Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2020/2021
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Docente Armondi Simonetta , Pasqui Gabriele
Cfu 8.00 Tipo insegnamento Corso Integrato

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

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Argomenti trattati


Contemporary Cities: Geographies, Practices, Socio-Spatial Patterns



The Seminar consists of two joint and integrated courses (Urban Planning and Geography).

The Seminar bridges disciplinary limitations by combining planning, geography and humanistic urban studies while providing students with an array of means and methods for analysing and understanding specific characters of cities.

The multifaceted complexity of cities is difficult to grasp, and so this Research Thematic Seminar takes an immersive approach. Theory and practice are seen as mirrors, each critically reflecting the other. The city is engaged as an evolving narrative, more dialogic than linear, and students learn to see “the urban” as manifold and emergent, to hear it, to participate in it, and to understand it.

The first part of the Seminar is dedicated to different theoretical approaches to the city with students engaging in reading, in interactive activities, and in class debates.


GEOGRAPHY READINGS: The lectures start from a political geography approach to contemporary change in urban socio-spatial configurations, in Europe and other advanced capitalist contexts. It aims at developing both a critical and empirically-grounded approach to urban change. The course combines insights from theories of urban changes and conceptualizations of the role of actors and institutions who actually drive urban change, in different urban contexts. Particular attention is paid to processes of the production of urban space under capitalism, urban conflicts, dynamics of re-  and dis-investment in urban neighbourhoods and the adoption of neoliberal frameworks of urban policy-making at different scales.

A major purpose of the course is to unpack the all-too-common representations that tend to neutralize, idealize or de-politicize processes of urban change at times of globalization. Rather, cities and urban change are considered here as social and political constructs shaped by power struggles between diverse powers under evolving historical circumstances.


URBAN PLANNING READINGS: The lectures try to face crucial aspects of the everyday life experience in contemporary cities, from the perspective of urban planning and policy. The course assumes that understanding cities means to analyse the complex connections between spaces and society, behaviours and physical constraints; bodies and technologies. Particular attention will be paid to the phenomenon of radical pluralism of life forms in contemporary cities characterized by heterogeneity of populations, cultures, practices. Moreover, these phenomena will be observed from the point of view of everyday life practices, and the connection between practices, use of spaces, diagrams of powers and knowledge.


CASE STUDIES: The second part of the Thematic Seminar focuses on specific case studies carried out by student teams throughout classroom work and reviews. The teams will select and develop the case studies in connection with both the Thematic Studios, and the Thesis Seminars. Case studies will be carried out by the teams in the classroom hours.

Real case studies allow students get to grips with the possible use of theoretical key concepts. Case studies are important to assist students in developing a series of “real world” examples, mainly socio-spatial processes (cases of conflicts, inequality, citizenships, powers, etc.), at differing levels of scale that relate to the theoretical content displayed in the first part of the Research Thematic Seminar (Urban Planning and Geography readings).

The students team prepares the case study for class discussion (peer reviews) and for the closing public seminar.


Learning Outcomes

This Research Thematic Seminar aims to prepare students to:

  • Demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theories in urban studies presented and discussed in the readings and activities.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of urban studies as a field of research, and practice.
  • Demonstrate an empirically grounded understanding of the similarities and differences, and connections and relations, between cities and processes of urbanisation across Europe and throughout the world.
  • Apply critical analysis to primary sources such as policy reports and regulations, architectural designs, (possibly) interviews, fieldwork observations, maps, photography, and film.
  • Apply key literature findings, but also methods and techniques, commonly used in urban studies in order to cope with complex urban questions.
  • Execute a case study report by developing a research question, conducting a literature review, and presenting research results in written, visual, and oral formats.



The Research Thematic Seminar will be based on an open interaction between teaching staff and students. Active participation and interaction of students in class will be welcomed, encouraged and evaluated.


Modalità di valutazione

The evaluation of attending students will be mainly based on:

  1. The grades of three in-class book matches. They worth 40% of the final grade.
  2. An oral presentation by the teams of the case study report elaborated throughout the second part of Research Thematic Seminar (last day of class). The 60% of grade derives from case study report.


Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaA. Amin, N. Thrift, Cities. Reimagining the urban, Editore: Polity Press, Anno edizione: 2002
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaS. Armondi, S. Di Vita (eds), Milan. Spatial pattern and urban change, Editore: Routledge, Anno edizione: 2017
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaN. Brenner, What is critical urban theory? / City, Anno edizione: 2009, Fascicolo: 13: 2/3
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaE. Gualini (ed), Planning and Conflicts. Critical Perspectives on Contentious Urban Development, Editore: Routledge, Anno edizione: 2015

Selected chapters

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaJ. Harrison, M. Hoyler (eds), Doing global urban research, Editore: Sage Publ., Anno edizione: 2018
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaM. Pacione, Urban Goegraphy. A global perspective, Editore: Routledge, Anno edizione: 2009

Selected chapters

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaE.W. Soja, Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions, Editore: Wiley Publ., Anno edizione: 2000

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 80:00 120:00

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
schedaincarico v. 1.6.5 / 1.6.5
Area Servizi ICT