Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Docente Lemes De Oliveira Fabiano , Torrigiani Emanuela
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

Energising landscapes: the Milan-Cortina axis


This studio focuses on the systemic interactions between built and natural systems. It explores the axis between Milan and Cortina in the context of the hosting of the 2026 Winter Olympics, as a vector for the positive transformation of the territory towards more resilient, equitable, sustainable and balanced future.


Cities are in continuous transformation. Today, planning for climate-change-related events and social transitions is a pressing action. As such, major environmental and economic challenges require new models for the built environment that are adaptable and responsive to change. Given the need for cities to both accommodate anthropic needs and non-human life, while reducing our impact on the planet; an integrative and systemic approach to planning and delivering new, greener urban environments is required. In this respect, much work has been done in the definition of green infrastructure models, including those based on the greenbelt, greenways and green wedges. While the multiple benefits of ecosystem services in urban areas have been boasted, urbanity remains an important value. Current understanding of cities as significant loci for the integration of ecological and socio-cultural systems points to the importance of urban form in supporting or hindering such relationship. Can we imagine alternative urban patterns that can maximise the benefits of the integration of such systems and generate innovative, lively, healthy, ecologically sound and balanced habitats? 

The studio

With the prospect of Milan-Cortina hosting the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, a series of urban interventions are in the process of being planned in the axis between these two cities. Through a research-led design process, the studio seeks to engage in this debate and, considering the Milan-Cortina axis from a systemic perspective, students are required to explore visionary proposals for this new channel of energy and flows into and out of Milan. The concomitant consideration of urban and natural systems is crucial in the definition of intervention strategies, whereby new modes of interaction between such systems ought to be developed to reinforce their potentialities. What should be the nature of this new channel of energy and flows into and out of Milan? How should the new gateways and key transformations be? How can landscape be a driver for the positive transformation of Milan and its surrounding areas? What are the neuralgic interventions that can maximise optimum results? Can we imagine infrastructure (roads, railways and waterways) which work with (rather than against) nature? 


Students will be able to explore concepts such as re-naturing and nature-based solutions for cities and regions, in-between conditions, as well as programmatic hybridism and what Koolhaas described as ‘enabling fields that accommodate processes’. Furthermore, they will not only be encouraged to develop their drawing, model-making and representation skills, but also explore advanced digital tools with a view to develop climate sensitive responses and explorative design solutions.


The structure

The studio work is organised as follows:


1. Analysis and vision

In groups, students will undertake an analysis of the current and predicted conditions along the proposed axis, through a cross-scale approach and the lenses of urban ecology. Attention ought to be placed on the interactions, or lack thereof, of urban and natural systems along the axis as it crosses Milan and its immediate outskirts. The work will:

a) identify the number and nature of networks to be investigated including man-made and natural systems;

b) evaluate their current performance and how networks influence the functioning of each other; and

c) identify the strengths, challenges and opportunities for positive change.


2. Strategic masterplan

The first phase will be followed by the definition of a strategic masterplan, which will include the articulation of aims and targets, formulation of possible scenarios in which the plausible transformation of current conditions is outlined and the identification of key areas for specific projects. During this stage, students will also engage in readings and analyses of relevant precedents from a variety of scales and disciplines.


3. Thematic projects

Specific projects will be developed within the strategic masterplan, with a clear theme and brief to be developed by groups of students in discussion with tutors. Proposals need to demonstrate how they encompass wider discussions on global challenges and respond to localised needs at the same time, particularly with regards to urban sustainability and resilience. 



The studio will involve a combination of lectures and debates on readings in order to inform the development of the students’ theoretical framework, discussion with stakeholders, design tutorials, interim and final reviews, as well as field visits. A field trip to an exemplary city will be considered. An interdisciplinary approach will be introduced from the onset.



No prereqiostes are required

Modalità di valutazione

The final mark will be comprised of:

  • critical understanding and engagement with theoretical concepts and key readings;
  • interim assessments for all stages;
  • final outcome documenting all phases and aspects of the work, from the beginnings of the analysis, through to the strategy phase and the development of the chosen site.

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaLemes de Oliveira, Fabiano, Green wedge urbanism: history, theory and contemporary practice, Editore: Bloomsbury, Anno edizione: 2017, ISBN: 9781474229180
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaCalkins, Meg, The sustainable sites handbook: a complete guide to the principles, strategies, and practices for sustainable landscapes, Editore: Wiley, Anno edizione: 2012, ISBN: 9780470643556
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaForman, Richard T. T., Urban ecology: science of cities, Editore: Cambridge University Press, Anno edizione: 2014, ISBN: 9781107007000
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaDoherty, Gareth; Mostafavi, Mohsen, Ecological urbanism, Editore: L. Muller, ISBN: 9783037781890
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaLemes de Oliveira, Fabiano, Planning Cities with Nature: Theories, Strategies and Methods, Editore: Springer, Anno edizione: 2019, ISBN: 9783030018658
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaErixon, H., Borgström, S., & Andersson, E., Challenging dichotomies - exploring resilience as an integrative and operative conceptual framework for large-scale urban green structures. Planning Theory & Practice , Anno edizione: 2013, Fascicolo: 14(3), 349-372
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaMcHarg, Ian L., Design with nature, Editore: Natural History Press, Anno edizione: 1969

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. 1.6.5 / 1.6.5
Area Servizi ICT