URBAN ECOLOGY AND OUTDOOR DESIGN
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course each student will prove the knowledge of the
matter contents, applying them drawing the scheme of a new town.
Knowledge and ability to understand:
Specifically, the student will be able to properly size the open spaces,
after a careful analysis of the needs, will organize the supplied plant
furniture and finishing materials. Will recognize the main species of trees
and carry out a landscape features analysis on a territorial scale,
distinguishing the semiological (natural and anthropogenic) and
Each group (or single student) will be required to design the territorial
scale ecological network of the new city (1:5,000 or 1:10,000 scale) as
well as the design of an open space (tree-lined square, neighborhood
garden, urban park, sport area, waterfront, a part of the river park ...) up
to the scale of the detail.
The design remains the main instrument of communication . In particular,
during the course insists on the ability to refine the freehand
representation of landscape. GIS application are welcome. The ability to
draft texts (with automatic index, bibliography, index of illustrations) is
an indispensable condition for a successful exame.
Course contents summary
The course contents are divided into lectures and practical exercises
(often consequential to the theoretical contents about case studies
chosen by the student).
The main topics of the lectures are:
Land_landscape_identity: a lexicon to design
With reference to the European Landscape Convention, prescriptive
literary, historical definitions landscape. At the end of the lesson an
interpretation of some photographic landscape images will be proposed.
Notes for a history of the landscape: knowledge, interpretation, design.
With reference to the idea of landscape across the times, until the
objective turn by Von Humboldt and interpretive categories of the
“Reading” the landscape : from thematic mapping to Landscape Units.
With reference to the natural features (altimetry, cliviometria,
hydrography phytosociology ...), human features (demography, land use,
mobility), cultural features (history of the area, witnesses emergencies /
identity, sources ..) and perceptual features (visibility, semiotics ...).
Examples of semiotic analysis of urban landscape and peri-urban areas.
Practice: students will “read” the land where they are going to design the
city of the final exercise.
Introduction to ecology of urban landscape.
Definition of ecology and urban ecology, eco-design of the settlements,
the tasks of vegetation in urban areas.
Landscape architecture in urban context:
Categories and main functions of urban landscape, with reference to the
main last century landscape architects (Roberto Burle Marx, WEST8,
Pietro Porcinai, Lawrence Halprin, Gilles Clement, PROAP, Michel
Corajoud, Kathryn Gustafson, Frederick Law Olmsted...).
_ The urban park (1 lesson)
Historical evolution of the urban park (Le Cascine, Prato della Valle, Parc
Citroen, River Park Coimbra, Amsterdamse Bos ...).
Practice: Designing a neighborhood garden in the new city chosen by the
_ Margins, comunity gardens, sporting areas, urban fringes and urban
forests ... (1 lesson)
Examples from Copenhagen, Olot, Paris, Naerum, Lyon, Santa Fiora, Italy
Practice: landscape planning of an urban edge in the new city chosen by
Planning the urban comfort.
Definition of heat island, requirements for thermal comfort and control of
solar radiation, flooring, roofing, water blades, green walls.
The basic knowledge, which will be subject to mid-term test, starts from
the reading of:
EMILIO SERENI, Storia del paesaggio agrario italiano, Laterza, Bari-Roma,
And from one of these books:
EUGENIO TURRI, La conoscenza del territorio, Marsilio, Venezia, 2003
KEVIN LYNCH, L'immagine della città, Marsilio, Venezia, 1964 (1960)
CHRISTIAN NORBERG-SCHULTZ, Genius Loci, Electa, Milano 1979 (1976),
all of them are available at the Faculty library .
It is highly recommended the reading of the following books, which
summarize much of the contents of the lessons:
Catalogues Bienal Europea de Paisaje Barcelona, Fundaciòn Caja de
VALENTINA DESSI', Progettare il confort urbano, SE, Milano, 2007.
VITTORIO INGEGNOLI, ELENA GIGLIO, Ecologia del Paesaggio, Esselibri,
FRANCO PANZINI, Per i piaceri del popolo, Zanichelli, Bologna, 1993.
CARLO PERABONI, Reti ecologiche e infrastrutture verdi, Maggioli, Rimini,
VALERIO ROMANI, Il paesaggio dell’Alto Garda Bresciano, Grafo, Brescia,
SALVATORE SETTIS, Paesaggio Costituzione Cemento, Einaudi, 2010.
FRANCO ZAGARI, Questo è paesaggio, Mancosu Editore, Roma, 2006.
MARIELLA ZOPPI, Storia del giardino europeo, Laterza, Bari, 1995.
During the course of the year, in the days after each lecture,a ppt file will
be published on internet site of the course.
The teaching consists of lectures, practical exercises in the classroom
and off-site teaching, seminars, visits, conferences with outside guests.
Assessment methods and criteria
During the course students are be able to check their level of learning
through exercises ex-tempore, drafting, thematic posters, reports. The
oral examination will be the presentation of the project of a new city with
particular attention at the open spaces in it. The discussion of the
examination, will be an opportunity to test, with targeted questions, the
theoretical knowledge transmitted during the course.
Most of the intermediate exercises are individual. The final exam can be
taken in groups of 2-3 students.
The attendance and compliance with the deadlines for the intermediate
tests are indispensable preconditions.