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Macrosession 1. Adaptiveness and Change. Crisis and new beginnings.
1.1 Military engineers and the urban planning of healthy colonial ports, 1750-1850

Coordinators: Pedro Luengo (Universidad de Sevilla)


Between 1803 and 1806 the Balmis Expedition, a healthcare mission that allowed the Spanish empire to vaccinate millions of inhabitants of America and the Philippines against smallpox, took place. This enterprise was in tandem with the labours of military engineers improving the urban organisation of these cities from a sanitary perspective. Their previous focus on fortifications and civil buildings was enlarged to include the urban representation of hospitals, markets, slaughterhouses, public gardens and cemeteries. The internal organisation of buildings also was affected, as they designed new latrines, kitchens, and shops. Furthermore, water conduction and wall destruction were planned to be carried out for similar, health-related reasons. In both the Americas and Asia, military engineers played a key role in the development of these edifices, as they were the only technical representatives of the crown in the colonies responsible for maintaining the population’s safety. Noteworthy examples of these initiatives have been already analysed in the urban planning of the new quarters of Havana. The original walled city was enlarged with promenades such as Tacon and Belascoain, where new healthcare establishments were built, including the Casa de Sanidad Garcini and the mental hospital. As part of the same effort, other buildings were planned, including the slaughterhouse and various cemeteries. In addition to identifying these structures, providing an urban interpretation on how all these new services were spatially organised is required. Admittedly, previous studies have addressed this topic, considering how European ideals were transferred or adapted in the colonial milieu. Notwithstanding, this session aims to elucidate how local beliefs on death and traditions concerning cuisine might have affected the development of the social hygiene movement. To do so, the session encourages authors to provide contributions based on new archival materials focusing on colonial spaces during the aforementioned period of time (1750-1850). Heavily interpretative proposals, e.g., those that include trans-imperial or trans-continental comparisons, are especially encouraged.

1.2 History, Remembrance and Oblivion within Urban Transformation Processes in the Contemporary age. Memorialisation, Cancel Culture, Difficult Heritage

Coordinators: Annunziata Maria Oteri (Politecnico di Milano – Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani), Nino Sulfaro (Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria)


The so-called Cancel Culture, a recent, controversial phenomenon that ostracises facts and characters from the past that are unwelcome or rejected by contemporary communities, has reopened the debate on some historical-memorial issues associated with particular historical events and processes, such as slavery and colonisation. The objects of the most frequent cancellation are those signs that occupy urban spaces, such as the déboullonage of statues of controversial politicians and historical figures. These manifestations reveal a generalised malaise, probably originating from a severe economic and cultural crisis, but above all from unresolved issues, from the lack of social pacification and from discrimination at an economic, social, and educational level, for which the State has failed in its double role of memorial agent and educator. In addition, these issues are also associated with those inherent in the so-called Difficult Heritage, which has recently brought conservation, enhancement and use of controversial assets to the centre of attention.
The contemporary age is characterised by the issue of remembrance and oblivion of historical events. Therefore, the topics described are not linked exclusively to current events. From the iconoclasm of the French Revolution to the propaganda of the World Wars, and up to the fall of the totalitarian regimes of the Twentieth century, the relationship/link between history, memory, and built environment has profoundly affected the transformation and use of urban spaces because of traumatic events.
The proposed session aims to investigate the results of these processes from the French Revolution to the present day, with particular reference to one or more of the following possible topics:
Difficult Heritage: conservation, valorisation and reuse of controversial heritage
Odonymy: laws and regulations, revision of street maps, changes due to historical events, recovery of historical toponymy, etc.
Urban renewal processes: demolitions, restorations and/or reconstructions of architectural heritage, construction of monuments, removal of signs inherited from totalitarian regimes, etc.
Institutional processes: commissions, educational programs, cultural policies, amnesty, social pacification, commemorations, civil actions, etc.
The role of local communities: committees and movements, demonstrations and protests, participatory processes, exclusion processes, urban conflicts, etc.

1.3 Acculturation process and the ‘two Mediterraneans’: Early modern cultural affiliations in the port cities of the Mediterranean and the Chinese Sea

Coordinators: Filomena Viviana Tagliaferri (ISEM-CNR)


The aim of this session is to build a comparison between early modern Mediterranean port cities as Braudelian plural spaces and the Chinese Sea colonial enclaves of the same period. It focuses on how the balance of acculturation could be observed and analysed in daily behaviours involving tendencies towards the hybridisation and differentiation of foreign groups and migrants in the port cities of the ‘two Mediterraneans’.
Mediterranean port cities were plural spaces since communities lived next to one another, maintaining their specific characteristics and entering into a system that recognised them as diverse. These foreigners ‘often originated from afar [were] distinguished by language, physical appearance, dress, beliefs or practices, characteristics covered by the slippery modern terms ‘ethnicity’ of ‘cultural identity’ (Keene 2016).
The visibility of stranger was central to configuring urban settlements and determined as well by the state authorities’ expectation of recognisability, a visibility that involved the reproduction of sets of material practices that shaped daily life. In this perspective, identity is intended as ‘a way of being and doing’, a way of making things in everyday life involving material practices. This concrete identity leads individuals to self-position themselves in relation to other individuals who are recognised as similar or different according to how they do things. Having no access to oral sources for the period, materiality is particularly meaningful when examining early modern cultural pluralisms and it should not be seen as a ‘folklorisation’ of historical knowledge. Rather, from Daniel Roche’s perspective, it is to be understood as a focus on re-materialising the principles of our knowledge, achieving a better grasp of our relation to things. The use of material practices as identity detectors sheds light on the possible ways in which cultural affiliation has been channelled in the visible forms of daily life, allowing to study what a specific cultural group saw as meaningful. The papers should focus on the way coexistence took form in different environments through the analysis of the material practices in different port cities.
The ultimate scope of this session is to identify a possible model whereby the cultural pluralism typical of 17th and 18th Mediterranean port cities can be shared in the study of Asian port cities affected by a strong movement of foreign communities due also the colonial interests of Europeans.

1.4 The photography of trauma

Coordinators: Giuseppe Bonaccorso (Università di Camerino), Nicolò Sardo (Università di Camerino)


The proposed session, entitled ""The Photography of Trauma"", seeks to investigate how the medium of photography (but also of video, documentary reportage and filmography) chronicles earthquakes, floods, fires and destruction of recent armed conflicts, i. e. events which have caused a sudden change in the morphology of the urban fabric of cities, towns and territories during the twentieth century in the Mediterranean area.
The intention is to narrate, through images, some emblematic cases that can be compared, such as post-earthquake Messina (1908), Friuli (1976), Abruzzo (1915, 2009), Irpinia (1980), Umbria and Marche (1997), again Marche, Lazio and Umbria (2016), but also Skopje (1963), Zagreb (2020), post-eruption Aeolian Islands (1930 and 1949) and post-floods Belice, Florence, or Venice. Moreover, comparative method is also to be applied to images of the destruction caused by bombings or air campaigns in the First and Second World Wars, in the ex-Yugoslavia (Dubrovnik) and in Lebanon (Beirut).
The session seeks to compare the images depicting the moment of the trauma and, subsequently, whether or not the reconstruction programmes were respected after an intermediate period of about a decade. We are interested in documenting how, at the end of the reconstruction process, the territory was rebuilt, modified or readapted. Possible failures are also to be highlighted, such as the still abandoned and ruined houses of the exiled in the small Istrian villages, or the villages abandoned after earthquakes, like Pescara del Tronto in the Marche. Also, we seek papers on visual documents of the transformation of public places such as museums or seaside structures after the destruction of the Second World War (the museum of Roman ships in Nemi, or the pier in Ostia Lido), the minefields in former Yugoslavia, or the bridges built, demolished and rebuilt across Europe, or even border walls in Europe during the immigration crisis.
Hence we see photography, but also video, as a form of testimony and study of the difficulty of restarting in different urban and natural arenas after traumatic and destructive events.

1.5 Urbs and/or Civitas. Cities and citizenships under the threat of traumatic changes

Coordinators: Simone Mollea (Università degli Studi di Torino), Elisa Della Calce (Università degli Studi di Torino), Alberto Crotto (Università degli Studi di Torino), Ermanno Malaspina (Università degli Studi di Torino)


Right from Antiquity, cities have been transformed because of the changes of which they have been both active subject and direct object. But what do we really mean by ""city""? Ancient Romans used to distinguish between civitas and urbs, identifying with the former the social community of the inhabitants and with the latter the architectural structure of the residential area. In the course of history, these two concepts have not always been in tune with one another. In particular, during crises, the one has often prevailed over the other. In Roman past, for instance, historian Livy tells of the national hero Camillus, who dissuaded Roman citizenship (i.e. civitas) from abandoning the City devastated by the Gauls and from moving to another location, as this would have implied the loss of national identity. By contrast, cities can be sacrificed in order for the higher good of citizenship (civitas) to prevail, as it happened with the case of Moscow during the Napoleonic age. In more recent times, a trauma suffered by a civitas can turn out to be an occasion of recalling the ancient city, as exemplified by the Burri's Cretto, which was built to recover the memory of Gibellina before it was hit by the earthquake.
In the light of the above, we welcome proposals concerning impact of urban alterations on citizenship and core values. These alterations might depend on traumatic changes at a historical, socio-political, environmental, cultural and religious level. Multidisciplinary approaches covering the period from antiquity to the contemporary age, both in East and West, are strongly encouraged.

1.6 Port-cities in the new Adriatic geography post WWI (1919-1939)

Coordinators: Antonello Alici (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Francesco Chiapparino (Università Politecnica delle Marche), Patrizia Dogliani (Università di Bologna), Guido Zucconi (Università Iuav Venezia)


As a consequence of the fall of the two great empires (Habsburg and Ottoman), and of the birth of new states (Yugoslavia and Albania), a new political and economic order was created in the Adriatic sea within which port-cities redefine their role and relationship with the surrounding context. Other issues contribute to these, such as the Italian interest on the so-called ""third shore"" and the definitive presence of Greece in the South-East area: all this favors the reorientation of roles and functions, especially in the port-cities located along the Eastern coast of the Adriatic sea. Trieste and Rijeka lose their rank of ""privileged ports"", Pula is no longer the main base of the Habsburg Navy, Split becomes the port of the new Yugoslavia, Zadar becomes a modest ultramarine enclave, Bar, Valona and Igoumenitsa open up to new development potentials. Within this new Adriatic geography, the wind of transformation also affects the port cities on the western side, especially those that had greater contact with the other coast. New sea ports are planned on both sides (Venice, Ravenna, Bar, Valona), while Ancona, albeit with varying fortunes, confirms its strategic role in the connections with the East. We invite papers proposals for cities on both sides of the Adriatic, extended to the Greek coast, dealing with the following main questions: Each port city having adapted to the new situation, how has its topography and economic-social life changed? To what extent did a temporary or definitive decline derive reasons for expansion and, on the contrary, what were the repercussions?How do the relationships between city centre, port areas and new neighboorhoods change, what planning models are adopted in the port-cities?

1.7 The market as a public structure between continuity, adaptability and change, since the 19th century

Coordinators: Nadia Fava (Universitat de Girona)


The market, as an urban space of economic and socio-cultural exchanges and relations, has been interpreted as one of the public institutions that support the historical role of the city in close relationship with the agricultural and industrial production area. This structure, regulated by public consumption policies, has not only shaped its space but has also given shape, function and social value to entire parts of the city. This structure of ancient origin persists, reorganizes and changes in the forms, formats and roles that have evolved to the present day, exemplifying the places of everyday life and conviviality. The analysis of the urban, socio-political, historical, regulatory and scientific-technological context allows us to understand its singularities and, at the same time, to identify areas of comparative study. Now that the health crisis has highlighted the global fragility of the food and retail trade systems, the session questions, first and foremost, which were the periods of crisis in the stable or weekly markets. Secondly, which were the reasons for this adaptability and, vice versa, which were the periods of change or innovation in response to crises. The session also questions how these ""movements"" influenced the surrounding commercial life, the shape of the city and the social practices related to consumption and food in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The hypothesis is that the causes are to be found in the relationship between the market ""model"" and urban life. Factors of different categories are highlighted such as the culture and social systems of the city, the government structure, the level of wealth, the size of the city, the existing transport systems, the standards of hygiene and safety, the city-countryside relationship, the emergence of new retail systems, the presence of tourism and other comparative elements. The session also aims to discuss how this structure, thanks to its adaptability not only in time but also in space and society, has been the subject of the transmission of urban, social or architectural models in culturally different contexts, for example in the Mediterranean or in China Seas. Finally, we would like to investigate on the results of these creolizations and on how they have brought elements of renewal or rupture.

1.8 The impact of the churches' reconstruction after war destructions

Coordinators: Michela Pirro (Università degli Studi ‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ di Chieti)


While is hard to define the ""sense of place"", memories of it are often associated with the built environment and are fixed in the visual memory of those who live there. Religious buildings, in particular, are social and cultural symbols and places where stratigraphy and collective memory have been consolidated. They are key urban artifacts for the city and the community, yet they have been - and still are - constantly affected by natural and man-made catastrophic events. The historic built environment requires immediate care after these events, but in many cases rapid reconstruction approaches to bring these places back to life have been driven more by economic and political factors. A survey on the theme of the reconstruction of churches is proposed, in the regions of central Italy such as Abruzzo and Molise, following the Second World War, and also in other territorial contexts affected by the destruction, led by the Pontifical Central Commission for Sacred Art in Italy. The Commission was able to take part in the fervent debate on reconstruction after World War II, due to the presence among its consultants of important names in the area of the conservation theories, who were able to reaffirm their presence, their ideas and find a new role within the Commission. The reconstruction of the churches had a deep meaning: to reconstruct not only buildings, but the intimate soul of a country upset by the events of the war. A necessary point of departure to heal war wounds and resume life in communities. The reconstruction of the churches, part of a visual fixed in the tradition, was considered an essential point for the rebirth, and even when devoid of artistic value so closely linked to the past to become a representative form and full of meaning. The outcomes that resulted were the most varied. The long reconstruction of the damaged churches, as well as with a great variety of solutions, carried out with a lack of unitary methodological guidelines gave life to a fragmented, discontinuous and rich overall picture of projects and achievements with episodes of variable quality. Different approaches to reconstruction have impacted the social values of these places, and restorations, for example, have instead consolidated a sense of place, reinforcing the concept of memory and urban identity as a way of physical, social, and cultural rebirth.

1.9 Fragments to rebuild the memory. Heritage survival, reuse and oblivion after the catastrophe (XV-XVIII centuries)

Coordinators: Armando Antista (Università degli Studi di Palermo), Gaia Nuccio (Università degli Studi di Palermo)


In modern European and Mediterranean cities marked by the violent traumas caused by natural and non-natural disasters, the architectures of the past, or their surviving parts, often constitute scars. The surviving fragments are entrusted with the task of preserving and passing on the memory of the changing times, as links between the urban conditions preceding and following the trauma. These traces of the past are the result of decision-making processes that are not always straightforward, and continually changing in the different phases of the reconstruction. They are the reflection of a shared feeling influenced by the oscillating balance of power and the political and administrative events that govern the change. The session intends to explore the ways in which symbolism and identity attributed by the community to architectural artifacts are able to guide the architectural and urban decisions made by planners. These feelings may contrast with the logic of convenience and speed of intervention, along with requests for renewal and the social, political, economic and cultural mechanisms of reaction to the traumatic event. These processes become the engine for the troubled collective recognition of the value of ""heritage"" to buildings, or fragments, to be maintained, transformed, or dismantled after the catastrophe. The call therefore seeks contributions that highlight the role of architecture as a memory device in the processes of reconstruction of cities and collective identity. Among the possible themes: - the material and symbolic value of the ruin that is integrated in the reconstruction phase or the value of the architectural element re-semanticised in a new context; - the effects on the urban-scale choices; - specific sites of the city as a reservoir of memory; - the weight of the architecture of the past in the image of the city; - the collective nature of the debates arose around the projects; - the capacity of the disappeared architectures to condition the forms of reconstruction.

1.10 Turning points in Levantine urbanity and architecture: from the opening of the Suez Canal to the end of the Ottoman empire

Coordinators: Paolo Girardelli (Boğaziçi University), Guido Zucconi (Università Iuav di Venezia), Malte Fuhrmann (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient)


This session explores port cities of the Eastern Mediterranean that developed a new “levantine” urban and architectural culture in connection to flows of commercial, social and cultural nature. With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, urban centers that had already created plural and hybrid landscapes, entered unprecedented dynamics of encounter, mobility, exchange and connectivity. New commercial opportunities, concessions granted by the Ottoman and Khedivial administrations, as well as colonial dynamics implicit in the uneven access to technology and wealth, transformed some coastal centers of the area into large emporium cities. The traditionally plural societies of the Ottoman world, were suddenly exposed to the influx of communities from the Northern shores of the Mediterranean: a new “cosmopolitan” culture, less grounded in religion and ethnicity, was reflected in the development and image of the Levantine city. This new regime of mobility and socio-cultural interaction would be severely challenged, if not dismissed, by the end of the Ottoman empire, the ensuing Greek-Turkish tensions, and finally the nationalization of the Suez Canal. The session will be articulated into three main thematic axes: 1) The relationship between new city, historic city and port area in the new cosmopolitan contexts: how are heritage and modernity defined, assessed, experienced by local, foreign, plural communities and actors? 2) The new system of public buildings (schools, hospitals, stations, administrative offices, buildings for worship) connected to both traditional and new ethno-religious diversity; 3) Architecture as an element of identification, but also of encounter and interaction, between Europe and the Middle East: revivalist approach, exoticism, localized versions of global idioms. Extension to the post-imperial destiny of these cities, as well as comparison with distant centers that participated in the development of Levantine urbanity will be welcome. Not only the main entrepots of the system like Salonica, Istanbul, Izmir, Beirut, Alexandria, but also other cities that benefited from the new dynamics of exchange, sharing architectural and urban models, or even actors and protagonists: Trieste, Odessa, Baku, the coastal cities of the Red See.

1.11 Re-constructions. Seismic Italy from Messina 1908 until today

Coordinators: Federico Ferrari (École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Nantes / UMR AUSser-ACS École nationale supérieure d’architecture Paris), Malaquais Alessandro Benetti (Université Rennes 2), Emma Filipponi (École Spéciale d’Architecture – Paris / UMR AUSser-ACS École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris Malaquais)


The seismic phenomenon represents the quintessential traumatic event. As an unpredictable time of crisis, it exposes the issues of a territory and the strategies implemented to cope with a global, sudden upheaval of both its material and non-material shapes. Within this framework, the “Italian case” has an emblematic value for the frequency and the magnitude of the earthquakes that hit the country. It therefore allows to shed light on the evolution of practices, both emergency and non-emergency, through which a society managed to react and to reinvent itself. The successive re-constructions have always embedded a relevant symbolic component, and the architectural, urban and territorial project has frequently been summoned to embody this desire of renaissance, by the various players in the field.
Several disciplines have consecrated specific and thorough researches to this topic, as proof of the variety of possible approaches.
Despite their unquestionable value, most of these reflections were carried out on the moment, right after each seismic event. On the contrary, we believe that an overarching gaze, witnessing at the same time the issue’s historic background and the diversity of territories struck by these deeply traumatic events, is still missing. From Messina in 1908 to Central Italy in 2017, from Friuli-Venezia Giulia to Belice, the elaboration of a comparative vision spanning over the entire century is today much-needed and urgent. A palimpsest country, hybrid and stratified, Italy defies any attempts at interpreting it on a formal basis or from a univocal historic perspective, and thus represents the inevitable and ideal geographic reference framework for this session.
On this occasion, submissions dedicated to specific case-studies and/or to comparisons amongst case-studies will be privileged, issued from different disciplinary fields: historical analysis with a strong interpretational and design-oriented aspect, focusing on a well-defined site; or theoretical and design-oriented proposals nourished by an analytical attitude towards a thick historical substratum.
Submitted proposals can be framed within one or more of the three axes listed here and relate to their keywords. These axes should be considered by no means restrictive or exhaustive:

  • - Historical-cultural axis: place, identity, landscape
  • - Sociological-political axis: inhabitants, decision-making processes, policies
  • - Architectural-technological axis: architecture, heritage, technology
1.12 Extraterritorial enclaves in the globalising world of the 19th and early 20th century

Coordinators: Cristina Pallini (Politecnico di Milano), Vilma Hastaoglou Martinidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)


Documented since the Middle Ages, the presence of extraterritorial enclaves in Mediterranean port cities materialised in the Capitulary regime, a series of bilateral arrangements specifying the terms of foreign settlements required to keep alive international trade. Under such terms, individuals enjoyed a condition of extraterritoriality under the jurisdiction of their consul for any judicial dispute either with foreigners or with natives. To realise the spatial impact of this regime, it may suffice to consider St. Jean d’Acre, still bearing evidence of the old quarters of the Italian maritime republics.
Regulating the 'residence of transit', most Muslim states encompassing the Mediterranean adopted the Capitulations, which revamped with the negotiation between the Sultan and France in 1536. This legal regime consolidated in the 19th century, paralleling the modernisation of the Scali del Levante and the development of a mercantile capitalism, supported by the creation of societies and companies, which, on the spot, benefitted from the support of ambassadors and consuls. In this context, “extraterritorial enclaves” should not be confused with colonies established through the use of military force.
In an attempt to shift the attention from the specificity of the geographical context to the “reason for settlement” triggered by processes of modernisation and globalisation, this session proposes a comparison between extraterritorial enclaves in the Mediterranean and in the Far East. Whether such “islands within the city” were reserved for commercial activities, worship, education or assistance, the point is to question their raison d'être, specific characterisation, susceptibility to actualisation.
While giving due consideration to their juridical status, the session focuses on architectural-and spatial aspects, new conceptions of urban space, actual agents (individuals and societies).
The present session proposal invites participants to focus on the following points:

  • - How did extraterritorial enclaves tap into infrastructure networks (harbours, railways and roads)?
  • - What were they like in terms of residential patterns, public spaces, commercial and manufacturing premises, community facilities (cultural / educational / healthcare etc)?
  • - What was the difference with the local built environment (in terms of new building types, construction techniques, building materials)?
  • - Which aspects of these enclaves may help us think about the future of cities?
1.13 Reconceiving urban planning strategies and cities after the big oil crisis of the 1970s: New challenges and the new mobility and ecology turn

Coordinators: Marianna Charitonidou (Faculty of Art History and Theory of Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens), Massimiliano Savorra (Università di Pavia), Guido Zucconi (Università Iuav di Venezia)


In 1973, after the big oil crisis both general public and experts were shocked after the decision taken by the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to increase oil price. The expression “end of civilization” was used to refer to the idea of an unlimited growth. In 1972, a report entitled “The Limits to Growth” signed by the “Club of Rome” expressed concerns about the exponential economic and population growth in front of a finite supply of resources. This report was the outcome of a study based on a computer simulation, at MIT and examined the consequences of the interactions between earth and the human systems. In 1961, Jane Jacobs, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, analysed urban sprawl. During the 1970s, after a first phase of disorientation if not even panic, there was a phase of a more reflective kind of reaction expressed through the declaration of a necessity to revise that model by limiting growth, in a large spectrum of sectors, running from national economies to urban settlements. Urban planning strategies were affected by a new sensitiveness for built-up heritage and natural environment. Urban planning debates were dominated by a tension between those who criticized strategies that characterised the post-war period, such as the strategies that supported “urban renewal” and “slum clearance”, and those who believed in “ecology” and the balance in the interaction between humans and their natural environment.
The “new mobility turn” goes hand in hand with the intention to explore urban planning strategies that aim to contribute to a significant reduction in the use of individual car, and to an increase of the use of public transportation in our everyday life. The session welcomes papers that reflect on these questions:
• Which has been the impact of this evolution vis-à-vis the 1973 oil crisis on how urban structure is interpreted?
• To what extent the choice of reutilizing the stock of buildings, as in the case of the 1974 plan of Bologna, was a real alternative after stopping the urban sprawl?
• To what extent the new models of urban planning that emerged during this period achieved energy-saving?
• How the “new mobility turn” has conceptualised the reduction in the use of individual car, and the increase of the use of public transportation?
• How the ecological crisis is connected to the necessity to explore new ways of re-utilizing the patrimony of the past, and how new technologies can contribute to this?

1.14 Women's work as an adaptation factor to industrial transformations

Coordinators: Paola Lanaro (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Giovanni Fontana (Università degli Studi di Padova)


Women’s work has played an important role as a factor of interconnection with the rural world and of gradual adaptation to the transformations in life and work contexts brought by industrialization processes. The session intends to address this subject in all its complexity and in a long-term perspective: from domestic work in home-based industrial systems to the great manufactures of modern States (such as the manufactures royales or the Arsenale of Venice, the first form of large enterprise, where male workers and the velere, female, worked side by side); from the establishment of the first large textile factories to the development of essential sectors, such as that of silk spinning. The aim is to focus on positions and roles, skills (e.g. in spinning), and physical (e.g. in embroidery) and behavioral attitudes, integration mechanisms into production processes, competitive advantages ensured by female work (e.g. in terms of better performance and lower labor costs), compatibility with family organization, forms of regulation, relations within the factory and conflicts at work. Contributions on all these themes will be appreciated, especially if based, for the contemporary age, on visual materials, memories and oral sources.

1.15 Benefactors and Euergetes in East and West. Their role in the modernization of their homelands (1830s-1930s)

Coordinators: Heleni Porfyriou (CNR – Istituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale), Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), HAN Jie (Xiamen University)


AISU Panel

With the declaration of independence of Greece in 1821, and the building of the new nation-state, many Greeks of the diaspora (such as Σινα, Ζαππας, Τοσιτσας, etc.) decided to contribute to the nation’s building, through philanthropic actions and euergetic activities (that is contributing to public buildings in exchange for publicly awarded honours). “The exchange of benefactions for honors”, as Gygax (2020) defines euergetism, was a widespread institution in Greek and Roman antiquity. National euergetism becomes a well-known and broadly studied phenomenon in contemporary Greece, having its own celebration day on September 30 and a special documentary series ( ) produced on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Greek independence.
Similar phenomena probably regarded other important diasporic movements, such as the Armenian and Jew one, to mention the most well-known in European Mediterranean, or that of southern Chinese (of Fujian and Guangdong regions) in East Asian Mediterranean (known as China Seas). The strong bonds overseas Chinese had maintained with their hometowns is broadly recognized and their contribution to their development in economic, social and cultural terms is greatly praised. Recent scholarship on the subject has also revealed their role in the transitional years, around the turn of the last century, when, with the fall of the Qing dynasty, the option to modernize their homeland brought many of them back home.
The aim of this session is to highlight the urban, architectural, and administrative contributions people of Diaspora gave in building up new nation-states or modernizing their homelands, both in ideological, economic, and cultural transfer terms. By inviting papers from the ""two Mediterraneans"" the session aims to promote a comparative research approach and to challenge the exclusive use of the concept of euergetism, rooted in Greek classical antiquity, by utilizing it also in other contexts.

1.16 New Commercial Building Typologies in the East Asian Mediterranean: 1840s-1930s

Coordinators: HAN Jie (Xiamen University), CAO Chunping (Xiamen University)


The years between 1840s and 1930s in Southeast Asia and more specifically in South China are characterized by a strong modernization and urban transformation movement, mainly due to colonization and the opening of Treaty ports. In this transitional period, cultural exchanges between east and west were witnessed in many different fields.
This session aims to focus on the emergence of a new mixed-use building typology broadly known as qilou. Qilou, or five-foot way, or long houses, belong to the same typology, created out of the cross fertilization of local and foreign models, of portico buildings lined along commercial streets, or framing marketplaces, accommodating residential uses on the upper floors and commercial one on the ground.
Though the bibliography on the subject is rich, still several questions remain open, regarding not only the impact of local culture (in building, architectural and spatial terms) to imported models, but also the role of overseas Chinese (Straits Chinese) in this process of acculturation and of their regional cultural references. In this sense, the session aims to address the following questions. 1) cross cultural exchanges: exchange paths and routes, driving forces, and local and regional developments; 2) building typology: prototype, types and typological process, modes and models; 3) adaptions and acculturation: local adaptations due to climate, social system, commercial patterns, technology, spatial traditions and layout hierarchies, building techniques, materials and craftsmanship.
Research on the above-mentioned cross fertilization issues is extremely important, nowadays, to promote a more sustainable and adaptive future, and a meaningful comparison between East Asian and European Mediterranean.

1.17 Tabula rasa: reactions to the traumas of the reconstruction between West and East

Coordinators: Pina (Giusi) Ciotoli (Università di Roma La Sapienza), Marco Falsetti (Università di Roma La Sapienza)


The first fifty years of the last century saw the emergence of the Eastern powers. First Japan, then China, the East has repeatedly proved that it possesses the tools to react to the political and economic criticalities of the moment. It is the case of Japan, which at the beginning of the century suffered the consequences of a terrible natural catastrophe – the Kanto earthquake, which almost destroyed Edo – and then reborn, facing the socio-economic crisis that followed through policies of modernization of the city, investments on infrastructural lines and even, through a militarist and colonial turn. At the opposite extreme, a vast segment of north-eastern Europe which includes the Baltic States, East Prussia (now part of the Russian Federation), Poland and Germany, has seen its existence threatened several times by the political and military events that have arisen from the dissolution of the great empires and then from the Second World War.
Although they are two cultural spheres as distinct as they are singular, it is interesting to tackle the dual theme of destruction/reconstruction in a comparative perspective from which to compare the difficulties and responses expressed through the numerous architectural projects proposed, expression of a singular critical will but also congenital adaptability. The comparison proposed through the session intends to underline, through an interdisciplinary approach, the different social and urban policies, and the studies on the city made in the two reference areas from the 1950s onwards, highlighting the different answers to the tabula rasa.
The session is intended at scholars interested in highlighting the different responses of the contexts taken as reference (Japan, Northern Europe, Italy) concerning the trauma of destruction, with particular reference to the nature and validity of the “images” of the reconstruction, to the relationship between collective memory and architectural one, and even the theme of the “historic centre” intended as a civil and cultural attraction of the community.

1.18 Public space and urban design of the cities post-World War II: reconstruction, transformation and innovation

Coordinators: Adele Fiadino (Università degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” di Chieti-Pescara), Lucia Serafini, (Università degli Studi “G. d’Agmail.comnnunzio” di Chieti-Pescara), Carolina De Falco, (Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”)


“A city is not only made up of various modes of accommodation. A city is also made up of services, facilities, infrastructure, empty spaces, open spaces, gardens […] and living is all of these different types of activities” writes Giancarlo De Carlo during the Post-World War II period. The importance of social places, also rediscovered during the pandemic, is continuously reinforced due to the interdiction for traumatic events, such as wars.
The session intends to gather ideas in order to reflect on the matter relating to public space according to a broad case study ( reconstruction/transformation/restoration/adaptation/realization) in rapport to a more general process of the change of the city, as detailed by Piccinato during the International Committee Rencontre des Architectes held at Varsavia in 1954, based on three concepts: the reconstruction of damaged and destroyed cities; the transformation of existing cities; the construction of new cities and/or neighbourhoods.
Public space, from the city square up to the commercial road pedestrianized, such as Lijnbaan in Rotterdam, is the result of common consequences that combines in a social relationship, social structure, urban planning and architecture. Every society, as also claimed by Le Corbusier and Sert, should shape the space in which one lives in relation to one’s own culture as well as one’s own environment.
The participants are however invited to reflect, not only on the historical aspects, but also on the projectual criteria or of restoration adopted in future case studies, evaluating with critical judgement, the positive or negative impact that have possibly been triggered in the urban culture of the contemporary city.

Macrosession 2. Cities’ adaptviness in the long term and in ordinary circumstances.
2.1 "Megastructures", Between welfare and new forms of living. Enclaves or spaces of social and settlement resilience?

Coordinators: Patrizia Montuori (Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile-Architettura e Ambientale (DICEAA)), Patrizia Battilani (Università di Bologna), Paola Rizzi (Università di Sassari)


Interventions to provide temporary or permanent housing for disadvantaged social groups have been numerous in different historical periods: from Alberghi dei Poveri (Poor’s Hotels), to falanasteries, to public housing. Often their design is part of a wider planning of local/national welfare state, both public and private initiative, which also includes other services (educational, cultural, recreational etc.). Moreover, they have contributed to the construction or redefinition of parts of the historical and contemporary city. Many of these interventions are united by a ""polyfunctionality inscribed within a structure-frame that encloses all the functions of a city or one of its parts"" (Maki F., 1964), and by a ""mega-significant and monumental evidence in a given territorial context"" (Crispolti E., 1979). In the wake of the plan Obus for Algiers by Le Corbusier (1932), these are the characteristics of what are beginning to be called “megastructures” since the Sixties. These are, in fact, large-scale interventions, which include various functions (residence and services) and which experiment a new model of coexistence with welfare purposes for the ""weakest"": the poor of the hotels of the seventeenth-eighteenth century and also contemporary, such as Le Corbusier's Cité de Refuge; the workers of the residential/productive structures (höfe, model factories, industrial villages etc.); the tenants of the public housing districts (INA-Casa, P.E.E.P., social housing). ""Cities within cities"" ideally self-sufficient but, often, also enclaves that can be integrated with difficulty into the urban context. The concept of megastructure implies a multiplicity of aspects (architectural, urban, economic, social) that run ""transversally"" through the history of architecture, the city and welfare. The session wants to propose an extensive reading of these megastructures, stimulating a comparative and long-term approach with the aim of understanding: - the different relationships with the historical and/or contemporary city and their degree of architectural, settlement, economic and social adaptability; - which conceptions of relationship between social classes and design of welfare policies they refer to; - their current role in the historical and/or contemporary city (enclaves or spaces of social and settlement resilience) and the recovery/reuse/integration strategies implemented or to be implemented.

2.2 Norms and rules, between adaptiveness and resistance, in towns and settlements: archival documents and true realisations

Coordinators: Chiara Devoti (Politecnico di Torino), Enrica Bodrato (Politecnico di Torino), Zsuzsanna Ordasi (Università Károli Gáspár della Chiesa Riformata Ungherese, Budapest)


AISU panel

The session moves from the assumption that documentation in general is essential, in particular that of the archive (even very recent) for the interpretation of cities and settlements transformation processes, proposing an interpretation that – over the very long period and with the widest geographical extension – links documents, memories, drawings, rules and regulations to the real solutions within cities, or sections of them, settlements and territorial poles. Particular attention will be given to verifying the rigidity of some apparently inflexible provisions, and vice versa their capacity of adapting and evolving in the real context, especially in settlements development contest, starting with the urban, where the demands multiply, intersect and can evidently enter into conflict. Margins and terms that appear to be distinguished by a very specific rule (for example places of civil and religious origin, spaces reserved for specific sectors of the population such as monasteries and convents, hospitals, barracks, places of training, institutes, etc.) may have been the emblem of the assumption of a rigid norm, to then instead demonstrate an unsuspected adaptability in crisis conditions, but also and above all, in the context of the natural transformation of settlement logic and the needs of society. Regarding the processes that define the rules and prescriptions, their application and their adaptation there is no lack of documentation, traceable in libraries, archives, collections, expanding the strict notion of archive, which is not meant only in the sense of physical place of documentary collection, but in the broader meaning of memory reservoir. The session has the primary purpose of constituting an open space for the presentation of research works and results, in any historical section and territorial context. Norms, prescriptions, "precepts", exemptions, duties, apparently rigid dispositions represent the main theme of the session, without neglecting other possible interpretations of the concept of rule and constraint.

2.3 A “State in a State”: the city and the Order of Malta between continuities and adaptability

Coordinators: Federico Bulfone Gransinigh (Università “G. d’Annunzio” di Chieti-Pescara), Valentina Burgassi (Politecnico di Torino –École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sorbonne)


The history of the Order of Saint John dates back thousands of years ago: especially from the early modern age, this institution is a true “State in a State” with a religious and military nature, and it still exists today. Due to its versatility, the Order has been able to adapt over the centuries, overcoming very difficult situations. After the foundation in Jerusalem, the Order moved to Cyprus, Rhodes and finally found a home in Malta (1530) thanks to the Spanish Emperor Charles V. In 1798, with the arrival of Napoleon, this balance was broken, forcing the Hospitallers to move to safer locations. Over the centuries, the strong hierarchical nature of the Hospital, both centrally in Malta and peripherally through the commanderies, enabled it to periodically reorganise itself and restore its own structure. We can therefore ask ourselves, from a long-term perspective, what territorial, urban and architectural choices were made by the Order in such different geographical contexts. And at the same time, how the cities themselves have dealt with the change. The session aims to encourage an international debate and a transversal and interdisciplinary study through a comparative approach by analysing the different contexts in which the Order operated. At the same time, it will investigate the ways in which the Order related to the pre-existing urban, political, social or economic conditions. Therefore, contributions that examine patronage, the cultural system formed by the commanderies and the impact on the territory are welcomed. Also, this panel intends to host studies related to the management and interventions on sacred buildings,territorial and urban facilities focusing on how the presence of the Order of Malta has defined patterns that have changed entire blocks or small parts of the city and territory. We also welcome any studies that allow for comparative analysis of management/planning on a territorial and urban scale within the Hospitaller Order and also similar institutions, such as the Teutonic Order or the Mauritian Order. This proposal has its roots a well-established network of relationships between professors and researchers from several Italian and foreign universities, who have been working on these topics for years.

2.4 The Action of “Urban Creativity” in the Contemporary Cities: the Effects on the Contexts

Coordinators: Ornella Cirillo (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli), Maria Teresa Como (Università Suor Orsola Benincasa), Luca Borriello (direttore INWARD Osservatorio Nazionale sulla Creatività Urbana)


What today is included in the expression ""Urban Creativity"" firstly refers to the different cultural, creative and artistic phenomena of (graffiti) writing, street art and (new) muralism. The roots of these artistic works lie in a strongly typical aptitude that is expressed in the relationship of the author with the public urban context for the need to leave a mark, express a discomfort, or tell a story, thus acting intentionally on a place. Rather frequently, over the past fifty years, this author-context interaction has found expression in marginal areas, in collective spaces or on public surfaces, and generally in abandoned and self-enclosed places. Over the last twenty years these practices, in their multiple varieties, have been formalized and acquired in different ways. Currently they are appreciated, supported and managed as urban regeneration projects by public administration and associations. Suburban neighborhoods, abandoned industrial areas, marginalized places, but also hamlets - new peri-urban centres and other areas in crisis - are prompted to be re-identified by such interventions, and perhaps to receive new attention, however, they are certainly urged to activate their capacity to adapt themselves. For these and others reasons, the widespread diffusion, the pervasiveness and the extension - even over time - of the phenomenon in its various forms suggest an analysis of the adaptive response of different places to the introduction of Art works and creativity, in order to evaluate their incisiveness in urban history. In this respect, therefore, reversing the most usual point of view, it is worthwhile to observe the actions and the effect of Urban Creativity, focusing on the context to analyze the response that it gives back on various aspects, including: changes in the reading and use of urban landscape; the changes provoked in adjacent areas; the effects generated in the social framework; the possibility of a microeconomic start-up; the integration of value - material or immaterial - acquired by the building and / or by the place; the predisposition to subsequent transformation projects. And, in this sense, in what way was it possible to respect or waive the regulatory instruments aimed at controlling the action on the built heritage? The session therefore aims to build and stimulate an observatory on the ability (or inability) of the contexts to adapt to different types of Urban Creativity interventions, highlighting the ways, specificities, and difficulties by which each of them intended or had to react to these cultural novelties.

2.5 City and architecture for children

Coordinators: Sara Di Resta (Università Iuav di Venezia), Giorgio Danesi, (Università degli Studi di Udine), Chiara Mariotti, (Università Politecnica delle Marche)


«Social policies – says the architects – are the policies for children, their birth, their health, their education, their future [...]. Kindergartens must be a widespread and perfect equipment for every residential area and they must adopt the most advanced didactic and educational methods [...]. We should no longer get wrong in building, but especially in building schools. By now we know how schools must be, how their exposure and healthiness must be. Schools must receive immense developments: illiteracy and insufficient education are fought by building schools, schools and schools: school building policies must be the priority [...]. High schools must be perfect architectural instruments. Here lies their beauty and this is part of their educational role».
G. Ponti, Politica dell’architettura, 1944

Written in the midst of WWII and republished on Domus five years later, Ponti’s text addresses the issue of childhood as a political, social and architectural theme.
In a Country lacking in official school building policies, the issue of childhood wellness is raised on several occasions and with increasingly explicit references to the idea of the city. Architecture for children is the expression of supra-individual organizations aware of the necessity to create new spaces based on children needs.
Since the establishment of ONMI in 1925, the political debate would have resumed in the 1960s, years began with the XII Triennial “Home and school”. In the XX century, school would in some cases become the heart of new city areas.
This heritage is now threatened by social changes, demographic crisis and poor investments. A legacy tampered with uncoordinated and emergency sequence of interventions. During the pandemic, the school and its adaptability to change became the battleground of political and social conflicts.
But to what extent is this heritage adaptive in perspectives independent of exceptional events? How do these changes influence the urban and social context? The session invites to reflect on the architecture for children/education adaptviness in the long term and in ordinary conditions, with the aim to connect the documentation of these phenomena with appropriate protection scenarios of buildings and sites.

2.6 Central authority and local power: dialogues on the adaptability of cities

Coordinators: Elena Gianasso (Politecnico di Torino), Maria Vittoria Cattaneo (Politecnico di Torino)


Adaptability is a word that, from the Latin etymon, comes from “adapt”, the union of the preposition “ad”, that means a purpose or an end, and “aptare”, that means “to fix”, “to mend”, “to make fit”. In a dialogue about time and challenges of flexible cities, adaptability then means the possibility to make cities fit to face changes that happen over a long period of time, finding in mutations the answers to moments of crisis. In this context, the relationship between central authority and local power marks, often deeply, the reaction to changes. The same relationship becomes a process, a sequential transformation not of an individual historical fact, but of two form of government of the city that marks the adaptability to structural changes. When investigated on a long term perspective, the relationship between centre and local gives back the changing relationship between institutions, finding in the moment of change a break that is at the same time the beginning and the end of a period, the reference to evaluate, through the plans and projects debated and actually realized, the degree of adaptability of the city. Considering ordinary situations, and so sifting through exceptional historic events, the comparison between the various declensions of central and local government (state government and municipal government, state and court, court and municipality) gives back outcomes that were planned or actually realized that can be debated. The session, favouring modern and contemporary ages, asks questions about the role of the various powers that rule the city, thinking on ways through which the dialogue and bargaining between parties mark the level of adaptability of cities to structural transformations and so modify the plans of urban spaces. Subjects and questions stem from an analysis, that is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary too, on the different outcomes of relationships between powers: - Central authority and local powers: debate, relationship, roles and main characters for a flexible city - Which projects, outcomes of agreements between central and local governments give back the adaptability of cities? - Which projects, outcomes of a long and complex negotiation between central and local governments, give back the adaptability of the city? - Civil government and religious powers: which projects for the adaptability? - Between state and city, court and prominent people, church and local government: plans and projects for adaptability.

2.7 Urban walls, guasto, and infrastructures: the Mediterranean city and its edge

Coordinators: Emma Maglio (Università di Napoli “Federico II” – DiARC)


This session welcomes contributions focused on the processes of transformation or resistance concerning the Mediterranean city during the modern period in a comparative and longue durée perspective, as well as contributions dealing with the forms of their representation up to present (iconography, cartography, plans etc.). Modern-period cities are generally identified by their urban walls or by the orographic elements constituting their natural defence, in cases of urban centres located on islands or hills. These complex systems have built up the urban landscape over the centuries, modifying the surrounding areas and being transformed in turn, also opposing a strong and long-lasting resistance. Relevant examples are linked to the creation of new infrastructures inside and around the city: the so-called guasto operations as well as the “alla moderna” fortification projects, aimed at modernise or expand urban walls, led to demolish large parts of the urban fabric and suburban villages; the partial or total demolition of the walls themselves, carried out with different results to facilitate the expansion of the city beyond its edge; the creation of new roads and communication networks by sea or rail, which broke the original urban defences in different ways to connect the city-system with its surroundings. These processes not necessarily resulted from emergencies or exceptional circumstances, but were rather related to socio-economic, urban and territorial development that affected the Mediterranean area in very different ways and periods: the urban planning tools from the 19th century to present have tried and still try to operate, structure, and steer such a process, pursuing once the updating once the conservation of the city, its urban and social fabric, and its historical-architectural heritage, thus supporting a continuous encounter-clash between adaptability and resistance, between transformations and permanencies of the urban edge.

2.8 Rule, adaptation and resilience: transformations of spaces and functions of complexes for religious life

Coordinators: Andrea Longhi (Politecnico di Torino), Arianna Rotondo, (Università di Catania)


AISU panel

The patronage of orders and congregations - i.e. those institutions that offer experiences of a common life based on religious rules and customs - has built and transformed the face of cities that have developed in regimes of Christianity. The consistency of this heritage is, in many cases, decisive in the formation of spaces and urban fabrics. We call for papers proposals from participants that focus on the transformations of these complexes, according to the categories of interpretation offered by the Congress and on a broad diachrony. The fidelity of monastic or conventual complexes to a rule or a spirituality determines a specific functional and structural rigidity concerning possible adaptations. This rigidity is the reason for the multiplication - and current redundancy - of churches and religious houses, whose specific ""regular"" nature has prevented or hindered the passage between orders or between religious and civil community uses.
The relationship between adaptability and resilience is at the heart of transformative processes: how have large religious containers, sometimes adapting to new ecclesial or civil functions, preserved - in a resilient way - their original religious nature or identity? Which elements of continuity and permanence, inscribed both immanently and ostentatiously in the architecture, have guaranteed the recognisability of the lifestyle or charisma in the context of transformations carried out by a plurality of actors? Paradoxically, historiography has shown how the processes of secularisation have preserved materially much religious heritage.
Local literature still too often considers the original religious life of such complexes as the ""real"" history, which would have been followed by simple ""rehashes"" (a term that debases subsequent interventions) or reshaping, whose transformative paradigms are often overlooked. On the contrary, it is necessary to re-emphasise how the selective logic of adaptation processes is an important theme of study. It helps investigate the relationship between architectural forms and ""regular"" common life, highlighting adaptive strategies of different communities (religious and secular) and the resilience dynamics of the spiritual and cultural aspects characterising the formative principles of spaces.
The session is in continuity with the Bologna 2019 Congress Session on ""Religious institutions and the city's construction: dynamics of globalisation and the opening/closing of communities"".

2.9 Forms of control and resistance in the city between the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. Case studies through the analysis of sources expressed by the urban area

Coordinators: Lidia Piccioni (Sapienza Università di Roma), Maria João Vaz (Instituto Universitário De Lisboa)


Between the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, cities increasingly welcomed a very diverse population in terms of origin and social articulation. A population that often experienced difficulties at different levels in its inclusion into an increasingly regulated space. The session aims to analyze and compare different forms of ""control and resistance"" expressed by the contemporary city, in the interaction between ""high"" and ""low"", between the powers that regulate life in the city and those who live and work there, returning the complexity of situations and responses put in place. The panel's gaze therefore wants to be diachronic and articulated, proposing reflections and case studies that move between the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, contemplating different geographical and historical contexts. The possible areas of interest are the multiple ones of urban life in its everyday routine, with attention to the continuous game between institutions and public power on the one hand and social actors on the other. Game that constantly redefines the ""normality"" of the city. So, to give examples of the potential problems to be explored and analyzed: the world of work and production as a whole and in its various protagonists; housing realities imagined and designed, conquered and experienced; childhood and adolescence in the relationship between the education network and the territory; crime and social antagonism; the city as a place of movement: dynamics and management of mobility in an urban environment. With respect to all this, the session wants in particular to focus on the possible sources that emerge from the urban fabric itself, trying to map the different types, starting from the consolidated ones - such as the documentation expressed by public and private archives, the sources of oral and written memory, audiovisual sources - up to the most recent web resources or anything else that emerges by retracing individual research cases.

2.10 Industry and territory: industrial policies and urban transformations in Europe in the second half of the 20th century

Coordinators: Ilaria Zilli (Università degli Studi del Molise), Maddalena Chimisso (Università degli Studi del Molise)


After the Second World War, European countries implemented a series of territorial policies to foster economic development through industry. Central governments promoted economic growth by planning new industrial areas and upgrading existing ones. The Italian experience, with the establishment of the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno and the enacting of the Pastore Law (no. 634/1957), is undoubtedly an emblematic case of “assisted” industrialization: new industrial landscapes were born thanks to both public and private investments. The comparison with other European experiences – as French pôles de croissance theorized by François Perroux or Irish grant-assisted industrial plants – will represent a starting point to investigate the processes of industrialization, deindustrialization or other new conformations of the productive spaces induced by governmental policies.
The session is open to multidisciplinary contributions on the adaptive or non-adaptive attitudes of urban and/or regional areas and on their development paths, aiming to understand how territories reacted to economic transformation busted by industrial policy.

2.11 Relationship of mutual adaptiveness between factories and cities

Coordinators: Simona Talenti (Università di Salerno – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile), Annarita Teodosio (Università degli Studi di Salerno)


The socio-economic changes and the modernization of production processes have led to the decline of large industrial areas that are no longer fit for their original purpose. Huge manufacturing complexes, originally located on the fringes of the urban fabric and often equipped with accommodation and facilities for workers, are today places of great criticality and a high potential for the cities which, over varying periods, have ended up incorporating them. The experiments already carried out all over the world, prove the different available regeneration strategies for these areas: from the maintenance of the productive identity by preserving the original architectural forms, to the transformation into mixed-use urban districts or new ‘factories’ of culture or entertainment, etc... It is also clear that, while workers’ housing and the facilities were more easily able to go through change undamaged maintaining continuity of use, factories have shown more difficult adaptiveness, probably due to their intrinsic characters (size, materials, etc.). This session, without setting temporal and geographical limits, aims to investigate the adaptiveness of the old abandoned production sites. It also promotes an urban-scale reflection on the adaptive capacity of the cities (from an architectural, economic, social point of view) in response to the structural changes linked to the introduction and subsequent disuse of industrial activities.

2.12 The research for the right dimension. Designing the city and the territory for 'adequate' spatial units

Coordinators: Carolina Giaimo (Politecnico di Torino), Sara Bonini Baraldi (Politecnico di Torino), Silvia Beltramo (Politecnico di Torino), Enrica Bodrato (Politecnico di Torino), Claudia Cassatella (Politecnico di Torino), Chiara Devoti (Politecnico di Torino), Andrea Longhi (Politecnico di Torino), Gabriella Negrini (Politecnico di Torino), Angioletta Voghera (Politecnico di Torino)


The session aims at collecting case studies and reflections concerning settlement dynamics and the processes of modification, transformation and adaptation, with particular, but not exclusive, attention to the territorial contexts that today we define as ""metropolitan"". Studies that recognise the matrices and reasons behind the current morphology from a historical, urban, environmental, landscape and socio-economic point of view.
Experiences that focus on the search for compositional rules of urban and territorial space with the intention of making settlements more 'appropriate' to the characteristics of the development models to be pursued; improving living conditions in cities.
Within this framework are experiences that during the second half of the 20th century, and at different scales of the city and the territory, concern, e.g.:

  • - the theory of 'development poles' and the idea of the 'city-region', to address the problems posed by the city-countryside conflict (the outcome of post-war industrial growth processes) and to contain movements from the countryside to the city, promoting the decongestion of the most attractive poles;
  • - proposals for the establishment of spatial units and satellite communities that are self-sufficient in terms of services and equipped with an efficient road communication network;
  • - the district dimension as a sub-area of the vast territory (regional and provincial), characterised by a pole of attraction on which the surrounding territory gravitates.
    In short, the aim is to intercept studies, visions, tools and practices related to attempts to define, within a perspective of ordinariness, solutions/models of the spatial organisation (and ordering) to increase the well-being of communities and society in its various organisational forms.
    A search for the correct dimension that, with evidence from the second half of the twentieth century and with continuity until today, characterises the history of cities, urban planning theories, and tools.
2.13 Urban, architectural and technological regeneration of school and educational spaces. Definition of new performance parameters

Coordinators: Ernesto Antonini (Università di Bologna), Andreina Milan (Università di Bologna), Kristian Fabbri (Università di Bologna), Lia Marchi (Università di Bologna), Adele Ricci (Università di Bologna)


The session proposes an open and critical reflection on teaching spaces, prompted by the pandemic and post-pandemic experience, which has introduced significant and sudden changes in the structures and places of learning themselves. From a physical space delimited inside the school building, the classroom has become - often and for many - a virtual ""non-place"", while the architecture in which to carry out the didactic experience has often been the kitchen and / or the bedroom of the dwellings. The need for distancing has led to the use, for educational purposes, of spaces other than the classrooms, both inside (atriums, corridors) and outside the school building (courtyards, gardens, pertinent uncovered areas), even using extra schools areas (squares, urban parks, other buildings). Thus, the pedagogical context has diversified and expanded with respect to the past: the ""widening"" we have experimenting in emergency will probably kept in the future, at least in part: this requires reflection on how to design teaching spaces today, including both the virtual ones and those outside the building. How to carry a lesson in the school courtyard or garden, in an urban park, in another building in the city? How to reach them? Where to sit? What is the comfort they can provide? The expected contributions for the session are: studies of real interventions carried out, or documented restitution of project proposals, which address not only the places devoted to the education - classrooms, laboratories, auditoriums - but also the ""accessories"" spaces (courtyards, gardens, surrounding urban areas) and the ""informal"" didactic methods that they can host. The architectural, typological, functional and technological problems induced by these new pedagogical contexts are thus the main topics that the contributions are invited to address and discuss.

2.14 Inhabiting change. Studying ordinary transformations of the urban residential stock

Coordinators: Filippo De Pieri (Politecnico di Torino), Gaia Caramellino (Politecnico di Milano)


AISU panel

In recent years, historical housing studies have devoted increasing attention to the observation of transformations of urban residential stock over medium/long periods, in relation to various processes of physical and social change of places. We can consider these transformations as ""ordinary"" if we contrast them with other transformations induced by sudden or short-lived historical events (construction of new neighborhoods, demolitions, major events, political upheavals, economic crises, catastrophes, etc.). Focusing on ordinary change can allow to bring to the fore events that take place in a cumulative way, gradually leading to significant outcomes, and to question with greater richness of information some interpretations of the residential heritage that have sometimes seen the permanence of material forms or architectural typologies as implying a similar stability of housing cultures and practices. The session aims to observe and compare cases in which a change in the physical forms, social uses or economic value of the residential stock takes shape over time in response to (or vice versa, as a trigger of) broader historical changes that can be observed at different scales (urban, global, etc.). We accept contributions from all historical periods and all geographical contexts, as well as from a plurality of disciplinary fields. Proposers are invited to focus their analysis on the relationships between physical space and housing practices. Papers may focus on specific case studies (from single buildings to neighborhoods), intended as a starting point for a wide-ranging comparison and for a discussion of some key questions – especially those related to the interpretation of the concepts of ""ordinary"" and ""extraordinary"" and ""short"" and ""long"" duration in historical studies on urban housing.

2.15 Step change. The use of the architectural heritage after the pandemic.

Coordinators: Marco Pretelli (Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna), Andrea Ugolini (Università di Bologna), Leila Signorelli (Università di Bologna), Alessia Zampini (Università di Bologna), Maria Antonietta De Vivo (Università di Bologna)


AISU Panel

The connection between users and heritage is constantly evolving, as is the concept of Cultural Heritage itself. The period of the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this change, particularly affecting the tangible cultural heritage: the most obvious symptom was the absence of visitors to cultural sites for long periods. The effect of the pandemic has also led to difficulties in the management of conservation activities, both those planned - causing delays in the calendar of activities - and the "emergency" ones. In this complex frame, it emerges clearly that best management of the asset first of all includes best conservation practices that can secure the heritage from unforeseen events: if the conditions of the conservation context are optimal for the "health" of the asset in fact, the need for emergency interventions is decreasing. Furthermore, if the life - even economic - of cultural sites depends as the main factor on the number of visitors who can visit and enjoy them, scientific research must aim to find the best solutions to ensure the presence of people in safety. Among these, new technologies for access and control of the indoor environment should be privileged. One of the ways to remedy the long absence of people in museums has been to increase and improve cultural and scientific dissemination through IT platforms: the digital as a means of "remote use" and its effects (including that of having accelerated the digital transition) will have to be studied in the long term, to understand how this modality can coexist and enhance the essential presence of people. The virtual, understood as a "simulation" of reality capable of predicting and testing scenarios (BIM systems, GIS, Cloud, etc ...) has become a winning support tool, both in forecasting/risk management and in the possibility of refining technologies before they are applied to reality, and is configured as a notable "step change". In this session, contributions will therefore be welcomed and presented that emphasize new ways of using heritage and the role of technology and digitization, using these recent difficult years as a matrix for a necessary change.

2.16 “Introverted” collective spaces: transformations, mutations, evolutions of the city-palace

Coordinators: Marco Falsetti (Università degli Studi di Roma Sapienza)


In the Diocletian's palace in Split, an urban-scale building organism generated through the transformation of the polyibian model of castrum into a building, it can clearly be observed the tendency of the open arcaded space of the peristyle to constitute a potentially covered node. This modeling represents in some ways a prefiguration of Leon Battista Alberti's famous phrase ""the house is like a small town and the city is like a big house"", expressing the archetypal strength and the generating principle of the figure of the enclosure, which coherently informs all those building typologies organized and governed by the idea of the hollow polar space. The tectonic attributes of these types are in fact determined by a quality that recognizes as a fundamental element of the construction not so much the ""full space"" but rather the ""empty space"". In fact, it is not difficult to recognize in the city-palace the historical antecedent of many specialized buildings, ancient and modern like the plaza mayor, or the place royale up to those rare contemporary examples in which the ""introverted"" collective space is declined in the monumentalized forms of the residence and the square. The lesson of the ancient world can thus be charged with another element, of which the contemporary city seems to lack, the civic one, which has its greatest representation in the ""urban interior"".
If the basic theme (the patio house) is well present in the modern and contemporary repertoire, the contemporary translations of complex organisms based on the same principle are rarer and more evocative. Some recent models, being tested in various parts of the world, seem to demonstrate how it is possible, through them, to put a barrier to the decomposition phenomena of the urban form, revealing, once again, how the lesson of the ancient can offer useful solutions for the crisis of our cities.
The session therefore aims at a theoretical reflection on the generating principle of the urban enclosure, opening the discussion to the different interpretations (morphological, typological, sociological) of the building-city.

2.17 Urban Funeral Landscapes. Restoration and reconfiguration between memory and contemporaneity

Coordinators: Paolo Giordano (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli)


The large monumental urban cemeteries built in Europe represent a valuable architectural as well as artistic and literary testimony. The complex coexistence of sculptures, mosaics, frescoes and epigraphs integrated with the various types of funerary architecture (churches and ossuaries, congregations in the form of buildings and individual family chapels, sarcophagus and individual tombs) proposes, as a whole, a true funus forma urbis complementary to the city to which it belongs. This otherness denotes cemeteries as “cities of the dead” rather than “cities of the living”, as potential stratified urban places of great value and collective use. The large monumental cemeteries, located between the consolidated city and the metropolitan periphery, are urban enclosures delimited by walls, equipped with access gates and are organised, in terms of infrastructure, by streets, squares, widenings, stairways and gardens that support the architectural context of belonging formed by the various primary (collective buildings) and secondary (private architecture) funeral typologies. The additional presence of artistic elements such as urns, memorial stones, herms, busts and steles, determine a precious and delicate environmental context, but at the same time, highly vulnerable. The various infrastructural (paths) and structural (architecture, sculptures, furnishings) elements that characterise Italy main urban funerary facilities are difficult to manage and maintain, partly because the loss of interest coincides, more often than not, with the waning of the “memory” of generations no longer linked to the commemoration of the dead there. And yet, the fading of “memory” should not be a reason for detachment from “memory” such as to lead to disuse, neglect, abandonment and degradation. If “memory” belongs to the sphere of the private sphere, “remembrance”, as the philosopher Aldo Masullo reminds us, is the prerogative of the public, and therefore a collective civil conscience. The great urban monumental cemeteries represent individual and collective testimonies and, as such, must be protected and enhanced. The survey, diagnosis and restoration project (landscape, urban, architectural, artistic and vegetation) represent a virtuous path of research to transform the “cities of the dead” into “cities for the living”.

Macrosession 3. Non-adaptiveness and Immobility
3.1 Local authority’s reactions

Coordinators: Elena Gianasso (Politecnico di Torino)


Periods of not understood difficulties or specific historical facts produce, sometimes, phenomena of non-adaptiveness and immobility of the city. In crises management, in a dialogue about times and challenges in urban history, an essential role belongs to the local authority, an expression declared in many different meanings referred to various local civil powers (municipality, prominent people or others), to some military authorities or to some religious institutions (religious orders, the Church). The solutions of these powers prove often their competences to build a flexible city, but the same solutions cause sometimes limits on mobility and enclosure. These sentences, usually negative, modify their meaning when they become tools to go beyond complexity. The session, in a perspective of long period and without favouring a specific age, examines the answers that local authorities offer to crises originating from health emergencies, famines, wars or other social phenomena, considering both situations of planned immobility, both cases in which the discussed and implemented projects created detachment and social failure, although they were initially aimed to adaptation. An examples are the projects for the so-called ghetto areas that can also be investigated considering a meaning that exceeds the narrow definition of Jewish neighbourhood, in order to give a broad vision in which ghetti are areas of urban expansions. Immobility and not- adaptiveness of the society are, thus, positive and negative phenomena. The session considers unrealized drawings too. It is also possible to discuss projects examining, in retrospective, what remains in the contemporary city. Subjects and questions stem from an analysis on the different outcomes of local powers: - The reaction to the changes that marked the transformation of the city: when and how did the respond of the local authority created limits on mobility and isolation? Debate, themes and main characters - Local powers’ projects and building sites: planned immobility or cause of non-adaptiveness? - Around unrealized drawings: an opportunity failed for overcome isolation? - Local powers and central authority: non-answers to crises - The so-called ghetto, outcome of crises: forced limit on mobility or unwanted outcome

3.2 Adapting historic prisons to contemporary detention

Coordinators: Pisana Posocco (Sapienza, Università di Roma), Marta Acierno (Sapienza, Università di Roma)


Should prisons established into historical and monumental building be conserved or dismissed?
Is it fair to still employ as prisons buildings such as Regina Coeli in Rome or San Vittore in Milan?
And, if so, what are the transformations to be implemented in order to make these prisons suitable for modern use and detention that - according to the 27th article 27 of the Italian Constitution –is not ""contrary to the sense of humanity and [...] tends to the re-education of the condemned""?
Sometimes enduring of penitentiary function in historic prisons has led to a wear and tear resulted from use that has jeopardized the recognition of value of the buildings themselves, known more for their function than for the architectural features.
In Italy 20% of penitentiary buildings were built before 1900. 5% of the prison population lives in structures built before 1800, 9% in buildings built between 1800 and 1900. These buildings are historical monuments but also prisons. They constitute a building heritage in a poor state of maintenance, in hygienic conditions that are not always adequate and showing a general lack of spaces dedicated to social activities.
Being detained in historic monumental buildings has the advantage of being settled in urban centres and contained in places whose spatiality and beauty could play an important role in rehabilitation. Taking care of the building, and the space, is also taking care of those who live within that space. For inmates involved in maintenance and spatial transformation work, taking care of the building is taking care of themselves.
The Session, therefore, intends to focus on historical prisons that still function as places of detention. The goal is to address, among others, some relevant issues such as: the need to identify spaces for treatment activities; the most appropriate type of detention in prisons often located in historiccentres;the adaptive reuse to contemporary uses through the reduction of capacity, energy efficiency, the ability to identify filter spaces between detention and city life to allow osmosis between the parties. The session aims at being able to collect cases of transformation, adaptive reuseand conservation, particularly in the European area, which tackle both the transformations of the artifact, and the role of prison work in the artifact maintenance.

3.3 Shelter and cure structures, confinement structures. History and current situation

Coordinators: Francesca Martorano (Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria), Angela Quattrocchi (Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria)


AISU Panel

This session presents scientific studies regarding a wide chronological evolution about the architectural structures which, from the end of the XVIth century, were used for sheltering and curing those “untreatable” ill people, and the confinement structures in harbor and peripheral areas for the temporay stays of people infected by diseases communicable through physical contact to be isolated in special structures for them. Hospitals were developed in Genoa, Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples and Messina by civic Institutions and in particular by both religious and laic brotherhoods. Among these, the Companies, or Oratories, of the “Divino Amore” realized a new typology of hospitals, more suited for the isolation and cure treatment, and restructured the older assistential buildings. In this session these architectural complexes will be examined during their long use and in their adaptive modifications from the Cultural Heritage point of view. The proposals of modifications will be able to show how remarkable the relationship between these cultural assets and the periphereal areas of the cities, the urban area and the local comunities, was in order to influence the transformation and possible expansion of the urban settlement.

3.4 Heterotopic spaces. The role of prisons and asylums in the contemporary city

Coordinators: Caterina Giannattasio (Università degli Studi di Cagliari), Giovanni Battista Cocco (Università degli Studi di Cagliari)


AISU Panel

The health crisis generated by the pandemic has ignited conflicting needs: isolation and the community, distance and proximity, security and freedom, open and closed space, private and shared spheres. Reconciling these needs seems a difficult challenge to resolve today; nevertheless, some places have unexpectedly responded to this brain teaser, sublimating in the architecture the principles of segregation, cohabitation, control, therapy. These principles have been named by Michel Foucault as deviation heterotopias: prisons, asylums, designed to subject those who do not conform to the required norm, through rigorous and perverse control of the bodies.
After the abandonment of the original functions and even more so in the context of the health emergency, these places can be questioned with a new point of view, suspending the judgment on the stigma that distinguishes them, and on the abominations that they have materialized. Their ability to concretize, through aesthetical and typological characters, individual and collective housing models, able of expanding and contracting the space of the individual into the space of many, leads us to ask ourselves whether today they can offer themselves as a heritage to be reused, as well as a repertoire of solutions and aberrations from which to draw a new lesson.
In this session, therefore, we intend to try to answer the following questions: 1. How can historical architecture make itself available to the needs highlighted by the pandemic? 2 Are there places that have already addressed these needs, and from which we can learn today? Or are there places awaiting resignifications, that can make themselves available to the forms of housing stressed by the health crisis?
Starting from the deepening of prisons and asylums’ nature, declined through the analysis of historical, typological, formal, functional, social and psychological characteristics - possibly highlighting common aspects, as well as variants and invariants - we intend to reflect on the potential that these structures have to host new uses in the contemporary world.

3.5 Narratives and Rewritings. Historical prisons’ future

Coordinators: Valentina Pintus (Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Architettura)


Nowadays, the decommissioning of the historic prisons is playing an increasingly central role in the reuse debate, particularly referred to urban contexts. Many of them are architectural complexes, usually originally located in the suburbs, that instead today occupy large areas in historic city centres. In other cases, they were built away from the city to provide better isolation and to take advantage of natural resources. Furthermore, there are several examples of smaller architectures: some of them have been realized transforming parts of public buildings in detention rooms, others, are small older prison whose limited detention capacity condemned them to be abandoned when larger prisons were built from the end of 18th century. Although this heritage has lost its original function, it still represents cultural, historical and spatial values, as well as providing new economic, urban and social potential. However, in defining new functions for historic prison architecture, many issues need to be considered, not only limited to their distinctive identity characteristics (heterogeneous in shape and size), psychological, social impact or economic potential. The session is aimed to collect proposals that, starting from direct or indirect experiences of contemporary re-use of prison heritage, may stimulate a debate on the adaptive ability of these architectures. In particular, the purpose is to discuss about common difficulties and potentials among the presented cases of study. Attention will be focuses to the main factors involved in the reuse, among others: material (size, configuration, typology, ...) and immaterial (historical, social and emotional contradictions and stratifications, ...) characteristics; social, economic and ownership issues (the need of huge investments; the feasibility and sustainability of new functions, the impact on local communities, the possibility of dual/multi-use, ...).

3.6 The former Psychiatric Hospitals. Places poised between memory and oblivion. An operational and strategic reinterpretation for the contemporary city

Coordinators: Emanuela Sorbo (Università Iuav di Venezia)


Starting with law no. 248 of 1865, the Provinces were obliged to maintain the ""poor mentally ill"" by initiating a process of building and/or converting existing hospitals into ""Asylums"", with a vast coverage of the national territory (one per Province). This political action sparked off a debate on architectural typologies, constituting an attempt in post-unification Italy to construct a model that could determine the role of architecture as a ""therapeutic machine"". The relationship between mental illness and architecture was transferred to the project plan in the adoption of the ""small-village type"" (asylum-village) and the ""no-restraints"" typology. Mental Institutions were born as “independent small towns”, completely self-sufficient and without any relationship with their urban surroundings, in a simulation of freedom underlined by tree-lined avenues, gardens and a rural aesthetic condition combined with the needs of medical staff to live close to towns. Starting with the process begun with Law 180/1978, with the dismantling of OPPs in Italy, a new measure of urban space is generated, born to be autonomous and closed in on itself, becoming a fragment of architecture which participates in the city but denied. The position and architectural characteristics, as well as the extent of these places, make them naturally elected as heritages of memory and nature, as they were classified in the 1999 Benetton Foundation report. The current condition on the national territory is diversified, alternating cases of abandonment with cases of reuse that can be read in a critical horizon. The session intends to reflect on the current condition of these places: to what extent can the project measure up to the dual need to transmit the memory of the former psychiatric hospitals with their being urban fragments? With which tools and methods can the tangible and intangible value of spaces be combined in re-use? What is the extent of the transmission of the memory of urban isolation in a strategy of valorisation and opening up of the architectural heritage, now in a state of abandonment? Can these places understood as urban relicts be considered strategic resources for the city and contemporary society?

3.7 Regime’s architecture in Italy and its overseas territories during the Fascist period: past, present, future

Coordinators: Paolo Sanza (School of Architecture, Olkahoma State University)


The great interest in architecture exhibited by Mussolini’s government, particularly its modern expression, something unmatched in the Western world according to the American Terry Kirk, author of The Architecture of Modern Italy, has left Italy with an immense and heterogeneous architectural heritage. The Second World War events and the defeat of fascism have made many buildings erected in the 1920s and 1930s a legacy that is still difficult to manage, even close to a century later and despite the renewed interest in giving these buildings their inherent value rather than the one associated with a political ideology. During the twenty years of fascism ruling, other valuable buildings not symbolically linked to the regime, like sports facilities, summer camps, or covered markets, and sponsored by various government and semi-governments bodies, such as municipalities, fascist party organizations, etc., have similarly contributed to enriching the building environment and manifest themselves as a symbol of an authentic Italian architectural language in line with the aspirations of both the Futurists and the Rationalists. The numerous “negative” forces, including, among others, the inability or disinterest to adapt, apathy, myopia, and political interest, exhibited by multiple public administrations (city, commune, province, region, state) of the second postwar period have contributed to the slow deterioration of many works until, in some cases, their abandonment. Such negligence has had negative consequences also on the surrounding areas, depriving them, for example, of their once vitality and identity. In other cases, the hurried re-utilization has resulted in severe damage to the original architecture, inappropriate destinations, or both. The legacy, its genesis, and a possible future of these ""city’s fragments” are the emphases of this session, which invites authors and scholars to share their research and reflections.

Macrosession 4. Resilience and/or Adaptiveness.
4.1 Religious heritage and catastrophes: adaptation strategies and resilience pretexts

Coordinators: Giulia De Lucia (Politecnico di Torino)


Religious heritage represents the stratification of historical and architectural values, but especially of memory and identity for the reference communities. The sequence of catastrophes has always and continuously affected churches, and their urban context, entailing changes, damages and losses. Reference communities reacted to extreme events by different architectural and social adaptation strategies. In some cases, they decided for a reconstruction of architectures where they were and how they were, showing a persevering attachment - and adaptation - to the place. In other cases, post-event reconstructions tried to highlight the memory of the traumatic event by monumentalization of catastrophe signs, pointing out an approach that suggests a sort of resistance to the traumatic event. Further adaptation - or not-adaptation- strategies often entail choices of delocalization, abandonment or ex-novo reconstruction of religious heritage, and of the entire settlement, mostly influenced by cultural and devotional approaches of the reference social communities. Each of these choices results in different resilience of communities, intended as the ability to overcome the traumatic event and to restart principal social activities, by practical and emotional point of view. Indeed, in some cases, the traumatic event represents a pretext to carry out and speed up cultural, social, or architectural processes in nuce, encouraging reaction capacity of people. By considering specific case studies or systematic investigation of the problem, this section wants to document the presence of a relation between post-traumatic adaptation strategies applied for the religious heritage and the resilience skills of urban and social context, trying to highlight eventual cause-effect relation. To this aim and to better identify the kind of historical sources to be used in so wide range research like this, multidisciplinary approaches without chronological limits are encouraged. The session aims to contribute to a larger debate about the contemporary emergency management, in so far as cultural approaches and in force laws, consider the post traumatic intervention applied to the religious heritage as a leading factor for the resilience capacity of communities.

4.2 Venice in a historical perspective: a paradigm of resilience

Coordinators: Elena Svalduz (Università degli Studi di Padova), Donatella Calabi (Università IUAV), Ludovica Galeazzo (Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti)


AISU Panel

"The history of Venice and its lagoon is engaged in a dialectic between nature and artifice in which overcoming obstacles, mainly those relating to building on water, inspired innovative solutions that enabled the city to adapt to a particularly fragile context over the centuries. As an extraordinary heritage of environmental values, stubbornly kept alive through continuous care and maintenance actions, Venice’s millenary existence is a paradigm of a resilient city. By constantly withstanding adversity, this anthropic and natural site developed a conscious use of its, sometimes limited, resources. This included designing high and low density places and distributing services across space and time, thus developing a global and long-term vision of city management. As a singular example of a water-sprawling city, over the centuries Venice systematically integrated its archipelago in the practices of adaptation and flexibility that allowed the capital’s survival. Serving as an extension of the city’s centre and an outlet for demographic pressure, the lagoon islands represented the primitive places for agriculture and farming, the loci for welcoming religious and foreign communities, as well as the essential health and defence belt for preserving the sanitary, political, and economic stability of the state. While underlining Venice’s uniqueness, this session aims to investigate, with a comparative and long-term perspective – from ancient times to present days – the various transformations and processes of adaptation, resilience, and reaction of the lagoon’s urban fabric by exploring traumatic events such as fires, wars or epidemics. Rafael Moneo, recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 2021 Venice Biennale, has recently pointed out that “in no other city the complementarity between nature and artifice, which accompanies architecture, manifests itself so clearly as in Venice.” Building on that, the session addresses a few fundamental questions: to what extents special building and construction techniques for wetlands affected the process of urban reorganisation and the conception of specific neighbourhoods and buildings? What is the role of cultural and environmental heritage for the society and what its ability to regenerate even in the face of the growing demands of modernisation?"

4.3 City planning and architecture in southern Italy in the Middle Ages: phenomena of adaptation and resilience to changing political scenarios

Coordinators: Arianna Carannante (Politecnico di Torino)


The session intends to investigate relationship between urban space and civil, religious and military architecture promoted by different monarchs in southern Italy in a large period ranging from consolidation of Norman domination to the arrival of the Angevin kings in the peninsular area and the subsequent Aragonese conquest of Sicily. A changing background for the entire southern Italy that saw the transformation - adaptive or resilient - of urban areas in relation mainly to the political and strategic choices of the different kings but also of the influential noble élite. There are some emblematic realities among which we can mention the case of the city of Naples, whose aspect was modified in the course of twenty years starting from the last decade of the 13th century. Its election as the seat of the court, after the loss of Sicily, caused the transformation of the pre-existing facies. The simultaneous construction of numerous religious buildings - bishop's and mendicant orders - (San Domenico Maggiore, Naples Cathedral, San Lorenzo Maggiore, Santa Maria Donnaregina, etc.), civil and military buildings (Castel Capuano, Castel dell'Ovo, Castelnuovo, etc.), and noble palaces made it a very dynamic city. Particularly in the relationship of buildings, the configuration of urban space took on a symbolic value for the «staging» of royal power. In the setting of the different urban contexts, the speakers are invited to investigate the relationship between the transformation of the town, of minor or major cities, and the construction of certain politically emblematic buildings - not only royal but also noble patronage - which became significant at the urban level. We will especially welcome «transversal» contributions that analyze the settlement dynamics of the different «powers» in a single urban context. Particular attention will be paid to the analysis of religious and civil architecture, which became strategic for the representation of power in different historical periods.

4.4 Resilient Palaces. Civic architecture as a mirror and tool of urban adaptability (12th-17th centuries)

Coordinators: Marco Folin (Università di Genova), Andrea Longhi (Politecnico di Torino)


AISU Panel

Since the Middle Ages, the urban landscape of Italian cities has been marked by the presence of public palaces and civic architecture: buildings, monuments, infrastructures that fulfilled multiple functions for collective use, emboding the civil identity of the inhabitants. Those building have always maintained a crucial role in the public life and cultural landscape of Italian cities as places of self-representation for civic authorities and their policies for 'good government' up to the present day. This deep and vital link with the history of city's communities has not, however, been without consequences: far from setting up a lasting 'typology', over time public palaces have been asked to perform a variety of material and symbolic functions, generating continuous, sometimes drastic processes of transformation, not only in terms of use and decoration, but also in structural and architectural terms. So much so that even those buildings and models that appear to be the result of genuinely 'original' persistences are often only the fruit of 19th-20th century reconstructions and stylistic restorations.
In this long-term framework, this session aims to focus on turning points, breaks, restructuring/reconversion steps after dramatic events: fires, wars, plague epidemics; the establishment of seigniorial powers or the subjugation to dominant cities; the shift towards forms of oligarchic power. Special attention will be paid to cross-cutting approaches, highlighting the complexity of historical processes in urban contexts and the permeability of architecture to political, social and cultural factors.

4.5 ‘Resilient’ communities in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages

Coordinators: Riccardo Rao (Università degli Studi di Bergamo)


The recent growing attention to the topic of environmental history in the Middle Ages has led to explore the theme of ‘resilience’, particularly in Northern Europe, namely on the strategies adopted by resilient societies in the face of disasters, such as for example the devastating floods of the North Sea (see the recent Disasters and History: The Vulnerability and Resilience of Past Societies, Cambridge, 2020). Attention for the same topic is only beginning to shape in Italy and in the area of Mediterranean studies. However, some questions need to be answered.

  • First of all, in what way have medieval rural and urban communities faced environmental disasters, be they flood phenomena (marine, but also river) or landslides and earthquakes? Can we talk, as has been done for Northern Europe, of ‘risk societies’, capable of developing a form of coexistence with environmental risk, due to peculiar flexibility? Is there a relationship, as has been inferred from the cases of Flanders and the Netherlands, between the development of effective welfare systems and the redistribution of wealth (starting from the shared properties or ‘commons’) and greater resilience before disasters?
  • Second, is it possible to talk about specific forms of resilience with regard to mountain communities (the areas that we now define as ‘internal’)? Can the forms of seasonal settlement and the development of constructive strategies such as isolation from the cold be seen in relation to the climate variations (i.e. the cold phase of the first centuries of the Middle Ages, the hot one of the central centuries and the new cold-humid one towards the late Middle Ages)? Have mountains’ agriculture, migrations aimed at colonizing the highest peaks, the adoption of sustainable management of natural resources (namely forests and meadows) equally contributed to developing the resilience of mountain communities?
    The proposed panel aims to shed some light on various aspects concerning these and further questions which need to be addressed.
4.6 Landscape and biodiversity for territorial resilience

Coordinators: Angioletta Voghera (Politecnico di Torino), Gabriella Trotta-Brambilla (École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Normandie), Benedetta Giudice (Politecnico di Torino)


AISU Panel

The transformative resilience of post-pandemic cities and territories is crucial to overcoming environmental, social, economic, and health crises. These crises can be interpreted as opportunities to build policies and projects able to overcome territorial vulnerabilities, focusing on the ecological functionality of territories, the enhancement of landscape and cultural heritage, and the construction of alliances between natural, rural, and urban territories. The session aims to discuss territorial and urban policies, plans and projects based on a renewed interaction between man and nature in order to build a recreational alliance for the system of cultural, natural and landscape assets, but also an ""educational"" alliance for the production of food and ecosystem services. Therefore, biodiversity in the urban context is an opportunity to relaunch the role of green areas, urban parks, and protected areas as a driver of resilience, health, well-being, and quality in relation to the variety of functions and roles they can assume in the territorial and urban context. Moreover, on these issues, there are many innovative experiences and practices of co-management and co-design in a collaborative and transdisciplinary perspective. The session aims to gather national and international experiences that address the issues of biodiversity in cities in its various forms (ecological networks, green and blue infrastructure, strategies and projects for ecological and landscape enhancement, renaturation of urban areas, reforestation). Contributions that trace the evolution of urban planning in relation to the city-nature relationship and/or underline the impact of these theories on the transformation of the city over time will also be appreciated in order to highlight the genesis of the spaces of the contemporary city (recognised and consolidated, but also interstitial or abandoned, ...) that today are suitable for a reinterpretation and transformation in a resilient key.

4.7 The adaptability of Italian cities between the 20th and 21st centuries

Coordinators: Michele Manigrasso (Università G. d’Annunzio di Chieti-Pescara), Gabriele Nanni (Osservatorio CittàClima di Legambiente), Edoardo Zanchini (Osservatorio CittàClima di Legambiente)


Most of the Italian cities are unprepared and vulnerable to the increasingly extreme weather-climatic events that greatly accelerate the processes of hydrogeological instability. In the last two decades, we have seen an increase in studies and research on these phenomena and their effects in social and economic terms. Planning and design practices aimed at building urban adaptation conditions - to anticipate prevention and reduce emergency interventions – have also intensified, but with very disappointing results.
Since 2017, Legambiente and the “Osservatorio Città Clima” have been monitoring the impacts of climate change throughout the Italian territory, paying particular attention to the fragility of urban areas that they reveal on days of exceptional rains. A constantly updated risk map allows to understand the changes, because it collects and processes information on the impacts of extreme events, and provides this information to local governments (

But in the last century, which cities could be considered virtuous, because they were built with intelligent systems of access to drinking water, sewage, lamination and drainage? How were the relationship with water and the risk associated with occasional events managed in Italian cities, before climate change pervasively captured the attention of scientific research? How were they reorganized (economically, socially and spatially) following sudden floods and overflows? Today, can we speak of a “regression of adaptive capacities”, produced by the contingency of environmental stresses and by the grim urban policies of soil consumption, overbuilding and obsolete planning practices?

This session aims to collect studies, researches and testimonies from the territories, to investigate the evolution process of the adaptability of Italian cities to weather-climatic conditions, starting from the early 1900s - with particular attention to the relationship with water. The aim is to try to trace the trend of the evolutionary curve of urban resilience, crossing the effect of ""external factors"" that have been activated over time (climatic, environmental and economic changes) and the effect of ""internal factors"" in the city (population growth, uncontrolled expansion, land use, new planning tools).

4.8 The city and the laws. Topographies of Resilience in twentieth-century Italy

Coordinators: Fabio Mangone (Università di Napoli Federico II), Massimiliano Savorra (Università di Pavia)


AISU Panel

Cities have always adapted to the laws. Whenever a new legislative system has relevant practices, mechanisms, and management of complex urban structures, the place-makers have implemented multiple strategies, so that the city can adapt to the requirements of a specific law. There are countless measures that influenced the face of Italian cities during the twentieth century, starting with the Luzzati law of 1903, which provided for the formation of autonomous institutions of public housing, up to law 10 of 2013, concerning the development of green spaces. With the aim of unexplored case studies, the session intends to take stock of how cities have adapted, both in a transformative and conservative sense, following the enactment of some laws. What were the ways in which these were interpreted? How did architects, urban planners, public administrators, real estate companies respond to the objectives of a certain law? In particular, we invite you to reflect on:
L. 29/6/1909, 364 Legge Rosadi First unified organic law on the protection of cultural heritage
L. 4 /4/1912, 305 Law for the exercise of insurance (provides, among other things, that the reserves are invested in real estate)
L. 11/6/1922, 778 For the protection of “natural beauties” and buildings of particular historical interest
L. 23/6/ 1927, 1630 Aeronautical easements and airport structures
L. 21/6/1928, 1580 Rules for the construction of sports fields
L. 26/12/1936, 2174 Universal exhibition in Rome 1941-42
L. 22/11/1937, 2105 Technical standards for construction, with prescriptions for the places affected by earthquakes
L. 29/6/1939, 1497 Protection of “natural beauty”
L. 17/8/1942, 1150 National urban planning law
L. 1/3/1945, 154 Rules for the reconstruction of the towns damaged by the war
L. 28/2/1949, 43 Piano INA-Casa Measures to increase employment with the construction of houses for workers
L. 9/8/1954, 640 Provision for the elimination of unhealthy homes
L. 18/4/ 1962, 167 Provisions to encourage the acquisition of areas for economic and social housing
L. 28/7/ 1967, 641 New rules for school and university buildings and financial plan for 1967-1971
L. 28/1/1977, 10 Legge Bucalossi Rules for building land
L. 8/8/1985, 431 Legge Galasso Provisions for the protection of areas of environmental interest

4.9 Historic centers, procurement of materials and construction history

Coordinators: Daniela Esposito (Sapienza Università di Roma), Ilaria Pecoraro (Sapienza Università di Roma)


The researchers will illustrate the results of researches referring to the relationship between long-lasting technical-construction phenomena, adaptation, resilience of the history of architecture in urban and rural communities. It will be possible to deepen themes of the history of the medieval construction site and of the Modern Age, relations between geosites, characteristics of the subsoil and material of the historical building; chromatisms of the geology of the place and colors of historical finishing techniques; identity characteristics of geographically homogeneous areas, connoting historical landscapes within and extra-moenia; ecological nature and innovative character of traditional local construction techniques and their contribution in the restoration interventions on buildings of the historical fabric.

4.10 The cities answer to hydraulic canalization networks. Geographical, economic, and cultural transformations in water cities from 1800 to today

Coordinators: Silvia La Placa (Università di Pavia) Massimiliano Savorra (Università di Pavia)


The management of water resources supports the history of settlement systems since the earliest times and, more generally, has conditioned the development of various civilizations. Many territories are entirely subordinate to water management systems, whose infrastructures have changed their appearance, signifying space and qualifying image, as well as life. Approaching this complexity implies referring to a multidimensional framework, comparing with the aspects related to the water path and the crossed territory, the different uses that man has made of the water element, and their memory. The sum of these expressions, concretized in signs and scars settled in the places, qualifies landscapes and cities of water, making difficult an exhaustive synthesis.
Historically, all over the world, irrigation canalization networks have changed marshy lands into productive areas, and the consequent economic growth has led to the definition of artificial waterways for connecting the main urban centers with other realities. In some cities, the application of extraordinary technical skills and engineering inventions on the subject remains today, becoming an identity feature and fulcrum of economic and cultural activities. In others, starting from the nineteenth century, the need for speed has favored land transport, reducing hydraulic navigation canals to mere signs on the territory.
If some canalization systems are in a precarious condition, which affects them on several levels, from hydraulic artifacts to green areas near urban canals, only memory remains of others.
How is it possible to recover, know and enhance these systems? What are the most appropriate strategies to date for the documentation of architectural and infrastructural works related to the water resource? How is it possible to safeguard and pass on the historical, cultural, and social value of the hydraulic heritage for the city over time?
The different approaches to the knowledge of tangible and intangible heritage, here associated with water landscape, are an opportunity for discussion on the social answer to anthropogenic transformations of landscape and urban systems and the evaluation of possible future scenarios on sustainable management, the maintenance, and use of the hydraulic heritage in the cities.

4.11 Resilient landscapes

Coordinators: Angela Diceglie (Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro)


The landscape, be it urban or rural or coastal, is a complex system of relationships, shaped over time and characterized by constructive, deconstructive and reconstructive processes in which the continuous relationship between man and environment finds expression. Scholars are invited to question themselves on the processes of landscape transformation in the modern age and find ideas for design proposals to defend the relationship between man and the environment.

4.12 Adaptive reuse of religious disused or under-used heritage. Integrated strategic projects and methodological approaches for the adaptive reuse of disused or under-used churches and historic religious buildings

Coordinators: Mariateresa Giammetti (Dipartimento di Architettura Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II), Pasquale De Toro (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) , Carla Danani (Università di Macerata), Albert Gerhards (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn), Alexander Radej (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)


“Decommissioning and ecclesial reuse of churches Guidelines”, published in December 2018, recommend that: « social inclusion and the safeguarding of creation (ecology) are the two fundamental challenges of the day – both are connected to the wider challenge of the “humanization” of both city and land – then the functional reuse of decommissioned churches could constitute an opportunity if viewed through the lens of a circular economy inspired by nature and grounded in reuse, restoration, regeneration and recycling». The Guidelines are inspired by the categories of urban and territorial transformative resilience, an increasingly compelling issue, especially if we consider the effects of the economic and social crisis deriving from the pandemic crisis. The session will be interdisciplinary and divided into two sub-sessions aimed at the following objectives: Sub-session 1 This sub-session is focused on design and research experiences concerning adaptive reuse projects and studies. The sub-session will compare best practices developed both in Italy and in other countries. Sub-session 2 This sub-session is focused on theoretical methods and approaches useful to bring out common criteria for supporting the processes of transition to the conversion/disposal of the churches and historic religious buildings. Below, we describe some of the topics that we propose to develop in the two Sub-sessions, the list is by no means exhaustive, but it covers the main areas: Sub-session 1 - Research and projects developed in the “Advanced Course in Adaptive Reuse and Integrated Management of Abandoned Religious Cultural Heritage”, promoted by the Department of Architecture of Federico II University (DIARC); - Research and projects developed by the collaboration between DIARC and a Research Unit belonging to “Transara Sakralraumtransformation”, an interdisciplinary research Program, funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Sub-session 2 - Thoughts to share about the transformative processes that are transforming the ""sacred places"" framed in a theoretical background based on the following categories: Threshold, Border/Limit and Crossing. The considerations will be developed through an interdisciplinary debate among researchers belonging to the disciplines of architecture, economy, moral philosophy and liturgical theology.

4.13 Designing urban space. The role of Complex Buildings in designing and reinventing public space across cities.

Coordinators: Emanuela Margione (Politecnico di Milano)


Complex Buildings - built from scratch or rehabilitating disused structures - can be defined as heterotopic spaces characterised by a complex programme of activities able to change through time according to the society’s needs. First examples of Complex Buildings arise in New York in 1916. Other, can be found in the Kultur Houses, or People's Houses, designed in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and in the Fascist Corporativist Buildings designed during the 1930s. More contemporary cases study are the Brazilian SESC and the Civic centre designed from the Seventies in the suburban areas.

Observing these Complex Buildings – although developed and realised in different political background, with many differences concerning the architectural solution, the urban location, and the intended users - it is possible to outline some common denominators that go beyond the mere functional aspect. These include the ramified network of relationships with the surrounding urban area (such as that becomes difficult to distinguish the architectural scale from the urban one); the high impact in regenerating urban areas; the ability to host diverse communities and the capacity to generate a range of new spontaneous behaviours. Thus, becomes clear that their definition can no longer be reduced to the complexity of the activity programme but must consider aspects relating to the genesis and resilience of their architectural and urban spaces, as well as their impact in regenerating urban areas and responding to new social needs.

Starting from these assumptions, this session welcomes proposals that, guided by a project-driven perspective, investigate the architectural and urban genesis of Complex Buildings (e.g., by promoting a critical comparison between projects developed in different political, historical, cultural and geographical contexts); their resilient spatial definition at the urban and architectural scales (e.g., by describing how these buildings actually function; how space is defined independently of function, which spatial features act as thresholds between the architectural and urban spheres); how the contemporary city accommodates this particular type of architecture and how to redefine the role of these buildings understood as an effective key solution to address contemporary and future urban problems (e.g. describing their direct effect on public urban areas by highlighting the relationship between spatial definition and new social behaviours).

4.14 Resilience and cultural heritage

Coordinators: Grazia Brunetta (Politecnico di Torino), Michela Benente (Politecnico di Torino)


Authors are invited to submit studies or research addressing the complex relationship between Resilience and Heritage. The themes should aim at epistemologically investigating the concept of 'resilience' in connection with projects on cultural heritage conservation and enhancement and be included within the cultural framework of sustainability. With reference to the dynamics of change, research contributions aimed at developing analytical models on heritage value analysis related to the definition of planning strategies and territorial governance are considered of particular interest. The importance of an interdisciplinary approach on innovations and/or experimentations to create regeneration and enhancement projects is an essential element for investigating the concept of resilience to cultural heritage. The themes related to the session are: - Interpretation of problems generated by the effects of climate change, in relation to cultural heritage and regeneration projects.
 - Analysis and critical reading of the complex components of the territorial system concerning the resilience of cultural heritage; - Explanation of interdisciplinary frameworks of territorial vulnerability analysis intended to develop design solutions for cultural heritage resilience; - Presentation of ""resilient"" projects for the enhancement of cultural heritage, i.e., projects showing the capacity of heritage to adapt and evolve for the enhancement policies of the territorial system.


4.15 Survival and adaptation of Roman amphitheaters and ancient buildings for public spectacles

Coordinators: Luigi Cappelli (Dipartimento di Architettura – Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II)


Roman amphitheaters and the ancient buildings for public spectacles, such as theaters, amphitheaters, circuses, odeia, had precise typological characteristics and were strongly connected with their urban reference systems. Over the centuries, they manifested a significant adaptive capacity for survival, although their new uses required substantial architectural transformations.
Even today these buildings can satisfy landscapes and cities in continuous evolution and can host new ways of visit and use. They can become the focus of management strategies and the symbol of a fragile heritage, that must be studied, known, preserved, ""used"" and transmitted to the future.

4.16 The resilient city: digital technologies and cultural heritage, actions of strategic revitalization between small towns and extended suburbs

Coordinators: Carlo Vannicola (Scuola di Architettura e Design ‘Eduardo Vittoria’ , Università di Camerino), Eleonora Lupo (Politecnico di Milano), Maria Carola Morozzo della Rocca (Scuola Politecnica di Genova), Manuel Scortichini (Scuola di Architettura e Design ‘Eduardo Vittoria’ , Università di Camerino), Yanan Fu (Zhengzhou University, China), Xue Feng (Zhengzhou University China; Cao Yang, Zhengzhou University) China


The use, diffusion and safeguarding of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage, linked to the respective territories of origin, today undergoes a profound transformation in relation to the innovative practices of interaction and sharing. The enhancement and promotion of cultural heritage, through these new media supports, achieves a more adequate social inclusiveness. Digital innovation, in relation to the resilience of historicized environments, through systems, services, processes and products, affects the management of the relationships between space and the actions developed in it. The new technologies of study, detection, representation and diagnosis allow a more in-depth knowledge of historical memory, also activating the opportunity for remote interaction with sources and contents otherwise not usable.

These media dissemination practices help to define new dialectical relationships, on the borderline between science and gaming, for a wide and heterogeneous audience. Cultural events, in the role of activators of affiliation and continuous interaction with the heritage, are able to increase the relationship with tourists and local users, as a fundamental practice for the cultural services of the neighborhood and of the minor historical centers. The adaptive capacity of these realities passes through the creation of connected networks for the management of cultural heritage, which make them more effective and sustainable over time if applied to widespread territories.

The session proposes to launch a multidisciplinary overview of current urban planning practices, linked to the safeguarding and dissemination of cultural heritage, understood as an activating element of proximity social relations. These urban and social transformations will be read in relation to the diffusion of digital technologies.


A. Contemporary design scenarios for the diagnostics, conservation and dissemination of cultural heritage.
B. New practices for the design of services and events for the activation of cultural heritage.
C. Theoretical aspects generated by the interactions between urban spaces and social relations, in the digital and post-pandemic scenario.

4.17 Adaptive public space

Coordinators: Luigi Coccia (Università di Camerino), Antonio di Campli (Politecnico di Torino), Alessandro Gabbianelli (Università di Roma 3)


The coronavirus pandemic has been a signalling experience that has imposed a conceptual discontinuity on ways of thinking about urbanity and how it has manifested itself in the last two centuries. In this sense, this session intends to activate a discussion on the characters and problems of the western city by focusing on public space. While the emptying out of historical squares has accentuated the expressive power of open space in the consolidated tissues, encouraging the contemplation of architectural beauty, the unusual occupation of residual voids has highlighted the lack of architectural quality of peripheral places acquired as new relational spaces with high potential. It is clear that there is an urgent need to interpret the phenomena underway and put forward design hypotheses on the theme of public space, a space capable of receiving the multiple requests expressed by society and conforming to the varied nature of the contexts. Thinking about public space means experimenting with new physical and social relations between a multitude of points scattered throughout the territory, rethinking places of conviviality capable of favouring encounters between living beings while guaranteeing their distance. Adaptivity and coexistence are terms that call into question the traditional discourse around the design of open space as a place of continuity, porosity and social and formal mixité, shifting the focus towards the invention of strategies useful for defining new interactions, making contact but also distancing differences. The pandemic has intensified the character of the urban field as a differentiating machine, producing social, political and ecological differences. In this sense, how can the needs of multiple groups, collectives and ecologies be met? How to assemble different practices of living and spatial production? How to redefine the sense and value of relationships in our cities? The nexus between adaptability and coexistence therefore explores the redefinition of the meaning of public, open, green space in relation to post-pandemic social practices. The issues raised and the questions that arise from them may find developments and desirable answers in the urbanised territory: between density and rarefaction, the investigations may lead to the prefiguration of new scenarios in a variety of urban situations ranging from consolidated areas to areas of decommissioning and urban-rural fringes.

4.18 ‘Cities in cities’. The great urban additions of fascism in the contemporary city

Coordinators: Sara Iaccarino (Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”)


The session aims to investigate the permanence in the contemporary city of the large urban rearrangements made during the fascism in Italy, where the historical city has been the object of the addition of a new layer, with its own rules, layouts, and overall architectural identity. Once these buildings and large complexes lost their original purpose, a period of decay has followed, resulting in disconnected areas of the modern city, characterized by decadent voids. It is urgent to investigate how the city has adapted to these additions and how it has included them in or rule them out of its current layout.

4.19 Recovering landscape. Local communities between regeneration and resilience.

Coordinators: Francesco Alberti (Università di Ferrara)


The reflections on the metabolic functioning and the relational ecologies that should structure the contemporary city also generate significant repercussions on the ways of rethinking the enhancement project for the development and growth of local territories: it is necessary to aim primarily at the activation of a multiplicity of interventions linked between they, even small and built from below, rather than just large new works, to favor processes of gradual adaptation of the existing, through which to try to absorb the changes introduced by technological, social and economic innovations.

4.20 Resilient Palaces. Civic architecture as a mirror and tool of urban adaptability (18th-20th centuries)

Coordinators: Maria Grazia D’Amelio (Sapienza Università di Roma), Paola Barbera (Università degli Studi di Catania), Marco Folin (Università di Genova)


Since the Middle Ages, the urban landscape of Italian cities has been marked by the presence of public palaces and civic architecture: buildings, monuments, infrastructures that fulfilled multiple functions for collective use, emboding the civil identity of the inhabitants. Those building have always maintained a crucial role in the public life and cultural landscape of Italian cities as places of self-representation for civic authorities and their policies for 'good government' up to the present day. This deep and vital link with the history of city's communities has not, however, been without consequences: far from setting up a lasting 'typology', over time public palaces have been asked to perform a variety of material and symbolic functions, generating continuous, sometimes drastic processes of transformation, not only in terms of use and decoration, but also in structural and architectural terms. So much so that even those buildings and models that appear to be the result of genuinely 'original' persistences are often only the fruit of 19th-20th century reconstructions and stylistic restorations.
In this long-term framework, this session aims to focus on turning points, breaks, restructuring/reconversion steps after dramatic events: post-war rebuildings, ''revolutionary'' eras, the interplay between different models of public architecture and their idioms, or ''discourses'' (nationalistic VS municipalistic, classicist VS autochthonous, historicist VS modernist). Special attention will be paid to cross-cutting approaches, highlighting the complexity of historical processes in urban contexts and the permeability of architecture to political, social and cultural factors.

Macrosession 5. Whose narrative voices? Reconsidering data, narratives and perspectives.
5.1 Whose heritage? Exhibition sites, monuments, festivals and museums in urban space

Coordinators: Shelley Hornstein (York University, Toronto, Canada)


The aim of this session is to explore how monuments, museums, and exhibition spaces of all types make up our shared heritage in the urban landscape and contribute to engaging, preserving, and dialoguing with history and culture, while shaping the identities and memories of a place. How can these features of the built environment disrupt, enhance, or even transmogrify city space by being tourist attractions and catalysts with the power to undo and complicate collective memory and rethink inclusivity? Ultimately, whose memory is to be shaped and with whose voice? These sites narrativize urban space by aestheticizing and branding strategies, particularly through pervasive mediatizations. How do these creative sites challenge timeworn chronicles of place that might suggest a shared, homogeneous past? Who is the “we” of that past and do notable sites address the social dynamics and changing patterns of the varied voices of urban space? Perhaps Dean MacCannell’s suggestion that “sightseeing is a kind of collective striving for a transcendence of the modern totality, a way of attempting to overcome the discontinuity of modernity or incorporating its fragments into unified experience,” is to be reexamined. This session proposes to investigate how we might re-consider or re-frame the term “heritage” (or that which is inherited) within the context of placemaking and memory stories generated through memorial sites, public monuments, museums, and urban exhibition spaces. How have these sites contributed to or participated in interrogating touristic itineraries and local identities? In what ways do they position the visitor’s perceptions of those spaces seen against urban stories of demolition, preservation, or heritagization? What might constitute the memory or (competing) memories and identities of these cultural beacons and places for their local or tourist economies? How have tumbled monuments, for example, participated in reclaiming or unearthing silenced voices or possibly complicating further considerations of what we should inherit? We welcome contributions that consider any case studies of monuments of historical figures, art in public space, art and architectural festivals or museums of any period across the global landscape that seek to challenge existing narratives or recover muted stories about identities and place.

5.2 Digital humanities for urban history: network analysis, database and GIS

Coordinators: Rubén Castro Redondo (Universidad de Cantabria), Alfredo Martín García (Universidad de León)


The aim of this proposal is to debate the resources that new technologies can provide to the study of Urban History and, in particular, to the spatial analysis of urban communities (cultures, stratification, socio-professional analysis, religiosity, economic condition, poverty, marginalisation ), of its territorial administration (local administration, intramural, capital of intermediate administration -lordly / provincial / royal / vice royal-, regardless of the matter of administration (territory, treasury, war, etc.), of its spheres of action and influence (with the immediate environment, with its region, with other cities), and its behavior (demographic, cultural, social, economic, etc.). In this sense, the methodological contents based on the new spatial georeferencing tools (GIS-SIG) are of interest, understanding the space as a center of historical analysis to know the spatial distribution of the urban variables of our interest. Also interesting are the possibilities offered today by the most innovative computer applications (databases), the platforms linked to the Internet (documentary repositories, open science institutional scientific repositories...) and, in short, all the other resources that are very varied. and offered by what has been generically called the Digital Humanities. The interest of this proposal is not limited to the possibilities of these tools in the research and analysis of historical data, but also in the resources that the digital world makes available to the researcher when presenting their results to the scientific community. and, of course, at the time of publication. In the latter case, as logical, contributions based on the principles defined in the open science label (online, digital, free, open access publications) are especially welcome. Due to the methodological and instrumental orientation of the session, no geographical or temporal limits will be imposed on which to exemplify digital experiences in historical research, as long as they have the urban world as the center of their analysis. The binomial of Digital Humanities and Urban History allows a broad reflection in spatial and chronological terms, from the Ancient World to the 20th century.

5.3 West-European vs. East-European urban studies: stopping a one-way historiographical street

Coordinators: Massimo Visone (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II), Anda-Lucia Spânu (The Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities from Sibiu)


The ongoing internationalization of academia is growing thanks to the migration of scholars, but this phenomenon has multiple origins and may have many implications. In some Countries, funding research opened the doors to scholars native to the colonies or from Africa because of the need to remove the guilts of the past and reconstruct a common, shared history in a common land. In EU, internal scholarly immigration is useful to build a new political identity, but it must coexist with a number of ongoing crises, such as economic instability and very fluid waves of migration. This situation expands the principle of inclusiveness beyond historical connections and induces drastic reinterpretations of the past. Historically Europeans are all part of one continent, but culturally they still know little about each other because of the rift opened during the age of extremes. Easterner historians study the texts of Western ones, but the same thing does not happen at the same level in the opposite direction. In the West, knowledge of studies done in Eastern Europe seems to end up at most in Budapest. From a historiographical point of view, the division process started after World War I, but communications ceased altogether with the end of WWII. Two generations passed since the end of the Cold War and historiographical connections still remain interrupted, despite the fact we could read what ‘others’ write, but this is not just a problem of linguistic hegemony. Western European culture should feel a mood of ‘uneasiness’ after 1989, as Eric Hobsbawm pointed out. On the one hand, there is the on the one hand there are the Latin and Anglo-Saxon languages, each one with its own historiographical consolidated point of view, and on the other hand are contributions written by scholars who have undertaken a cultural revision of their recent past. This context does not allow the construction of common historical grounds. This session is aimed at being a roundtable discussion for scholars seeking a new historical research approach, making room for the emergence of new voices/narratives that would change how we think about European urban history. It is a call for those involved in research projects or working groups where the fusion of distinct cultures is the basis for questioning established points of view, how they experiment with shared research methodologies and exchanges of historical sources to create conscious, acceptable, and useful narratives to both sides for overcoming differences of opinion.

5.4 Urban adaption strategy against the odds

Coordinators: Fanjasoa Louisette Rasoloniaina (Université de Paris)


Since the 2000s, researchers such as Neil Brenner have been working on planetary urbanization theory, while China is already implementing it with its new silk roads. While some see this as the deployment of a new empire, it is a misreading of a systemic strategy.
The adaptation of territorial policies is played out on a very large scale, such as that of the megaregions, where the urban units that count are the megacities. In the North American megaregions, we can observe a systematic zoning from the urban environment to the natural reserves. This transect takes us back to Geddes’s valley section which implies that human settlements and activities follow the biome; those urban figures are states of evolution. From this vista, the territory is a living organism that evolves and can also die. Megacities may be seen as a phenomenon of hypertelic metropolization. In nature this hypertelia is a phenomenon that defies the logic of natural selection; the monstrous is indeed part of ""nature"".
Chinese land-use planning seems to be a more drastic pattern of urban-industrial versus rural-agricultural opposition, on a very large scale, and demands a more closely. The Pearl River Delta is a trompe l'oeil: China is building what looks like an oxymoron. A hyper Rural-Urban: a hologrammatic pattern (fractal) from the rural to the transcalar urban. We are facing a systemic reinvention! This has been possible, because of the administrative structure of the economy: from the central state power is transferred to the regions that tender to circular economy projects, so it is the local authorities and private entities that carry out the innovation. China is in the process of shifting to a green economy. One of the iconic achievements of this success story is Chong Ming Island in the middle of the Yangtze River Delta, opposite Shanghai, where migratory birds from all over the world gather, including some endangered species.
This panel looks at all oxymoronic urbanscapes that (1) defy previous conceptualizations of the urban-rural divide; cities and territories that have managed to adapt against all odds through radical transformation; the emergence of macro-regions in different parts of the world where different economic, social, architectural, political, and state ecosystems converge or collide; (2) impose a new urban theory and ontology based on systemic adaptation; and (3) imply new conceptual framework and methodology.

5.5 Dismantling the canon through multidisciplinary encounters: the cases of diplomatic legations in the city

Coordinators: Angela Gigliotti (Arkitektskolen Aarhus, Denmark and ETH Zürich), Fabio Gigone (Royal Danish Academy and Copenhagen University)


It is not rare to read on the news the term ""diplomatic crisis"" associated with a sudden event, whose one of the most vigorous measures is usually the announcement of ""diplomats withdraw"" from a territory. Seen from another perspective, though under covid-19 breakouts, the number of hours, meetings, and negotiations operated online increased in all fields severely, it makes still sense on a geopolitical level to threaten each other using the enforcing of a physical distance as a measure. What is at stake then, are the dynamics generated by the presence of foreign diplomatic legations in hosting countries across urban history. Especially since, more often than not, the design of such diplomatic compounds has been seldom considered by urban historians, and if so, only concerning a ""noteworthy"" authorship. Such criteria generated a heroic propaganda representation of a dominant, singular, male ""authorship"" addressed mainly by monographic studies in urban history. Specifically, a selective mono-focal narrative has been operated so far, secluding ""the others"" by class, race, gender, and sexuality. This session aims to confront narratives about diplomatic spatial settings that involve those voices whom current historiographies have so far neglected (e.g., local designers, collaborators, minutes-takers, civil servants, bureaucrats, site workers, constructors, developers, stakeholders, artists, ambassadors). Moreover, we are interested in discussing those research methods based on the multidisciplinary encounters between urban studies and other disciplines (e.g., history of art and architecture, political theory, history of ideas…). Of great value will be the employment of unconventional archival data settings, digitally processed, and interpolated, when key in disrupting dominant narratives. We seek contributions ranging from the Early Modern to the Cold War, and from a broad range of geographical contexts that investigate bilateral diplomatic encounters as a pretext to foster a cross-disciplinary conversation on methodology and narrative constructions about spatial design. Of particular interest, it will be the entanglement of new inquiry methods able to unveil and enlighten the current blind spots within a broader revision process, offering alternatives to dominant stereotypical historiographies.

5.6 Cities After Planning: Modern legacy and decolonization practices in the Global South

Coordinators: Ines Tolic (Università di Bologna), Filippo De Dominicis (Università de L’Aquila)


AISU Panel

The Bandung Conference of 1955 represented a key event for many newly independent states which for the first time stepped onto the global stage in search of international acknowledgement. Often financially precarious and mostly technically unprepared, many of these countries were considered as “underdeveloped”, a derogatory label used to define the condition of the Global South in relation to the Western standards of industrial modernity.
In the following decades, “the Western technical culture” —as Ernesto Nathan Rogers called it— came to be considered “a fatality impossible to escape from… In order to evolve, countries were forced to take possession of it at least to some extent”. Technical assistance, housing programs, economic development, and the promise of modernization were promptly offered by the West (as well as by the East, as recent scholarship has revealed) thus producing new urban environments - but also new forms of hegemony. In fact, speaking about urban planning in relation to colonial territories, Anthony D. King noted that it was “impossibile to dissociate a more limited notion of ‘planning’ from, at one level, a range of related topics such as architectural style, health, house form, legislation, building science, and technology and these, at another level, from the total cultural economic, political, and social system of which they are a part. The introduction of ‘modern’ ‘planned’ environments based on ‘Western’ (and capitalist) notions of civilization […] has obviously modified far more than just the physical environment”.
Focusing modern planned cities of the Global South, taking into consideration the postwar period and using methodologies proper to urban history and design this session looks for papers that investigate processes of adaptation that started after the first stones were laid. It aims to trace the hidden voices and untold dynamics capable of revealing the often harsh negotiation between global ambitions and local needs. It invites scholars to investigate how modernization was adapted, manipulated, implemented and even contested by local communities in the long historical period in order to understand the life of cities “after planning”. Ultimately, it aims at looking closer at the “post-colonial” status of countries that gained independence in the 20th Century, with the goal to foster a process of decolonization within urban design and its historiography.

5.7 "Tra donne sole”. The patient progression of women in the stories of things, houses and cities

Coordinators: Francesca Castanò (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli), Chiara Ingrosso (Università degli Studi della Campania), Anna Gallo


The necessary rewriting of canonical historiography today passes through the discovery of new perspectives, of which, along with postcolonial, racial and environmental perspectives, the one of gender has to take on a new, fundamental centrality. Rediscovering archives, tracing architectural works and projects by women, in many cases contributes to reconfiguring traditional interpretative keys. In this session, whose title is inspired by a famous work by the Italian writer Cesare Pavese, we want to intercept the stories of women who are exemplary of an invisible and tenacious cultural revolution, whose achievements remain significant and lasting. Alongside the stories of conflicts experienced by entire generations, in many cases women become the involuntary protagonists of contemporary achievements. Remembered only as daughters, muses, mothers, mistresses, wives, they have been equal to and more than their own men, planners, custodians and organizers of memories, tireless workers and courageous interpreters of troubled centuries, conscious feminists. The aim of the session is to highlight the link between the different levels of design, “from the city to the spoon”, clarifying how being a woman qualifies these contributions. Insofar as women are acknowledged for their ability to adapt to the expressive modes and structures of the different artistic languages at different scales, they become the main actresses of a transdisciplinary research work, in which the plurality of views and the proliferation of analytical perspectives are able to introduce new interpretative scenarios on things, houses and cities. The session is open to all contributions wishing to explore these themes, especially with reference to 20th century women designers and their works, but also to women who have simultaneously dealt with criticism and culture of architecture, design and urbanism and their theoretical diffusion. National and international case-studies will be welcome, offering new readings, investigating stories neglected by traditional narratives and canonical representations, expressing "different" and therefore unique and innovative contributions.

Macrosession 6. Interactions between humanity and the environment in the longue durée
6.1 E-culture: pandemic formats and beyond. Digital and cultural heritage on question

Coordinators: Rosa Tamborrino (Politecnico di Torino), Silvia Chiusano (Politecnico di Torino), Marie Paule Jungblut (University of Luxemburg)


AISU Panel

E-culture has been proved to play a crucial role for both urban and cultural resilience during the recent pandemic emergency. As experienced during the lockdown and pandemic limitations, the virtual world can constitute a concrete support to the cultural and social life of cities and territories. Italy was the first country to go into lockdown, to close cultural institutions and sites, to limit the use of urban open spaces. However, the health emergency also triggered different forms of heritage expressions and uses. The pandemic lens finally made visible, the adaptive properties of tangible and intangible forms of cultural and natural heritage. Novel formats for content representation have been proposed and web-based platforms have become the tools for producing, sharing, enjoying culture and heritage. All countries have been involved in this digital innovation process, from those lagging behind in the heritage digitalization (such as Italy) and those in which the digitalization process was more advanced.
The e-culture scenario is a varied ecosystem based on a mixture of heterogeneous expertise, coming from humanities, social sciences and ICT areas. To allow such heterogeneous skills coexist and operate in synergy in an integrated framework, common languages, novel tools and suitable objectives must be studied. Designing and developing this integrated framework is currently an open and challenging research issue.
The session aims to recreate this mixture of different themes and expertise, thus representing a valuable opportunity to discuss the open issues above and possibly find useful insights to address them.
Here some questions that will be addressed:

  • How did e-culture work during the pandemic in different countries?
  • How can the digital and direct cultural experience be integrated in a virtuous and sustainable way?
  • How can heritage formats take into account aspects of gender, ethnicity, multiculturalism?
  • How can e-culture be exploited for addressing social and educational issues (e.g. serious games)?

Within this scenario, we welcome contributions addressing (though not limited to) one or more of the following topics: identification and critical evaluation of possible data sources, modelling data lake for collected data, storytelling for sharing collected information with different target users, IT architectures for system development. Contributions on preliminary or fully established prototypes are more than welcome.

6.2 Open questions about colllaborative processes of heritigisation

Coordinators: Daniela Ciaffi (Politecnico di Torino), Rosa Tamborrino (Politecnico di Torino)


AISU Panel

In the painful time of confinement and physical distancing due to the Covid19 pandemic, entire communities have adapted to new lifestyles. Moreover, the high level of cultural vitality, also due to the relevance of association and the third sector, has revealed a considerable change in the world of culture and heritage that goes beyond devoted institutions and formal formats.
More generally, these events have highlighted a type of participation interested in the discussion on the methods of construction of collective memory in plural and inclusive forms, as well as in new forms of creativity in the world of Cultural and Natural Heritage and heritage care open to experts and not experts.
Another concern includes the cross-disciplinary framework of relationships between the national and the local level. The 19th Century heritigization supported the Nations building trials and their legitimization. The today heritage building innovative processes are experienced at the local level. However, the connection with the statal policies remains controversial.
Some city museums and research projects have started projects based on crowdsourcing and co-production. At the same time some avant-garde local public administrations form new alliances to take care of heritage. The municipal managers, for example, stipulate “collaboration agreements” with the Superintendencies together with informal groups of volunteers, associations and individual active citizens. The academic world finally starts to face these challenges.
What impact shown/could have in heritagization processes? How does the role of scientific knowledge change or what is expected to be in participatory processes? Which the required modifications from the traditional approaches in “making history”? How can participatory approaches, crowdsourcing and oral history be exploited for new collaborative understanding of cultural natural heritage of cities? How can a “longue durée” perspective face this type of recent collective memories? How does the vision of the “top-down” management of the heritage change in the perspective of the shared care of the common goods? The session calls for contributions on themes and case studies that allow fostering a rich reflection throughout various disciplines in a European and international perspective.

6.3 The mountain landscape between eremitic contemplation, aesthetic attraction and sporting conquest: perceptions and transformations of the cathedrals of the earth

Coordinators: Carla Bartolomucci (Università degli studi dell’Aquila)


The vision of the mountains has profoundly changed over the centuries, transforming itself from horrid and inaccessible territories to spaces of eremitic contemplation or aesthetic attraction (think of the alpine stops of the Grand Tour travelers to admire the glaciers), to places of exploration and scientific research (see the ascents of humanists and scientists well before the birth of mountaineering), until becoming the object of competitive challenges and tourist exploitation.
Border and crossing places, the mountains have been for centuries ways of communication and exchange of cultures; which became a theater of war in the last century, they were then transformed into places of industrial production (with significant changes caused by the hydroelectric industry) as well as “playground” for sporting conquest and recreational activities. Today, even more as a consequence of the pandemic, mountain areas act as a peri-urban scenario as a space for well-being and mountain therapy, but the effects of incompatible and degrading uses are increasingly evident.
The different modes of perception and use have in fact caused substantial changes in the Alpine and Apennine landscape (distortion of the inhabited areas, new settlements, construction of roads, climbing facilities, huts and bivouacs at high altitude) without the reflection on the historical-cultural meanings, therefore on the monumental value of these places - not surprisingly already defined in the nineteenth century as “Palaces of Nature” (Lord Byron) and “Cathedrals of the Earth” (John Ruskin) - being fully shared today.
The session intends to stimulate a transdisciplinary discussion with a view to safeguarding the mountains as a heritage at significant anthropic risk, highlighting the historical events and the multiple cultural meanings that these places represent. The need to protecting the mountain territory is becoming more and more urgent by integrating the different approaches (geographic, environmental, landscape, historical, urban, socio-economic, ecological) in a common vision that goes beyond individual specialisms and considers the mountain heritage as a monumental whole, where the impact of tourism can produce irreversible transformations. It is also appropriate to consider the discordant (sometimes not very compatible) results of the recognition of some UNESCO World Heritage sites, comparing different experiences and approaches to landscape protection.

6.4 Project Matrix: TRANS-lation of users’ immersive Psychogeography experiences onto a gamified interactive Virtual Platform as A Service for IoT [PAAS for IOT]

Coordinators: Christine C Wacta (Ohio University), Louisette Rasoloniaina (Université de Paris), Esin Ekizoğlu (Ecole d’Architecture Paris Val de Seine)


This involves a practical grounding in (AI), its various applications to human-habitus through developing concepts-ideas that augment the users’ lived-experience in the environment. It engages on novel research paths on interactive Platform as A Service for IoT [PAAS] that intersects (AI) with urban analytics to create use cases for building human experience’ data infrastructure for smart cities. With the emergence of Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, and the Internet of things, most handheld devices are grounded to a true geospatial network, thus allowing technology use to simplify human life? How to provide superior + augmented experience? How to facilitate an increasingly demanding lifestyle in hyperconnected environment? We are concerned with how (AI) technology can improve the psychogeography experience, understand geo-morphological reactions of user-groups. This is a transdisciplinary framework focused on urban-non-urban social life; _using tracing apps for recording-quantify-visualize non-tangibles ephemeral events of human-habitus in complex ecosystems. Difficult questions emerge: what it really means to be human in a post-Covid environment? How to use sensor-robotic to enable the AI’s understanding and engagement of users to better respond to environment in varied daily tasks? How to capitalize (IoT)’s advancements and crowdsensing to DE-code the essence of user’s lived experience and immersive engagement? This socio-cultural and scientifically challenging idea explores how users track-experiences, capture-share emotions-thoughts as they emerge during encounters. Though, this yields great benefits in breaking down individual system of thinking/reactions, it however presents risks of exposing personal information on the cloud; hence, requires new methods to fuse objective (heterogeneous) data with subjective (emotional) data with the latitude to pursue novel approaches with impacts on placemaking changes on socio-environmental systems through:-Quantifying-understanding drivers of behavior changes or psychogeography effect;-Developing Human-ecosystem service models in AI to support data analytics from individual to big scale.-Enhancing existing human habitus modeling and mapping efforts for human-emotion capital in quantifiable means;-Link observed behavioral patterns of the user’s to changes of emotional reactions.

6.5 Production Landscapes in Transformation. Towards a Patrimonial Interpretation of Energy Transitions throughout Industrial and Post-industrial History

Coordinators: Oana Cristina Tiganea (Politecnico di Milano), Francesca Vigotti (Politecnico di Milano)


Industrial and rural production processes have profoundly transformed territorial assets since the 19th century. From the 20th century onwards, resources management shifted from the regional scale to national and continental ones, up to global extents. In this scenario, resources are not merely raw material, which extraction has had a direct impact over territories. The human capital and immaterial resources are comprised, intended as the association of people, knowledge, and skills that have structured communities’ economic, political, and socio-cultural aspects in time. To this progressive change of scale, the territorial transformations related to energy transitions started at the beginning of the 1900s are of interest.
Interdisciplinary studies started progressively in the 20th century intending to understand how to read and interpret these legacies of the production activities in a territory where the industrialisation and deindustrialisation co-exist, pushing forward towards a selective patrimonial recognition and, thus, safeguarding of this legacy. Furthermore, if the standardized language of industry facilitates its analysis and interpretation of material traces at a global level, the local socio-cultural and economic specific features directly affect the patrimonial perception and conservation processes.
Considering the recent guidelines expressed by the European Commission regarding energy transition, the session proposes to investigate from a multidisciplinary point of view the ways of interpreting production processes from a patrimonial perspective.
The session welcomes general theoretical contributions, as well as presentations of case studies, which respond to the following research questions: To what territorial extent do the patrimonial approach and conservation processes end?
On a theoretical level, how can the “short-term” interpretation of the most recent phenomena on the territorial scale influence the patrimonial processes?
Considering the wastes of the industrial production: what could be their interpretation, management, and acceptance as landscape components?

6.6 Cities, museums and histories. Inclusive methods and interpretative approaches for museum heritage in the contemporaneity

Coordinators: Alessandro Castagnaro (Università degli Studi di Napoli Fedrico II), Bianca Gioia Marino (Università degli Studi di Napoli Fedrico II)


With an unprecedented vision of the historical city, seen for the first time - and on a worldwide level - as something distant and impracticable because of the pandemic event, the perception of the value of the city/community as a lived and memory space, embodied in the historical heritage, represents a significant datum of our contemporaneity. Museums have responded to the need to share and recognize this value by disseminating the heritage they preserve, in continuity with the idea of the museum as an open place and as a cultural center, in accordance with recent regulatory requirements. In recent years, these structures have promoted their cultural programmes, articulating and innovating their contents and type of communication, thanks also to the tools provided by the development of new digital technologies. At the same time, the museum has become a central hub for the social and cultural life of the city, acting as an urban pivot where cultural and research activities converge, going beyond the status of a container of collections. In this sense, as a joint effect, the idea of the network function of this kind of institution has emerged in a museum relationship vision representing a cultural image of the city and its history. The session therefore encourages reflection on these issues and welcomes research and contributions that can be summarized in the following sub-themes: the historical role and current role of the museum in the contemporary (pre- and post-pandemic) city emphasizing the transformations that the presence and action of the museum has been able to or can trigger; the network function that the museum can play in an interactive and cultural co-production perspective between risks (mass tourism, real estate phenomena, etc.) and potentials (community involvement, educational function, development of research, cultural awareness,etc.) in the transformation of the urban context; new forms of communication linked to the historical and social structure, the increase of new narratives, cases of conversion and restoration of historical buildings and new architectures in their impact on the urban context; the dialogue between scientific research and museum institutions and its effects on interpretative approaches and new inclusive methods for the management of transformations and interventions on museum complexes.

6.7 Expressing the longue durée, 3D Modeling Change over Time

Coordinators: Willeke Wendrich (University of California Los Angeles, USA), Elaine Sullivan (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA)


AISU Panel

Archaeology enables the reconstruction or interpretation of the environment, landscapes, urbanization and architecture in the longue durée. Knowledge and reconstructions of complex changes over time are often published as narratives or quantitative research results. Visualizations, be they graphs, drawings or 3D Virtual Reality models, have the advantage that they can be used to represent both the narratives and the numbers. In addition, they have demonstrated to offer more than representations of knowledge, but also provoke new questions. What has been particularly effective are visualizations that represent changes over time. If presented in one image, these changes are presented as frozen slices of time, for instance as “building phases.” Even in a series of images, for instance in what Edward Tufte calls “small multiples” ( Tufte 2001, 170), or in three dimensional Virtual Reality models that represent developments over time, change is represented as particular stages. There are, therefore, several ways to visually express long-term developments, but these require careful consideration of what is considered a “phase” and why.

For this session we are welcoming presentations that focus on the following issues in representing archaeological or historic landscapes:
• environmental and architectural change
• strategies for visualizing complex change over time
• challenges in representing chronology; including pacing/rate of change and how to express inconsistent temporal change
• places as constant building sites and loci of change
• visualizing inhabited landscapes

Edward Tufte, 2001 The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd edition, Cheshire,Connecticut: Graphics Press

6.8 The historical city as a role model for innovative urban development

Coordinators: Giovanni Leoni (Università di Bologna), Andrea Borsari (Università di Bologna), Speranza Falciano (Gran Sasso Science Institute)


The session addresses a paradox concerning the Italian and European historical cities.
On the one hand, the historical city is suffering a moment of extreme difficulty due to abandonment, pathological phenomena of hyper-occupation linked to tourism suddenly subverted by the pandemic, and to social and physical degradation processes.
At the same time the historical city stands again as a model for possible sustainable development of the city form (creative city, city of 15 minutes, recovery of community sociality, etc.).
Putting these suggestions into practice requires a change of perspective.
In addition to the unavoidable policies to protect the excellences of historical heritage, it is necessary to reconsider the social, economic, and political action on the historical city, taking into account its widespread quality. The infra-ordinary heritage is no less relevant than excellence if the objective is the overall care of the city as a common good.
These ordinary qualities need a specific effort being the constantly changing result of citizen's daily life. What is also needed is a constant effort to make urban qualities available to both permanent and “temporary citizens”.
In the background and as a basis for these actions, the construction of a conceptual and operational framework shared by humanistic, scientific, and technological research fields is required.

The session gathers interventions that intend to focus, also and not only, on the following themes:
- the cultural construction of the historic city and the urban imaginary as forms that shape the perception and use of urban spaces; the detection of how bodies relate to the city
- the overcoming of the conflict between memory and innovation in the historical city by valuing memory as a challenge for innovation and creative cultures
- the assumption of the historical city as a place of social innovation
- the consideration of the historical city in its founding relationship with the construction of the public sphere and cultural policies
- the valorisation of the historical city as a specific model of a circular city with particular attention to a balance between European policies and practices on the one hand and local specificities on the other hand
- Cultural Heritage technologies and the balance between research and applied research on excellence and its scalability to infra-ordinary heritage issues and site-specific applications.

6.9 Mixed reality, Augmented reality and the representation of traumatic histories

Coordinators: Jonathan Amakawa (Fitchburg State University)


Within Macrosession 6, Human-environment interactions in the longue durée, this session explores Augmented Reality (AR) or other Mixed Reality platforms and their use in presenting traumatic historical events. This session will further explore interpretive strategies that utilize AR in the context of an event’s physical landscape and geography. AR technology for mobile devices is an emerging and promising platform for presenting cultural heritage, particularly when combined with 3D modeling. AR-based mobile apps can utilize 3D models and animation to recreate and present historical landmarks with little in the way of extant infrastructure and visible artifacts. These recreations can be presented to scale and in their correct locations when viewed through a mobile device screen. AR can be used also to express the intangible aspects of history and especially that of marginalized groups from whom little material culture or architectural remains have been preserved. An AR fueled tour enables visitors to not only see reconstructions, but also understand damage, destruction, devastation and suffering that often underlie the lack of material evidence. This session invites creators of AR applications that have worked on presenting the history of marginalized groups and/or focus on how to represent the intangible aspects of traumatic histories.

6.10 Architecture in its setting: drawings as tools of supporting memory

Coordinators: Martina Frank (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Myriam Pilutti Namer (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)


Architectural drawing has had, and still has, several functions and assumes importance in different fields of interest. For instance, it represents an immediately useful creative expression as a tool to support not just human beings at large, but also the intellectual activity and imaginative skills of architects; for archaeologists, it is helpful for understanding and documenting sites and findings, where travellers use it for their notes, photographers for their reportages and artists for their studies. The session intends to focus in a cross-disciplinary perspective on the role of architectural drawings as tools to support memory, and aims to concentrate on cases where the built environment interacts with its surroundings, whether natural or urban, real or imaginary. This kind of drawing is hard to classify in a given category and, far from being included in the genres of architectural veduta and survey, it is set in a dimension that confers on time and memory - personal, social and historical - crucial roles, where the time of architecture does not necessarily match that of landscape. The session aims to investigate the nature of these drawings and explore the relationship between architecture and its setting over a wide chronological span extending from the early modern to the contemporary era and including digital drawing. We intend to discuss the theoretical assumptions, the meanings and the functions of these sketches, focusing on the role of architectural drawings in defining the relationship between humans and the environment and in conveying the memory of natural or urban landscapes, real or imaginary, or creative interpretations and re-elaborations of these.

6.11 From indifference to selective destruction: equivocal approaches to historic urban spaces during the interwar period

Coordinators: Mesut Dinler (Politecnico di Torino), Pinar Aykac Leidholm (Middle East Technical University), Elif Selena Ayhan Koçyiğit (Başkent University)


The interwar period generated a context where a conscious approach towards historic urban space is clearly manifested. This interest, to a certain extent, was a response to the traumatic destruction of the WWI, yet urban spaces, particularly public spaces were also the showcases of rising nationalism and nation-making efforts in the aftermath of the fall of empires. The same period also reveals a major shift in the conceptualisation of historic cities as heritage sites. Thus, the interwar period demonstrates an ambivalent approach towards historic cities where one can trace both the nationalist agenda to transform the urban space and the preservationist attitude emerged from the aftermath of the WWI. The current scholarship particularly evaluates the destruction and/or preservation of historic cities as if they are diametrically opposed, representing opposite ends with opposite goals, operating within the same set of socio-political, economic, and cultural dynamics. The preservationist interventions during the interwar period, however, can be considered as selective destructions during peacetime considering their effects on collective identity of varying groups in the process of nation-building.
In this session, we invite contributions that critically investigate the complexities of urban conservation during the interwar period by considering the counter-narratives of selective destruction and preservation during peacetime. Acknowledging the reciprocity of preservation and selective destruction, the session explores how societal conflicts emerged, were controlled, and challenged by the interventions to historic cities that did not necessarily arise from wars or destructions but from a relatively more peaceful context. We invite papers that address, but are not limited to, the equivocal approaches to historic public spaces with nationalist agendas ranging from indifference to selective destruction. Papers may address such questions as: How can preservation and selective (or sometimes ‘creative’) destruction be understood as dialectical processes in the remaking of historic urban spaces? What are the underlying socio-political, cultural, or ideological motives behind the remaking of historic urban spaces? How are preservation and selective destruction processes appropriated, negotiated, or contested by different groups?

6.12 Ancient urban foundations in Europe. Genesis of the “forma urbis” and of the historical image of urban landscape

Coordinators: Alfredo Buccaro (Università di Napoli Federico II), Francesca Capano (Università di Napoli Federico II)


AISU Panel

The session will bring to the attention of scholars the topic of the ancient urban foundations in Europe and their evolution history as a 'stone' document, a palimpsest of traces and memories to be analyzed through direct or indirect sources for the reconstruction of the “forma urbis”, also through new digital graphic tecniques.
In recent times, urban archeology has been establishing itself as a research field with great potential, but at the same time highlighting the need for an interdisciplinary approach. In fact, the correct reading of the urban plan, of its underlying logics and long-lasting evolutionary process can only be approached correctly at the city scale: all 'fragments' of urban history – material or immaterial, documentary, iconographic or descriptive – will contribute to this reading, regardless of their detail value, as well as of the tecniques used in their story.
The session aims to stimulate papers analyzing the ancient city and its transformations by examining all the elements that contributed to the genesis of its shape and of the historical image of urban landscape. This latter one will also be studied in relation to the extramoenia environment, that is a significant scenery of human activities closely linked to the life of the city and its cultural and physical construction, in the continuous norm-derogation and limit-threshold dialectic, characterizing the European urban history from the very beginning.

6.13 Archeology, architecture, and preservation of the historic city

Coordinators: Alessandro Ippoliti (Università degli Studi di Ferrara), Benedetta Caglioti (Università degli Studi di Ferrara)


The functional need to commute through the city in the contemporary daily reality, raises methodological questions especially when the context on which we intervene is a palimpsest of layers and stratifications, the testimony of multiple civilizations which, if properly interpreted, can develop historical, social, economic, and educational meanings.
The section aims to compare different experiences that share the aim of transmitting to the future the material testimonies of history and beauty that have originated from the past and that have necessarily adjusted to the contemporary design without favoring solutions of rehabilitation, renovation, redevelopment but enhancing the pre-existing buildings through proper conservation, livability, and use.

6.14 Heritage, landscape and community: research and experiences between knowledge, enhancement and development

Coordinators: Elena Manzo (Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”), Marina D’Aprile (Università della Campania L. Vanvitelli), Antonella Violano (Università della Campania L. Vanvitelli)


With a view to integrating resources and environmental values with the historical and artistic heritage - or more generally with the cultural heritage of the places - the session intends to focus the comparison on knowledge techniques and intervention strategies aimed at encouraging new directions of development, sustainably and reconstruct cultural and artistic connections between disintegrated or degraded places, however with strong potential for re-valuation for local and national economies, especially tourism. The perspective of multidisciplinary investigation and comparison will privilege thematic areas focused on the enhancement of territories, urban and peri-urban, in alignment with the advance awareness of an eco-sustainable vision in the restructuring strategies of the natural and man-made environment, in line with the now consolidated interpretation at the global level of sustainability as a complex and integrated system of environmental, economic, social and cultural factors, identically decisive for the promotion of phenomena and processes that have a positive impact on vital developments. In this sense, as suggested by the Faro Convention, the interactions between heritages (natural and cultural, tangible and intangible) and communities substantiate the privileged vectors of a strictly ensure enhancement for the protection of cultural repertoires and the landscape in their broadest perspective. In this scenario, the greenways, in perfect harmony with the objectives of the New European Bauhaus, configure, for example, a proven means of encouraging the use, knowledge - and, therefore, the sense of belonging - to identity resources, both tangible and intangible, of a territory, favoring forms of socio-economic development, not limited to the tourist function. By designing from scratch, or by adapting disused transport infrastructures and ancient road routes, the ecological-cultural itineraries constitute a recognized strategy (SNAI) also for the revitalization of internal villages and areas in the process of depopulation, neglect and forgotten landscapes, therefore re-establishing interrupted interactions and links with the reference communities and promoting further ones.

6.15 Museums: community, climate change, living heritage & cultural landscapes

Coordinators: Michael Mallinson (Mallinson Architects and Engineers Ltd.), Helen Mallinson (Mallinson Architects and Engineers Ltd.)


The session invites papers or presentations on topics related to transforming the role / brief / practice of museums from, for example, objects and tourism as drivers, to livelihoods and living culture as makers of the cultural landscapes under threat from climate change. In this scenario communities are at the forefront as the major stakeholders, and heritage plays a vital role, giving voice to the environment and linking cultural frameworks to sustainable innovation. The idea for the session comes from an ongoing project in Sudan* where there is a marked separation between the traditional role of the museum and the actors involved in building community resilience through improving environmental practices, for example in the management of agriculture, livestock, or forestry. Session topics include: 1. Role of the museum Over the past fifty years thousands of museums have been built worldwide. If communities and their heritage are at the forefront of the effects of climate change, and need to take positive action, can changing the museum role/brief/practice help their cause? 2. Seeing the cultural landscape The effects of climate change will multiply many existing threats to the environment. In the Sahel, for example, problems of environmental degradation caused by historical conflicts or poor practice will get considerably worse, causing more conflict. They will be exacerbated by new climate threats. The lens of climate change adds the environment and the livelihoods of its inhabitation. This 'cultural landscape' might be thought of as a co-created living landscape evolved over decades, centuries or even millennia. Should museological interpretation focus more on this landscape, its history and its livelihoods? Who needs to be part of the story and what kind of activities can it support that help build community resilience? 3. Innovation Museums have a history of cultural innovation as do environmental practices. Successes and failures contribute to the evolution of knowledge. Can museums contribute to the discourse of innovative practices through linking them to their past, present or future cultural landscape? We welcome a wide range of papers or presentations on the above topics and questions, whether theoretical or project based. * The 'Western Sudan Community Museums' project started in 2018 and involves three museums. It is funded by the British Council Cultural Protection Fund and the Aliph Foundation, with partners led by ICCROM-Sharjah and the BIEA.

6.16 Green areas, vegetable gardens and gardens for a "regenerative city"

Coordinators: Maria Adriana Giusti (Politecnico di Torino)


AISU Panel

A mature acquisition of issues related to the environment, ecology, sustainability, climate change, circular economy requires identifying tools to understand and manage the changes that affect structures, economic, anthropological, symbolic and identity values. Faced with structural degradation, the fluidity of behaviors, and ever new emergencies, the investigation must extend to various fields, building knowledge through the tools of a historie croisé to explain the interactions of culture, ecology, resources. This highlighting the opportunities of urban territories and those sites, terrain vague or resulting places, abandoned or degraded, willing to welcome informal methods and shared uses, in the increasingly strong and participatory direction of a social demand for naturalness, for values linked to care, cultivation (urban gardens, river gardens, industrial green), recycling and sustainability. The focus is therefore on the ways of considering the relationship between urban heritage and nature as a powerful regenerative catalyst, starting from investigations on historical utopias, from garden cities, to specific interventions of environmental micro-surgery in the parks of large European and non-European cities, up to recreate exosystemic connections between areas used as parks and gardens and the surrounding fabric, more generally the integration of greenery in redevelopment processes. This also involves to consider the theoretical and methodological approaches, the experiences on a national and international scale, starting from the results of the Italian territorialism school that deals with the territory as a complex living system. The central theme of discussion is the sustainability of development focused on the enhancement of heritage, as a fundamental element for the sustainable production of wealth, using water, land, vegetation, energy in a coordinated way and in harmony with the context, in function of the resilience of the system. The contributions may address topics such as: Garden in the city / Garden - City; principles and experiences for a new garden city: idea and development of a landscape utopia, international examples; the integration of greenery in urban regeneration, comparing experiences; role of planning to transform a "sustainable city" into an "urban ecosystem".

6.17 The heritigization process of the local heritage between the history and the changes

Coordinators: Pelin Bolca (Politecnico di Torino), Francesca Giusti (Università degli Studi di Firenze)


Historic areas at different scales (villages, cities, landscapes) represent complex systems that have adapted through time to various changes which may differ in European and non-European contexts by shaping diversity of cultural heritage. They generally might be linked to historic cities, however, they also allow specific crosscuttings among usual categories of “urban”, “periurban” or “rural” which may sound unsuitable and inadequate to include new developments and heritigisation processes. Under each scale, historic areas include various tangible and intangible heritage values, linking to cultural and natural sites, and/or effecting the collective memories. Therefore, they require a holistic approach, and a longue dureée perspective is needed to reach a better understanding of their dynamics, changes and various characterisations under local and global lenses. Such a new kind of anatomy may allow to understand the relation between historical developments and heritage.

The aim of the session is to open a discussion focusing on case studies in/beyond Europe to provide a holistic perspective in heritage discourses. This session welcomes papers that focus on the documents and case studies of historic areas’ heritigisation process in their longue durée, extending the investigation to the experiences of protection and restoration, evaluating their cultural and social impact. Particular interest will focus on the legacy of colonial culture, or/and effects of nation-building process aftermath of war period on the actions of classification, protection, restoration and how these processes can relate to the current debate on the ""decolonialitation"" of urban space.

In this context, the session invites papers examining the following types of questions: How would any change (physical/political/social/economic/technological/etc.) modify the heritigisation process? How has the altered use of a historical area and knowledge tranmission between the actors impacted the understanding of heritage and/or memory? How to rethink the local memory, intertwining different points of view (artists, architects, sociologists, psychologists, etc.) and offer new perspectives that go beyond symbolic actions such as the removal of emblems from public space? The case studies presented with digital rapresentations of historic areas in their urban contexts and/or historical frameworks narrated with digital technologies and guidelines intertwined with various themes are highly invited.

Macrosession 7. Interaction between adaptiveness and uncertainity
7.1 Moving from cities to small towns. Historical dynamics and current prospects

Coordinators: Mauro Volpiano (Politecnico di Torino), Teresa Colletta (Università di Napoli Federico II)


AISU Panel

The session proposes the theme of spontaneous decentralisation from the largest cities to the small neighbouring centres, throughout the Mediterranean area, in recent and historical times, a phenomenon extremely evident during the pandemic period, being largely linked to the search for a ""better quality of life"" and in relation to the quality of the tangible and intangible heritage. Hence the need for renewal and enhancement of small towns together with the preservation of the rural environment and landscape, the active involvement of resident communities, the improvement of digital usability and the relaunch of sustainable tourism.
The proposed contributions may concern:
1. Urban redevelopment of the small historic settlements; specific laws and regulations in the Italian and Mediterranean area; governmental calls; the interests of the mayors of the small cities.

  1. Historical settlements and marginal territories: strategies and prospects for repopulation of small towns. The cases of ""virtuous"" small municipalities in the valorisation of centres in the Mediterranean area (Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, etc.).
  2. The tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the small centres: instruments of historical knowledge and sources for urban regeneration.
  3. The active involvement of resident communities: local identities, memories and traditions; revival of ancient festive traditions, as tools for revitalisation with a view to sustainable tourism.
  4. New opportunities for associations and organisations bottom-up. Participatory processes of the communities and their role in the valorisation of the tangible and intangible heritage preserving the spirit of the place.
  5. The dialectic between minor settlements, rural environment and historical landscape: knowledge and safeguard in relation to the dynamics of repopulation, protection of rural environments and enhancement of landscapes. The new forms of rural towns.
  6. The issues with new technologies and the opportunities offered by digitalisation in small towns undergoing repopulation. The role of the ""experts"" and the participation of the protagonists of their own heritage in order to preserve identity and authenticity.
    Communications must be developed with reference to the historical methodologies of heritage investigation, highlighting research perspectives in the use of documentary sources, methodological and critical approaches to the historiography of sites or investigations into the materiality of settlements.
7.2 Re-inhabiting / Un-inhabiting. Strategies and designs for suspended places and spaces

Coordinators: Marina Tornatora (Università degli Studi di Reggio Calabria Mediterranea), Claudia Pirina (Università degli Studi di Udine)


In the history of cities and regions, slow and sudden demographic variations have always resulted in places and spaces to be rethought, due to the changed conditions of use. If in some cases the reconversion has ensured their survival by reason of their ability of adapting to new demands, in others, the non-immediate rearrangement of artifacts and / or spaces led to a series of ‘places’ waiting to find a new dimension, a different scale or to be inserted within larger networks able of transforming fragile territories into potential spaces. In this sense, the pandemic has helped to reflect on the possibility of reversing negative trends and proposing new possible arrangements for economic developments that affect also the reshape of the relations between demography and territory, proposing new life for hybrid / intermediate ‘margin’ spaces. These “suspended” spaces can be understood according to different meanings: spaces in abandonment, spaces to be re-used or re-converted, as well as unfinished spaces with a potential of what could become but are still not. Taking in consideration also the 2030 Agenda objectives, these marginal spaces (in a physical sense or not) represent an opportunity for the reconstruction of a relationship between urban and rural, or between suburbs and city center, as well as for a relation between the need of new urban areas and land use.
The dimension of the prefiguration and the figuration proposed by the session does not focus its interest only towards policies or projects that propose re-inhabitation of these spaces, but even a possible dismantling and re-naturalization in relation to changed context conditions. The goal is to develop a reflection on the process of abandonment of territories and infrastructures no longer only as an expression of failure, but to accompany it through transition tools towards an interaction between human settlements and the natural environment, with an attention towards the community dynamics. A change of mentality and approach that should deal with a different idea of beauty, far from the aestheticization imposed by the domain of communication and image, in order to contribute to a landscape pluralism.

7.3 Rural-urban relationships : forms and dynamics

Coordinators: Claudia Cassatella (Politecnico di Torino), Francesca Governa (Politecnico di Torino)


AISU Panel

Rural-urban relationships (functional, ecological, socio-economic or settlement-related) are a key to understanding the evolution of territories that appear radically challenged by current dynamics. The clear-cut distinction between urban and rural is more a legacy of the past than an identifiable and legible reality in the transformations taking place in contemporary spaces. Hybrid forms in which urban phenomena and processes intertwine with rural forms and processes characterise the 'city' of our time. The categories of peri-urban and sub-urban are just some of the concepts that the international literature has used to account for these areas that are not yet urban and no longer rural. Some interpretative models have analysed the directrix from the urban to the rural, others have focused on the inverse movement and still others have highlighted the interdependence through interpretative models that focus on rural-urban linkages, also understood as a possible key to development (rural-urban partnership, OECD, EU).
How then should these spaces be interpreted? What is the evolutionary dynamic which has given rise to these conformations which do not fall into any of the available categories? When and how did the diffusion of the city into the countryside originate, which now takes other forms than the urban sprawl of the twentieth century, becoming part of the long and global-scale networks of production and exchange?
The session aims to deepen the analysis of the phenomena and the interpretative keys with which to account for urban-rural relations in their historical and contemporary phenomenology, with particular attention to the trajectories of change, in the face of internal and external, local and global challenges. Case studies or investigations on concepts and their use in policy perspectives are also welcome.

Macrosession 8. The impact of the crisis
8.1 Narratives on the post-crisis urban scenario

Coordinators: Sara Monaci (Politecnico di Torino), Tatiana Mazali (Politecnico di Torino)


AISU Panel

The recent pandemic reinforced pre-existing forms of exclusion - for example, digital inequalities emerged as serious obstacles to access to education, work, and the possibility of relationships and socialization; moreover it became evident how a number of social transformations such as smart working, distance learning, gig-workers, can evolve from desirable opportunities to forms of existential peripheralization (Ruzzeddu, 2020; Bolisani et al., 2020). Here the concept of digital periphery corresponds not only to a spatial context - the house, the neighborhood, the city - but also to a social and symbolic periphery where the individual is psychologically marginalised (Papa, 2021). It is also interesting to reflect on the role of the media in disseminating imaginaries and narratives now aimed at enhancing the transition to digital as a desirable horizon, now aimed at highlighting its limits and contradictions. In short, we are facing an epochal turning point that the apparatuses of mainstream communication are struggling to tell, and that at the same time social media brings out through the conflict of hate speech, misinformation and pandemics of nonsense. These processes are difficult to grasp in a systematic way, because they are in a phase of ascent and in constant change, and because they are composed of many minor phenomena, sometimes interfering and sometimes autonomous.
The aim of this session is to compare contributions that reflect on post-pandemic narratives relating to new conditions of marginalization (by way of example, women in smart working, immigrants, riders, etc.) or to conflicting representations of the ""digital transition"".
The session welcomes multidisciplinary views that range from cultural studies on communication and the media - with a focus also on the most suitable digital methods for processing and analyzing data online -, urban-spatial perspectives, and sociological analysis of inequalities.

8.2 From plague-in cities to plug-in cities. Urban transformations and redevelopments between the second half of the 14th and the first half of the 15th century

Coordinators: Damiano C. Iacobone (Politecnico di Milano)


"The plague that struck Italy and the rest of Europe in the mid-fourteenth century had spread from the cities of Messina and Genoa, to reach much of the territory. If the transmission of the infection occurred from rats to humans through fleas, nevertheless urban congestion, poor general hygiene conditions and the presence of organic waste in public places contributed to the spread of the pestilence. Although the Regimina contra pestis already provided for the isolation and removal from crowded places, it would be appropriate to evaluate how much the medieval urban structure, with the mainly curvilinear roads (which had reached its apogee in the 12th century), with blind alleys, narrow and juxtaposed blocks and the narrowness of public places contributed to the development of the plague. At the same time it would be interesting to evaluate how much the change in the urban organization in favor of straight paths, wider road axes, squares and public spaces, which began to be built at the end of the 14th century to become essential components of the urban structure from the 15th century, was also determined by health needs and to contrast with epidemics as well as by requests for urban decoration, renovation of building types and by theoretical elaborations. A series of specific cases, both referred to Italy and to the European context, placed in correlation, could lead to understanding how the epidemic was overcome through urban interventions, up to the configuration of a stable and solid network of cities between the end of the 14th century and the first half of the following century. Moreover, the most up-to-date studies on epidemics are trying to overcome the purely biological approach, trying to ""analyze the way in which the organization, the cultural norms of a society have been able to adapt to the constraints of the natural environment and cope with them» (A. Burguière).


Coordinators: Donatella Strangio (Sapienza Università di Roma), Elena Ambrosetti (Sapienza Università di Roma), Diotima Bertel (SYNYO Gmbh – Austria)


AISU Panel

Since COVID-19 emerged in December 2019, it has had a nearly unprecedented global social, behavioral and economic impact. The effects of the pandemic go far beyond physical health, impacting on “everyday life” and well-being, mental health, education, employment, and political stability. “Vulnerable groups” such as older persons, migrants, persons living with chronic illness, persons with lower socio-economic status, etc. have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences.
To understand the impact of different measures on these groups, there is a need for more comprehensive and coordinated comparative research addressing sub- and supra-national as well as national responses and their impact and intended and unintended consequences (also historically). Measures implemented internationally, nationally or locally do not impact the entire population equally, with evidence highlighting the disproportionate impacts that the pandemic has had on different segments of society, affecting vulnerable and marginalized groups to a greater extent.
It will be important to compare findings on the responses initiated by national Governments, understanding the unequal impact and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable groups, the effective communication in response to COVID-19 heightened by the vast amount of false information and conspiracy theories online in European countries. Giving the above, the goal of this session is to provide preliminary evidence resulting from the desk and empirical research of the COVINFORM H2020 project. In particular, it aims to assess the impacts of national and local COVID-19 responses on human behaviour, social dynamics, and physical and mental health outcomes within both general populations and specific vulnerable groups.

8.4 The urban dimension of care facing the crisis: city and mental health in the historical perspective

Coordinators: Giulia Mezzalama (Politecnico di Torino), Federica Vittori (Associazione Culturale cheFare)


The relationship between the city and the mental health institutions is long term significant especially in Italy thank to the approval of the Mental Health Act in 1978 which signified a large reform of the psychiatric system and the subsequent closure of psychiatric hospitals or, more precisely, their opening to the city. At the end of 1970’s, in fact, the process of dismantling the psychiatric hospitals started, in favour of a progressive - wished but never accomplished - new healing role of the city. The closure of the traditional psychiatric architectures, historically renowned as spaces of the reproduction and strengthening of the mental illness, literally opened the way for new healing strategies based on the social acceptance of psychiatric patients within the city and, therefore, for the healing and healthy role of the urban spaces towards the mental wellbeing. The historical legacy of that reform needs to be critically re-examined in light of the pandemic crisis and to the recent urban considerations. The pandemic period has in fact urgently required the reconsideration of the correlation between city and mental health and particularly the healing value of urban public spaces. Moreover the pandemic has increased the need of care of people with mental illness having social and financial difficulties, because of the persistency of stigma and prejudices on mental health. The session aims to look into the historical and contemporary experiences related to the connection between city and mental health with a multidisciplinary and comparative approach.

8.5 The representation of urban space in times of crisis

Coordinators: Anat Falbel (EAHN Urban Representations Interest Group), Conor Lucey (University College Dublin), Ines Tolic (Università di Bologna)


AISU Panel

To answer the discussion proposed by the AISU for its next Congress Adaptive Cities Through the Post Pandemic Lens. Rethinking Times and Challenges of the Flexible City in Urban History/Times and Challenges in Urban History, the EAHN Urban Representations Interest Group is proposing a discussion on the representation of urban space in times of crisis.
Considering the recent consciousness of the environmental vulnerability in the Anthropocene and the consequences of man-made destruction throughout history – from climate change and so-called “natural disasters” to the spread of disease in the urban environment – we suggest as the session’s main theme the iconographical representations of natural and man-made catastrophes and the responses (either public or private) to their impact on urban space.
This session is especially interested in papers that reflect on the representation of urban space during the late modern period, including our contemporaneity, considering different still and moving image media, from drawing to design, film and photography. We invite contributions that might shed interpretative light on the cultural contexts and the conditions in which representations were forged (reasons, codes, conventions, producers), considering representation both as an object of analysis and as a historiographical operation. Specific case studies should be considered as an opportunity to address broader historical and interpretative topics, fostering critical discussion on urban representation and its methodologies from a historical perspective but with an eye towards future challenges. Some of the questions our session will attempt to answer include, but are not limited to, the following: What have been the dominant modes of representing urban catastrophe in the Anthropocene? How were those representations produced and circulated within and among countries and continents provoking new urban strategies, as well as new visual representations? How did iconographical representations of urban space in times of crisis incorporate or appropriate the theoretical developments of other disciplines? How has the last couple of years shaped our views on the relationship between the city and disease, and ultimately how has this relationship been represented? How do representations of a city in times of crisis contribute to the shaping of that city's future?

8.6 In war and in peace. War threats and mutations of the European city in the contemporary era

Coordinators: Andrea Maglio (Università Federico II di Napoli), Gemma Belli (Università di Napoli Federico II)


AISU Panel

In contemporary times, war methods and the need for expansion and transformation of cities have interacted differently, conditioning cities’ shape, structure and image. In the Nineteenth century, the disappearance of the need for certain defensive elements, such as the city walls, offered an opportunity to rethink the urban configuration, in conjunction with the strong demographic growth and the new needs for modernization. On the other hand, if - in particular at the beginning of the century - new spaces for military functions arose, such as the Campo di Marte, there was a need to adapt garrisons and structures with military functions (ports, barracks, road infrastructures, etc. .). In the twentieth century, then, the different ways in which offensive actions were conducted implied a much more adaption tendency. The Second World War required defensive measures such as air-raid shelters, evacuation measures and proceedings for the safety of inhabitants, buildings and works of art, but also the rethinking of the structure of the territory, sometimes imagining the birth of small centers considered less vulnerable. The end of the war, again, marked the appearance of new studies aimed at preventing the effects of any conflict and then at dealing with the conditions of the 'cold war'. Finally, the end of the latter, involving a reorganization of alliances, such as NATO, in the face of cases of divestment created further opportunities for reuse and rethinking. The session calls for contributions capable of linking the theme of urban transformations of the contemporary era to the different ways in which European conflicts have been conducted in the last two centuries and, in the second post-war period, to the measures generated by fears of new possible, catastrophic war events.