Politecnico di Milano | URBNETLAB

Politecnico di Milano

UIC School of Architecture, Urban Planning, Construction Engineering
Urban Planning and Policy Design


Academic year 2016 – 2017
First semester


Marco Facchinetti




The aim of the course is to learn urban planning theories and techniques, and the focus of the course are recent and most contemporary urban transformations in Italy and in the western world (Europe and US).
Urban transformations became, since decades, a way of reinterpreting the existing cities, focusing on the unique value of living within the city and its boundaries. In recent years, after a first wave of changes that followed the end of extensive industrialization in western world cities, and not mentioning the early attempts to re invent cities through urban renewal programs (and simultaneously not considering how they failed in many cases), urban transformations became one of the tools that urban planning has to re invent cities. By themselves, they reinterpret the concept of scale, they create a different balance between interior and exterior of urbanized areas and they become new occasions of ‘urbanity’ even where relations and distances are not at an urban scale.
But during recent years, cities have changed, erasing differences and barriers between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’, expanding the compactness of traditional centers towards more sprawled regions. Above all, a strong, recognizable shift from being part of a city to acting within a region occurred.
The most interesting aspect of recent transformations is just this: they try to add ‘urbanity’ to places with different speeds, not necessarily compact or concentrated, not contiguous to other places, not historically characterized by compactness and urbanity. Many transformations are still in the cities centers, maybe because some areas missed the occasion of transformation’s first generation, but the majority is occurring in other places, not close to the city center, and able to re invent the relations within urban regions. These transformations are creating episodes of urbanity all around the regions, re connecting disconnected areas, presenting themselves as points to be reached by major transportation facilities and showing their ability to create urban atmosphere.
The new urban feeling, the invention of a model where being ‘urban’ is cooler than before, the western culture of young, hipster, cultured and well-dressed men and women find a perfect place in recent and contemporary transformations: urbanity, centrality, connectivity and sustainability are four of the paradigms that transformations bring with them and on which the course will focus on.
Transformations occur every time there is an under used area or a use that should/want to be changed. They used to be long term, in decision-taking and constructions, due to the size that former industrial areas had, but they tend to be faster, smaller and more oriented in changing some places of the metropolitan area being able to insert, at a metropolitan level, a new presence. The speed of urban transformations and the size of the areas involved has shifted from large, very central areas to smaller, sometimes not necessarily central areas able to infuse urban life to more suburban places.


Syllabus of the course
Calendar of the course
October, 10th 2016 Marco Facchinetti lecture #1
October, 10th 2016 Marco Facchinetti lecture #2
October, 24th 2016 Marika Fior Lecture #1


Academic year 2015 – 2016
Second semester


Marco Facchinetti

March 10th 2015 Syllabus  Presentation
March 13th 2015 Reading the city Lecture
March 17th 2015 Reading the city
March 20th 2015 Reading the city In room workshop
March 27th 2015 Reading the city Lecture (Valeria Fedeli)
March 31st 2015 Reading the city In room workshop (Valeria Fedeli)
April, 10th 2015 Studying the city Lecture
May, 5th 2015 Understanding the city Walktour in Porta Nuova. In room workshop
May, 8th 2015 Understanding the city Lecture
May, 26th 2015 Understanding the city Lecture
May, 29th 2015 Understanding the city In room workshop



Marco Facchinetti

DASTU - Via Bonardi 3, third floor

02 2399 5531