OPEN SPACE PLANNING AND URBAN ECOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims at providing theoretical and practical tools for the
critical analysis and design of the urban environment with particular attention to open spaces.
At the end of the learning experience, the student is supposed:
- to acquire knowledge in open space assessment,
- to develop proper practical skills to approach open space planning and design, including GIS techniques.
- to develop specific communication skills and be autonomous in further learning concerning
the issues of open space planning and design.
Course contents summary
The course deals with the topics of open space planning and urban ecology, providing methods and tools for the construction of a cognitive framework of the urban environment, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
The course tackles the basic principles of human geography, sociology and economics of urban spaces and explore the relationship among urban form, functions, open space planning and urban ecology: the planning of urban green spaces, the connections with the rural environment, green and blue infrastructures, ecological planning.
Following topics will be treated:
- Transformability of urban open spaces in the contemporary city: urbanisation processes, economic constraints, urban sociology, urban morphology, spatial location, land consumption and ecocity criteria;
- Open space assessment and planning with the support of GIS technology: the quality and role of public space, the mutual setting of public and private sphere (synergies and conflicts); public equipment as a reference of the community life.
- Design tools for urban quality and people involvement: sustainable planning strategies, urban-to-rural connections, social equity (right-to-the-city), pedestrian-oriented public space, environmental benefits of an ecological design (de-sealing practices).
IN PRACTICE: Mapping and assessing open spaces in a European mid-sized city with the help of GIS technology.
- Jan Gehl, Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York 1987
- Jan Gehl, Cities for people, Island Press, 2010
- Peter G. Hall, Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century, 2013, IV ed., Blackwell Publishers
- Kevin Lynch, The image of the city, The MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1960
- Paolo Ventura, La città nuova. Elementi di progettazione urbanistica, McGraw-Hill, 2018
- Lectures on the cultural aspects of open space planning and design;
- Integrated design studio on Urban Regeneration for an European middle-sized city;
- GIS Exercises: construction of a GIS database aimed at assessing and planning the urban environment with particular reference to the public realm;
- Study visits and seminars.
Assessment methods and criteria
Final exam, composed of three aspects:
1) discussion about solutions and statements assumed for the practical Urban Regeneration Design work;
2) oral or written test on theoretical and cultural aspects;
3) assignments to be delivered during the course.
For further details, see the corresponding voice for the “URBAN PLANNING STUDIO FOR THE SUSTAINABLE CITY”