Professors

Margherita Turvani (Università  Iuav di Venezia)
Matteo Basso (Università  Iuav di Venezia)

Schedule

Monday
From 15:15
to 16:45
Wednesday
From 15:15
to 16:45

 

Course description

The course focuses on cities considered as complex systems where natural, socio-economic and built environments co-evolve. Through interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches (economics, environmental sciences, urban planning, political science, etc.), it aims at exploring how cities work and change in terms of configurations of people, places and activities, as well as infrastructures and building projects, assuming a general framework of sustainable development.

The purpose of this course is threefold:
1) to provide students with the basic concepts and theories relevant to understanding the major forces that drive the changes and challenges affecting cities in the current era of global change;
2) to familiarize students with the range of planning instruments, approaches and governance arrangements involved in the contemporary urban policy-making process (comprehensive plans, strategic plans, megaevents, mega-projects, culture-led urban development, bottom-up social initiatives, etc.);
3) to introduce students to the most relevant tools, methods and frameworks for the analysis of contemporary urban challenges (public policy analysis and Geographic Information Systems).

The course is divided into two modules.

Module 1 (Approaching cities and planning theories, Feb 26 - Mar 26) introduces students - from a theoretical perspective - to cities, global changes, urbanization processes and planning policies.

Module 2 (Analysing, mapping and orienting urban dynamics, Apr 9 - May 21) is structured as a real design workshop experience where students will acquire practical skills through the analysis of a complex urban area within the Municipality of Venice (Venice Mestre railway station area). This area is chosen as a relevant example of the key interrelated challenges illustrating the city's complexity: architecture, social structure, tourism, economy, political institutions, etc. Students will be organized in work groups and from the very start of the module they will work together with the aim of critically investigating the underlying complexity of the area, as well as proposing policy initiatives and planning goals. Beyond qualitative research methods such as in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders, the analysis of planning and design documents, analysis of newspapers, and their own observations, students will have the opportunity to explore Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a fundamental tool for analyzing, mapping and communicating researches on complex places. Thanks to a small Digital Lab, participants will learn how to manipulate raster and vector images, as well as contextualize historical and current statistical data and cartography.

Field trips will be organized in order to let the students become familiar with the case-study and profit from specific meetings with the relevant stakeholders involved in the planning and management of the area; in addition, guest speakers will be invited to give lecture on issues related to the case-study area and other areas in the Municipality of Venice.

Requirements

Students are expected to do the required readings and to attend class regularly, as attendance is compulsory (maximum 15% absence is allowed, see VIU Program Regulations). Required readings will be designated on a weekly basis according to the themes listed in the course outline.
Given their different countries of origins and backgrounds, students are encouraged to participate and discuss actively during the lessons in order to enhance a regular exchange of points of view, ideas and perspectives.
With reference to the development of the case-study on Venice Mestre railway area, continuous tutoring will be offered by the professors.
The use of any kind of phones, tablets and computers (if not explicitly required by the professor) is strictly prohibited during the class hours.
Penalty grades will be assigned to students who fail to observe these rules. This means that unexcused absences, lateness, low participation in class discussion, disrupting classes and the use of technological devices if not required will reduce the final grade.

Course timing

There are 2 lessons per week (90 minutes each).
Schedule for lessons: Monday and Wednesday h 15.15 – 16.45.
Two field trips will be organized: one to Porto Marghera and one to the study area (possibly Mar 16 and April 13).

 

Course outline

Module 1 - Approaching cities and planning theories

Monday, February 26
Course introduction
Margherita Turvani, Matteo Basso

Wednesday, February 28
Economics & cities
Margherita Turvani
References: S. Kim, “Urbanization”, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition.

Monday, March 5
Economics and global cities
Margherita Turvani
References: Begg I. (1999). Cities and Competitiveness, in “Urban Studies”, May, 36, pp. 795-809; Sassen S. (1991). The global city: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 3-15; Moulaert F., Rodriguez A. and Swyngedouw E. (eds) (2005). The globalized city: economic restructuring and social polarization in European cities, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-7.

Wednesday, March 7
Cities, environment, sustainability
Margherita Turvani
References: Berkes F. and Folke C. (1998) (eds). Linking Social and Ecological Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 2: 30-47; Ernstson H. et al. (2010). Urban Transitions: On Urban Resilience and Human-Dominated Ecosystems. Ambio, 39: 531-545.

Monday, March 12
The birth of urban planning (mid XIX century)
Matteo Basso
References: Hall P. (2002). Cities of tomorrow: an intellectual history of urban planning and design in the Twentieth Century,3th edition, Malden, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 218-261.

Wednesday, March 14
The consolidation of urban planning (1945-1970)
Matteo Basso
References: Hall P. (2002). Cities of tomorrow: an intellectual history of urban planning and design in the Twentieth Century,3th edition, Malden, Oxford: Blackwell.

Friday, March 16
Field trip to Porto Marghera
Matteo Basso

Monday, March 19
The crisis of urban planning (since 1970)
Matteo Basso
References: Hall P. (2002). Cities of tomorrow: an intellectual history of urban planning and design in the Twentieth Century, 3th edition, Malden, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 343-361.

Wednesday, March 21
Goals, approaches and tools of urban policy since 1980 (mega-projects, mega-events, culture-led urban development) - 1
Matteo Basso
References: Chalkley B. and Essex S. (1999). Urban development through hosting international events: a history of the Olympic Games, in Planning perspective, 14(4), pp. 369-394.

Monday, March 26
Goals, approaches and tools of urban policy since 1980 (mega-projects, mega-events, culture-led urban development) - 2
Matteo Basso
References: Flyvbjerg B., Bruzelius N. and Rothengatter W. (2003). Megaprojects and risk. An anatomy of ambition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-10; Altshuler A.A. and Luberoff D. (2003). Megaprojects. The changing politics of urban public investment, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, pp. 844.

Wednesday, March 28
In-class mid-term test
Matteo Basso

Mid-term break (April 2-6)

Module 2 - Analyzing, mapping and orienting urban dynamics

Monday, April 9
Introduction to the study area + the public policy analysis approach
Matteo Basso
References: material provided by the professor.

Wednesday, April 11
Design workshop
Matteo Basso

Friday, April 13
Field trip to Venice Mestre railway station area
Matteo Basso

Monday, April 16
Guest speaker: Laura Fregolent - Venice: analyzing and mapping urban dynamics
Matteo Basso

Wednesday, April 18
Guest speaker: Andrea Rumor - Plans and projects for Venice Mestre station area
Matteo Basso

Monday, April 23
GIS Digital Lab
Matteo Basso
References: material provided by the professor.

Friday, April 27* (re-scheduled class of April 25, national holiday)
Design workshop
Matteo Basso
References: material provided by the professor.

Monday, April 30
GIS Digital Lab
Matteo Basso
References: material provided by the professor.

Wednesday, May 2
Design workshop
Matteo Basso

Monday, May 7
Design workshop
Matteo Basso

Wednesday, May 9
New goals, approaches and tools of urban development
Matteo Basso + ETCV
References: material provided by the professor.

Monday, May 14
Design workshop
Matteo Basso

Wednesday, May 16
Design workshop
Matteo Basso

Monday, May 21
Final revision
Margherita Turvani, Matteo Basso

Wednesday, May 23
In-class group work presentation
Margherita Turvani, Matteo Basso

Wednesday, May 30
In-class final test
Margherita Turvani, Matteo Basso

 

Evaluation method

Exams: two evaluations will take place during the course:

  1. Mid-term evaluation: a written test based on open questions (Mar 28).
  2. Final evaluation: the presentation of the group works (May 23) and a final written test based on the writing of a short essay (May 30).

Students will have the chance of taking the exam just once and not have the possibility of taking the exam on alternative dates.

Evaluation:

  • Group work: 30/100.
  • Written test: 55/100 (25 points on intermediate and 30 points on final).
  • Attendance/class participation/interaction: 15/100.

 

Venice
International
Universiy

Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,
Italy

-
phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510
email: viu@univiu.org

VAT: 02928970272