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Programs of the courses

First year, first semester



Bioregional design Laboratory
Design for territorial and landscape heritage, Prof. Massimo Carta

Learning objectives

Territorial heritage is understood as the accumulation of territorial innovations over time. In the planning hypotheses on the territory and landscape, it is necessary to consider the dimension of the heritage in its complexity and depth. To achieve full control of this dimension, it is necessary to:

  • reach the mastery of these two concepts, the concept of "structures of the territories and landscapes" and the concept of "territorial and landscape heritage";
  • apply these concepts to urban design, regional design, landscape planning.
The course therefore provides theoretical tools and operational methods for the use of these concepts in the sustainable design of urban and territorial dimension.
The course also specifies the role and weight of the urban settlement dimension in the constitution of landscape and territorial heritage. The course assumes the relationship between public space and structural and patrimonial dimension as a main topic.
Main contents
During the course, also with reference to specifics design experiences, the theoretical dimension of the evolution of the concept of territorial and landscape heritage is deepened. The critical reflection on the implications of applying the concept of territorial and urban heritage to design innovation at different scales is promoted. Moreover, dense and stratified contexts are defined as a field of study, which require advanced planning in line with sustainability objectives.
Teaching methods 
The design process is the guiding thread of the course activities. The didactic organization of the Laboratory involves students through a training process which therefore includes:
  • lessons of theoretical content,
  • work seminars and collegial discussion,
  • exploration and survey of the metropolitan area of Florence, 
  • proposals of hypotheses of transformation that mobilize structural and patrimonial elements, in some way contributing to their enrichment.


Urban and regional planning theories, tools, and technics

Prof. Maria Rita Gisotti

Learning objectives

The course is aimed at: introducing students to the twentieth century planning theories; explaining the evolution of planning theories and models, following the comprehension of structural and spatial changes; developing the student's critical and analytical skills in the field of regional and urban planning. 

Main contents 

The course is organized on these issues: 1) The roots of the main theories and models in modern regional and urban planning. 2) The great transformations of the Global North society (from rural to metropolitan, from industrial to post-industrial and so on), and the contemporary evolution of spatial planning theories and models. 3) Global South rapid transformation dynamics and consequent main planning issues. 4) Proximity and transition issues in the current planning and design framework, reflected in the main international policies (Agenda 2030 SDG, European Green Deal, New European Bauhaus etc.). Topics of the course will be the both the physical and strategical dimension of planning, growth management theory, the relation between spatial planning and social justice.

Teaching Methods

The training activities include theoretical lectures, presentations of case studies, reviews, walking seminars, collective discussions, presentation of research works realized by students, individually or in small groups. The final evaluation will be made both by the oral exam with the discussion of the course topics and by the evaluation of students’ presentation made during the course.



Integrated design for settlements resilience, Prof. Carlo Pisano

The course aims to provide the methodological basis and operational tools to address urban and territorial regeneration projects capable of focusing on climate change and the progressive reduction of energy resources. To face these priority issues, resilience is conceived as a virtuous model.
The course will address the metaphor of resilience in operational terms through lessons aimed at translating the main EU references to reduce soil consumption (the irreversible loss of natural, semi-natural or agricultural soils due to the construction of permanent buildings) and reverse the trend of soil sealing (the reduction of rainwater absorption capacity, which affects the reduction of transpiration processes and the intensity of heat islands) into project tools and practices. 
In particular, specific case studies and projects will be analyzed concerning: the environmental ecological issue (climate change, hydrogeological structure, well-being, etc.) through an ecosystem approach (quality vs. quantity); green and blue networks intended as environmental infrastructures capable of constituting the backbone, the supporting structure of the frame of the contemporary city in an inter-scalar perspective; the reuse, regeneration and densification of already urbanized areas to avoid further consumption of natural, semi-natural or agricultural soils; the connection of urban areas through efficient public transport.

Management and restoration of fluvial systems, Prof. Massimo Rinaldi

The objectives of the class are to: (i) achieve basic knowledge about geological, geomorphological, hydraulic and ecological processes responsible for the basic functioning of natural river systems; (ii) learn about impacts that human activity can cause on these processes; (iii) overview methods and indicators for evaluating the condition and the alterations of the river; and (iv) achieve knowledge on river restoration, its applications, limitations and advantages by reviewing methodologies, measures and international study cases.
Furthermore, the class intends to provide the capability of using in an appropriate manner terminology and concepts to:
  • understand literature related to river management and restoration.
  • effectively discuss arguments and problems covered during the class.
  • apability of achieving further knowledge and updates from the scientific and technical literature.
The first part of the class focusses on the following aspects: (i) processes at catchment scale, including hydrological processes, landslides, soil erosion, sediment supply and delivery; (ii) channel processes, including flow hydraulics, erosion, sediment transport, sedimentation; (iii) classification and description of in-channel and floodplain geomorphic units; (iv) classification of channel morphologies of mountain streams and alluvial rivers; (v) brief outline of river ecology. The second part will be focused on diagnosis of river conditions and restoration by dealing with the following aspects: (i) the normative context: Water Framework Directive and Flood Directive; (ii) assessment of hydro-morphological river conditions; (iii) hydraulic risk, and mitigation measures; (iv) exploitation of groundwater resources, hazards induced by gravitational processes, slope stabilization and preventive measures to control erosion; (v) river restoration, including terminology and objectives, measures of hydro-morphological and ecological improvement, landscape and fruition, study cases.


First year, second semester 


Design and management of urban landscape laboratory

Green infrastructures for urban environment, Adjunct professor

The course aims at bringing together the theory, practice, and evaluation of green infrastructure and at providing the foundations to understand why we need green infrastructure, alongside with an understanding of how we transition from design to implementation.
After the general introduction, the conceptual, practice-based, and evaluative skills needed to develop green infrastructure in real-world scenarios will be taught referring to the most recent national and international research and practical experiences in the design and management of urban greening, sustainable drainage, health and well-being, economic prosperity, policymaking, and nature-based solutions to urban problems.
Students will be engaged with policy, practice, and communities to gain an appreciation of the range of added benefits that green infrastructures can deliver and to develop an understanding of the innovation solutions they offer.
The course will then be structured as follows:
  • Introduction: the concept and principles of green infrastructure.
  • Critical awareness of the values, benefits, and functions of different types of green infrastructure.
  • Understand key policies relevant to formation and implementation of green infrastructure.
  • Understand the methods and approaches used to assess the performance of green infrastructure.
  • Gain practical experience in the monitoring and evaluation of green infrastructure.
  • Learn from real-world examples and practitioners of green infrastructure.
  • Benefit from a highly interdisciplinary and applied course.
Part of the course will be dedicated to outside visits to some recent research projects.


Landscape architecture, Prof. Antonella Valentini

The landscape architecture course provides cultural and technical basis of landscape design for projects of open spaces. Therefore, the course aims to give a primary but solid knowledge of the discipline, through lessons on theory, concept and history of landscape architecture and through lessons that are more “practical”. These applied lessons aim to give practical information, but strongly based on theory, about some themes like roof garden, vertical garden, pocket park, community garden, greenway, and so on. The course aims to stimulate and support the student in the critical training of his own culture and technique of the landscape project.
We will discuss on methods, goals and actions to design new contemporary landscapes, through the examples of many landscapes project realized in Italy and all over the world. Furthermore, the course aims to develop skills to integrate landscape architecture with different disciplines as usually happens in the professional practice, especially at urban scale. In fact, the urban landscape design is one of the most important tasks for a landscape architect that has to manage transformation of our cities, aiming at increasing qualities in the urban environment.
The main topic to deal with is the construction of a system of green open spaces that could contribute to the environmental readjustment of settlement.  Urban forestry, green infrastructure, nature-based solutions are the principal arguments that will be faced during the lessons.  
The course adopts complementary teaching methods: lectures, workshops, seminar reviews and individual or single group reviews to support the experiential learning. The landscape design exercise can be carried out individually or in groups. The theme and the project development requirements will be communicated by the teachers at the beginning of the course. For the discussion of the exam is required the development of a laboratory design exercise. During the exam the theoretical and practical skills achieved by the students will be evaluated.

Urban design, Prof. Francesco Alberti

Learning objectives
The overall objective of the course is to provide students with critical and design skills to address the multiple dimensions of urban design to make cities and communities more livable, sustainable, and resilient to the challenges of global change.
Upon completion of the course, the students would be able to: 
  • conduct analyses and investigations to appreciate the peculiar features of an urban environment (e.g. urban structure and fabrics, street networks and characteristics of public space, local environment and urban landscape, land uses and mobility patterns, social uses and practices, etc.); 
  • assess its strengths, which can be leveraged, and its weaknesses, which need to be mitigated or eliminated; 
  • define integrated urban development and regeneration strategies, from which design solutions concerning the environmental system, infrastructures and the built-up area are derived; 
  • deliver the strategy through concept and master plans, with additional insights at different levels of detail, using the most appropriate visualization techniques.
Main Contents 
The course focuses on the concept of sustainable city and the identification and achievement of related objectives and requirements.
The need to promote the ecological transition and climate neutrality of human settlements is presented as an opportunity to make them more efficient and pleasant to live in, reconciling different approaches, summarized in four pairs of key attributes of the city: sustainable-resilient, green-healthy, livable-inclusive, and smart-creative.
The public open space in all its typological, functional, and scalar variations is assumed as the main catalyst of change.
Teaching Methods
The training activities include theoretical lectures, presentations of case studies, field trips, reviews, and collective discussions on the progress of the students’ work on a selected area of study.
The analyses and project works produced will be the basis for the evaluation in the final exam.

Planning and design for the global south, Prof. Raffaele Paloscia

Learning objectives
The course aims to introduce the student to the themes of the analysis and planning of Global South cities, territories, and regions, framed in the spatial macro phenomena induced by the globalization process (migratory flows, neo-colonialism, territorial fragmentation, climate change, conflicts, pandemics, etc.).
Main goals:
  • develop a method of analysis and critical interpretation of contexts.
  • defining the key elements for the construction of participatory multiscale projects to be used within international cooperation programs.
The acquisition of this method will take place through the crossing of theoretical, methodological, and technical knowledge with the illustration of applied experiences, significant for the different fields of study.
Main contents
  • North-South relations and the globalisation process
  • The effects of climate change
  • Cities and territories in historical evolution
  • Ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, demographic, and environmental components
  • Formal city, informal city
  • Territorial heritage as a resource for transformation processes
  • Methods of representing urban and territorial issues
  • Elements of participatory planning and design
  • Good practices in urban and territorial planning
  • Pathways for the construction of international cooperation projects.
Teaching Methods 
  • Lectures on theories, methods, and tools
  • Presentation of significant experiences in the field of planning in the Global South
  • Contributions from external experts of cooperation with the Global South
  • Research exercises on sample countries and cities, in small working groups of students and individually
  • Students' reports on the abovementioned samples.


Participatory planning and urban policy-making, Prof. Camilla Perrone

The course provides knowledge, tools, and solutions for implementing urban and territorial projects and the management of complex and participatory decision-making processes. It enables to work in the field of strategic multiscalar planning, urban governance and territorial cooperation, interactive design for the development of socio-economic and environmental SUSTAINABILITY in the post-pandemic political context (NU SDGs and Agenda 2030, EU Urban Agenda, Green Deal, Next-generation EU; SNSvS; Horizon Europe and Territorial Cohesion Policy 21-27).
The main focuses include participatory democracy in the European and North American context and urban policy-making as a field of public policies and decision making. 
In particular, the course explores theories, methods, and techniques to (1) bring citizens closer to the institutions, (2) target an effective SCALE of policy action, (3) adopt a coherent, integrated and effective STRATEGY to build smart, sustainable and inclusive cities, and (4) engage STAKEHOLDERS in a co-designed, co-implemented, and co-monitored urban policy in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s aftershocks in coherence with the OECD principle on urban policy. The course pursues the following training objectives: enabling to manage of citizen participation as an approach to designing active, livable and INCLUSIVE cities, which makes urban planning accessible, and community-driven; framing basic knowledge on participatory democracy as introduced to the European Union, especially after the principle was enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty in 2009; providing skills for urban-policy making addressed to foster monitoring, evaluation and accountability of urban governance and policy outcomes,  foster a multi-level urban policy approach that promotes development and well-being in cities,  support interdependencies and co-operation between urban and rural areas,  strengthen the capacity of actors in cities to innovate and fulfil their duties effectively, efficiently and inclusively.




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