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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The objectives of the Laboratory are of different levels:
1) Provide the students with methods and basic techniques for the recognition and analysis of the functional, morphologic and infrastructural characters of urban contexts, aimed at the understanding of their environmental, cultural, social and economic implications and at their evaluation.
2) Provide knowledge about the methods of systemic analysis of the urban and territorial context and its historic evolution.
3) Provide knowledge about theories of design and urban planning, techniques of analysis, policies for territorial governance, environmental safeguard, sustainable use of resources, and environmental evaluation.
4) Provide the necessary elements for the application in the field of planning of evaluation, composition, morphology, typology, systems of territorial cartographic and computerized systems of representation.
5) Provide capacities for the understanding of the systems of relationships among the urban area of intervention, the city and its territory from an environmental, social, economic point of view.

All acquired knowledge will be applied to carry out, within the Laboratory, the following design activities, preparatory to professional practice:
- planning and design interventions of urban conservation, re-qualification, re-generation and/or urban transformation;
- developing of organizational diagrams containing the identification of the areas and places of possible functional, morphologic and environmental transformation;
- defining, within a strategic framework, specific design objectives, tools of implementation, design actions and approaches, with particular care to the organization of open spaces and connections, activities, the built system, the organization of mobility, the relationships between open and built systems.


The exam can be taken only by those who have successfully passed the previous exam in "Urbanism".
Participation in the course is open to Erasmus students and to those from other exchange programs.
Ability in the use of rendering and CAD softwares, and geo-referenced programs are required.

Course programme

The Laboratory develops an experience of urban planning and design.
Together with the design exercise and with the contribution of the complementary modules, the Laboratory analyses the territorial and urban contexts and their transformations; investigates the tools for urban and territorial planning; evaluates the potentials of implementing a complex process of urban transformation and/or reuse.
Moreover, project experiences of design and planning and examples of good practices in urban conservation, re-qualification and transformation in Italy and other countries will be illustrated.
The exercise is carried out throughout three phases:
1) Identification of the potential aspects and opportunities for urban transformation and reuse and construction of a strategic framework: analysis of the planning framework, projects, programs and existing urban plans aimed at the evaluation of their impact on the future configuration of the area and on the system of urban relationships. This phase foresees the "reading" of the different contexts involved through field visits and surveys and a first definition of goals and objectives (represented with diagrams, sketches, notes, etc.)
2) Elaboration of a "master plan" with the identification of the areas and specific places of possible functional and morphological transformation or reuse; first definition of site land use, accessibility pattern and types of intervention. The master plan is developed through draft representations previously discussed and agreed upon with the Professors.
3) Final definition of the overall planning scheme and detailed layout design, focusing on one of the areas of transformation or reuse identified by the "master plan", to be represented through plans, sections at the appropriate scales, sketches, etc. During this phase, the final drawings required for the exam are produced.
At the end of each phase, a presentation is expected on the on-going works in all three sections of the Laboratory.

The contributions from the additional modules will be focused on:
Module of “History of Urbanism”: issues related to recent evolutions in the field of urban projects and forms of planning.
Module of “Techniques of Urban and Territorial Analysis”: reading of the urban context and the use of appropriate techniques for the gathering and organization of data and the evaluation of design choices.

Didactic methods

The exercise is carried out in three co-ordinated Laboratories, with part of the activities in common, and is made of three phases during which are carried out the reading of the context; the collection of data analysis; and the design exploration. In parallel to the development of the project, lectures and exercises will be held, carried out with the Professors of the modules of History of Urbanism and of Techniques of Urban and Territorial Analysis.

Learning assessment procedures

The development of the project is followed throughout the semester by each Professor through weekly meetings and corrections; also, some intermediate and final group reviews will be held comprising all three Laboratories. The design process is monitored all along its development through the evaluation of sketches, drawings, and models.
The exam will consist in the discussion and evaluation of the project. All required materials illustrating the projects are indicated at the beginning of the Laboratory.
The evaluation of the project takes into account not only the completeness and quality of the contents, but also and above all their consistency: from the interpretative analysis to the design choices and their representation.
Continuity in the learning process and the active participation in the Laboratory are relevant elements for the final evaluation.

Reference texts

- Gaeta L., Janin Rivolin U., Mazza L., “Governo del territorio e pianificazione spaziale”, CittàStudiEdizioni, 2013.
- Lynch K., “L'Immagine della Città”, Marsilio, 2001.
- Ricci C., “Bologna”, Laterza, 1985.
- Secchi B., “La Città del Ventesimo Secolo”, Laterza, 2005.
Specific materials and further bibliographic indications on the topics addressed by the Laboratory are provided at the beginning of the semester, and during the development of the course.