN-HELCHTEREN NEXT METABOLISM, Anno edizione: 2018, ISSN: 0042-1022, Fascicolo: Urbanistica n°159
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaMotti, M., Infrastructure as a "renewable resource": re-cycling artificial rationalities in Limburg, Editore: EPFL, Anno edizione: 2015, ISSN: 0042-1022, Fascicolo: Horizontal Metropolis
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaMotti, M.; Secchi, M., Rethinking Infrastructure Towards Synergic Design, Editore: ListLab. Trento, Anno edizione: 2015, ISBN: 9788898774425
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaMotti, M.; Connor, B.; Shakhazyan, A; Kevelaerts, A., Framing a void: Day River Hanoy in "Water Urbanisms - East", Shannon, K; de Meulder, B. (eds.)., Editore: Park Books, Zurich, Anno edizione: 2013, ISBN: 978-3-906027-25-8
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaSecchi B., "Projects, visions, scenarios", Diary of a planner no. 10 / Planum. The Journal of Urbanism, Editore: Planum. The Journal of Urbanism, Anno edizione: 2003, ISSN: 1723-0993, Fascicolo: Fascicolo: 7 (vol. 2/2003)
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaShannon, Kelly, Bruno De Meulder, Janina Gosseye, and Viviana d'Auria., Water urbanisms, Editore: SUN, Anno edizione: 2008, ISBN: 9085066727
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaSijmons, D., Hugtenburg, J. and Van Hoorn, A., Landscape and Energy. Designing Transition, Editore: Nai Publisher, Anno edizione: 2014
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaSmets M, Raster, Hulse, Lichtung and Montage_Grid, casco, clearing and montage, Anno edizione: 2002, Fascicolo: Topos n° 38
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaViganò, Paola., "Elements for a Theory of the City as Renewable Resource: Life Cycles, Embodied Energy, Inclusion. A Design and Research Program." In Recycling City, Lifecycles, Embodied Energy, Inclusion, edited by Lorenzo; Giannotti Fabian, Emanuel; Viganò, Paola, Editore: Giavedoni Editore, Anno edizione: 2012
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaThomas Elmqvist,Xuemei Bai,Niki Frantzeskaki,Corrie Griffith,,David Maddox,Timon McPhearson, UrbanPlanet Knowledge towards SustainableCities, Editore: Cambridge University Press, Anno edizione: 2018, ISBN: 9781316647554
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaScenario Journal https://scenariojournal.com
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaA Green Infrastructure Guide for Small Cities, Towns and Rural Communities https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/greenbelt/pages/5202/attachments/original/1504021812/Green_Infrastructure_Final.pdf?1504021812

Software utilizzato
Nessun software richiesto

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 120:00 130:00

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. 1.7.2 / 1.7.2
Area Servizi ICT