Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2022/2023
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Docente Bricocoli Massimo , Sabatinelli Stefania
Cfu 12.00 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

The Workshop aims at offering students an opportunity to learn about and to address emerging issues concerning contemporary research and policies in the domain of housing and neighbourhoods development.

The Workshop assumes the scenario of deep socio-economic transformations affecting contemporary societies as a fundamental context in which to identify new challenges for housing and neighbourhoods policies and projects. In this perspective, we can indeed register a constant gap between structural socio-economic changes (and their effects, such as temporary and flexible labour market, new social risks, intense flows of migration, industrial relocation, and so on) on the one side, and the actions which are undertaken at the government level on the other. Social practices, on the contrary, tend to be more reactive, and to change along, in search of adaptations and new solutions.

Given this background, the workshop aims at developing skills and competencies in the analysis of trends and issues as well as in the design and development of innovative policy actions targeting new housing needs and demand. Along with a very pragmatic approach, the workshop will focus the analysis on current policies and projects and innovative practices as a way to identify emerging social issues, disclose demands that are unmet by existing policies, and support students in developing original policy and design proposals.

At the end of the workshop, students are expected to have developed:
- awareness of the multiple dimensions and complexities of policies and projects tackling housing and neighbourhood problems;
- awareness of the challenges that social and demographic change raise for urban planning and public policies;
- capacity to understand the intertwining of social and spatial issues at stake in the development of integrated regeneration programs;
- capacity to interact with local actors along a process of fieldwork and research as well as to develop project proposals that can address public institutions;
- capacity to develop original and effective teamwork;
- capability to represent and communicate projects and outcomes in an effective and diversified way (i.e., photos, papers, posters, presentations...).



The shift to post-industrial societies has implied major changes in the labour market, especially in terms of high mobility and flexibility of the workforce, and compression of salaries and wages. These factors are producing dramatic changes in the life settings and perspectives of growing numbers of individuals and in the social fabric of urban neighbourhoods across the globe. Ageing of the population, diversification of family structures and de-synchronization of life courses are reflected in changes in both housing needs (for instance with an increase in singles, in multi-local living, in house sharing) and in the ways of living one’s neighbourhood. In the last decade, the Great Recession has further worsened the working and income conditions of many, and stressed social cohesion, especially in those urban areas where several social issues cumulate, like social and ethnic segregation, economic deprivation, deterioration of social housing and of public spaces. Against this backdrop, the major shock brought about by the covid-19 pandemic, the related lockdown, emergency physical distancing regulation and remote modalities of working and studying are having social, economic and political impacts that are still to be observed and understood in their complexity and scope.

In this frame, cities represent an interesting context of study, where the cited macro socio-demo-economic transformations are filtered by peculiar conditions. The various and changing ways in which the people organize and re-organize their living in the city in order to be able to afford their housing costs and at the same time cope with the labour market requests, their individual and family life needs and pursue a satisfactory quality of life in their neighbourhood is to be more closely investigated. Such practices, in fact, point at significant changes in terms of housing cultures, patterns of solidarity/community, and socio-spatial organization.



In many growing and vibrant cities across Europe, with the booming of real estate in the first decade of the new Millennium and its intense financialization, the costs of housing have been growing at an intense rate. In a phase in which savings were increasingly invested in property, the proportion of homeowners generally grew, while the number of rented flats shrank, especially in contexts, like Italy, of substantial deregulation. The Great Recession in 2008 brought about also a severe crisis in the real estate market, but because of the complex intertwining with the financial institutions, the prices of properties and rents remained artificially high. This was particularly evident in Milan where a new phase of attractivity started with the Expo event in 2015. In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, no sign of a decrease in housing prices are observed and the costs of living are disproportioned to the overall economic conditions of individuals and families.

Economic polarisation and social inequalities, which were already becoming a common feature in most Western European countries, are deemed to be even worsened in the post-pandemic context, even more so due to the emerging energy crisis. The most exposed to uncertain perspectives are especially the younger generations and the migrants, but also those who are at risk of losing their job and lack qualifications.

Huge investments in economic development and social policies have been allocated through the Next Generation EU program. New approaches, concepts and models will be needed to reform urban physical structures as well as social protection and social investment programs, with the aim of bridging social contradictions, contrasting inequalities and combating segregation. All this calls for energies and visions in urban planning, urban design, social planning and management.

While in many contexts homeownership is still considered the housing option that individuals and families prefer, and continues to be supported by policies, the mobility required by the labour market is a trend that will hardly fade away – although changes are expected – even in the post-pandemic time. The combination of mobility, low salaries and discontinuous job contracts would recommend reconsidering the strategic value of a more affordable and flexible rental housing offer. Even more so since in the so-called society of knowledge, the attraction of a qualified workforce is considered a fundamental condition for the economic development of cities.

On the other hand, while urban growth was historically considered an indicator of prosperity, in a context in which reduced land consumption is gaining momentum, the competition in the access to the housing stock is very tough.

Against this backdrop, the workshop aims at providing new inputs to the debate on the above issues through the development of experimental analysis, projects and policy actions that could contribute to the availability and feasibility of what we could call “affordable and low-cost housing”.

We will work on some very basic questions that concern the access to housing for many:

  • how do individuals and families with small and uncertain salaries organise a roof over their head?
  • which options and solutions are found to organise living in a city with disproportioned high costs?
  • how can we support the organisation of low-cost (but not low-quality) housing?

Consistent interaction with actors of housing policies will provide a vivid exchange with the concrete problems and potentials. A strong focus on an international set of case studies, frontline research and innovative housing projects will be offered as a frame for an understanding of major contemporary challenges in the elaboration of housing projects and neighbourhood development.



Studio activities and group work will represent the core of the workshop. Work will be developed by teams of students (4 to 5 components) through a number of research and project actions (whose sequence is not fixed):
- exploration and documentation on key issues in housing policies as well as on socio-economic changes;
- choice and fine-tuning of a specific focus / target-group / location;
- investigation of practices, and the way these are changing, and analysis of frontline case studies, experiences and projects in Milan and other European and world cities
- project development (developing concepts and projects targeting low-cost, innovative housing),
- presentation of results and dissemination in a public event.

An introductory set of lectures and complementary activities: a series of seminars (by the teaching staff and qualified invited scholars) and side activities (like field visits) will support the development of shared and qualified knowledge on relevant issues and experiences in the domain of housing policies and projects.

A set of references, books, articles from scientific journals will be a valuable support to the work of the participants. A general reading list to share a theoretical background will be presented at the beginning of the semester, while more specific bibliographical references will be suggested along the development of the work, according to the focus of the workgroups. 

A final public seminar will be organized to discuss and disseminate the results of the workshop and the groups’ works will be collected in a joint final report.

Obiettivi di sviluppo sostenibile - SDGs
Questo insegnamento contribuisce al raggiungimento dei seguenti Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda ONU 2030:


Modalità di valutazione

We expect the workshop to be a collective learning process in which knowledge is developed and shared: active participation in class and in collective discussions as well as the contribution to the development of the workshop will be encouraged and evaluated.

The final evaluation will be based on the mid-term presentations, the contribution to the final collective report, the final discussion and presentation of the group-work, as well as on the overall individual participation to the group and to the class.


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 120:00 180:00

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. 1.8.0 / 1.8.0
Area Servizi ICT