CONFERENCE About the conference

International conference
Florence – June 27th – 28th  2016


Giulio Giovannoni, University of Florence
Silvia Ross, University College Cork

Scientific committee

Marco Cenzatti, UCBerkeley
Leonardo Chiesi, University of Florence
Giuseppe De Luca, University of Florence
Giulio Giovannoni, University of Florence
Richard Ingersoll, Syracuse University
Medina Lasansky, Cornell University
Andrea Mecacci, University of Florence
Saverio Mecca, University of Florence
Raffaele Paloscia, University of Florence
Davide Papotti, University of Parma
Silvia Ross, University College Cork


Urban space is the physical continuum on which human existence and social life unfold, with their complexities and contradictions, conflicts and fights, passions and needs. However, urban space is not a simple container for human and social life, neutral like an empty theatrical scene which waits to be used by actors and performers. Although inert and difficult to transform, urban space has a natural tendency to form an indistinguishable whole with the society which inhabits and shapes it. Social structures, as well as power relations, inhabiting cultures, and modes of production, are variously encoded in it. Spatial transformations signify social dynamics and changes which are often conflicting and contradictory. Urban planners and designers tend to ignore their controversial and problematic role, hiding themselves behind the supposed neutrality of technical expertise. This is one of the reasons why it is important to critically reconsider the notion of urban space from different disciplinary perspectives, in order to gain a better awareness of the many implications of urban design.

The conference, organized by Giulio Giovannoni and Silvia Ross, is conceived as an opportunity for critical discussion on the topic of urban space from different disciplinary perspectives. It aims to bring together scholars from a range of disciplines including urban design, literary studies, urban and architectural history, urban sociology, urban ethnography, cultural geography, environmental studies, philosophy and aesthetics.